Thanks to international acclaim and dusty old bottles aged to perfection, Scotch whisky is on par with wine in terms of outrageous pricing. Many of the most coveted offerings in the world are about as expensive as a house, and in some cases, we mean a really, really nice house.
What makes a 750-milliliter bottle of spirit worth more than $6 million? To be honest, we’re not entirely sure. Like most expensive alcoholic things, it’s a combination of hype, vintage, scarcity, or even the bedazzled bottle it comes in. Scotch whisky has also always been one of the pricier beverages out there, a reflection of the care and patience that tends to go into creating the stuff.
Whether you’re simply curious or eager to splurge like a professional collector, these are the most expensive Scotches on the planet.
Set to an eye-catching blue label and corresponding box, this whisky from Macallan is matured in sherry oak casks. As such, it takes on a bit of a ruby hue and offers some rich and round dried fruit and wood notes. The distilling team captures the finest cut, approximately the best 16% of the liquid, for a fuller, more robust finished product.
A mere 100 bottles of this whisky were first released a few years back. It’s a collaboration with designer Bethan Gray and features 50-year-old whisky from what the distillery calls an exceptional 1966 vintage. The deep hue is courtesy of a half-century of aging, an impressive feat. If you’re lucky enough to try this rarity, you’ll sip knowing that LBJ was president and gas cost 31 cents per gallon when it was made.
From rum-influenced options to single-barrel and PortWood-finished products, The Balvenie makes some mean Scotch. This one integrates citrus, oak, and fruit notes to perfection. Calling it a special-occasion Scotch is an understatement, as it costs roughly as much as a new Land Rover. Only 110 bottles were made of this single malt from Speyside, aged in American oak and the sixth installment of 50-year-old Scotch released by the brand.
The eldest whisky on the list, this offering from ’64 hails from the highlands of Scotland. It’s about as complex as a Scotch comes, benefiting from a finish in Oloroso Sherry barrels. While this bottle goes for $63,000, a collection of other vintages (multiple bottles, mind you) has reportedly fetched sums of close to $350,000. Needless to say, it’s an elegant option from a producer adored by the Scotch-drinking world for its razor-sharp attention to malting details, a key part of the process.
Regardless of how good this Scotch from the storied island of Islay is, it’s primarily the most expensive bottle on earth due to its vessel. Housed in a sparkling decanter made of English crystal and covered in diamonds, it’s the ultimate symbol of go-big-or-go-home luxury. Some 8,500 diamonds and the equivalent of two bars of solid gold make up this bottle of bottles. How’s the Scotch? It probably doesn’t matter as, psychologically, anybody who shells out this kind of money is going to convince themselves it’s the best thing ever. And, perhaps it is.
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