This article is about the world’s most expensive whiskey, and where you can find it. However before we dive in, it’s worth giving this famous gold liquid a little introduction. Walter Mosley gets it right in his book “Black Betty” he said:
“There are few things as beautiful as a glass bottle filled with deep amber whiskey. Liquor shines when the light hits it, reminiscent of precious things like jewels and gold. But whiskey is better than some lifeless bracelet or coronet.
Whiskey is a living thing capable of any emotion that you are. Its love and deep laughter and brotherhood of the type that bonds nations together.
Whiskey is your friend when nobody else comes around. Whiskey is solace that holds you tighter that most lovers can.”
Oddly, not an exaggeration, whiskey really does have a magical effect, which is why it is worth spending a little extra every now and again and treating yourself to an expensive whiskey. There are some really great ones to choose from.
The Most Expensive Whiskey Brands Uncovered
You will probably have guessed by now that the most expensive whiskies are the ones that have aged the longest. Expect to pay $20 – $30 dollars for Jim Beam, Bourbon or Jack Daniels, right up to $85,000 for a 50 year old single blend whiskey. At this point, I feel there is an important distinction to make in respect of the most expensive whiskey. You will probably see other websites quoting figures of $600,000 plus for the most expensive whiskey title. However before you jump out of your chair, you should understand that the large price tag is mainly down to the vessel the whiskey is kept in rather than the whiskey. I am more interested in the whiskey itself and am therefore not concerning myself with records that are more bottle than whiskey!!
I have listed below four of the best out of top 10 whiskeys and most expensive whiskies in the world. If money is no object you can still own and enjoy one of these rare bottles.
Springbank 1919 Cambeltown single malt scotch whiskey
This is probably one of the rarest single malts ever manufactured. My understanding is that only 24 bottles from the 1919 vintage were bottled at the Cambeltown distillery in 1970.
Springbank distillery is the oldest in Scotland, which is still family owned. It was founded in by Archibald Mitchell in 1828 and is now managed by Hedley Wright, who is the great great grandson and the fifth generation to own and manage.
Cambeltown itself is classed as the whiskey capital of the world and it’s no surprise that the distillery prides itself on the skill and traditional production methods used to create such fine blends. A rarety in our modern times, Springbank whiskey is one hundred percent a handmade process and unusually refining is carried out on just the one site. Visitors can still enjoy a tour and see where the most expensive whiskey (as confirmed by the Guinness book of records) was made.
The whiskey was distilled two and a half times and introduces the coconut oily flavor that makes this whiskey so famous. The famous bottle has a spicy ginger nose, combined with a mix of sea foam and a hint of peat
There are only a few bottles of this vintage remaining and they are valued at $85000.
Macallan 1949 50 year old Millennium Decanter
The Macallan distillery is located in Speyside Scotland. The Macallan Estate is about 390 acres in total, and as well as the distillery contains Easter Elchies House which was built in the 1700’s. At least 90 acres is laid down to the famous minstrel barley, which is used to give Macallan Whiskies its unique taste.
The distillery itself has fourteen copper stills, although they are actually the smallest of their type on Speyside, their small size assist in producing the rich fruity flavor that is unmistakably Macallan.
In a break with the norm Macallan only take sixteen percent of the distilled whiskey, ensuring that only the best is used. Whilst this is one of the smallest amounts in the industry, it ensures quality and the great Macallan name.
The Macallan 1949 Whiskey was distilled on the 14th January 1949. The whiskey was secured in specially sourced Spanish oak sherry casks and poured into a unique handmade Caithness decanter in August 1999.
Caithness Glass well respected producers of glass ware in Scotland, export their wares all over the world. The decanter is presented in an oak box, which features a commemorative copper plate. The copper plate was taken from a redundant still (number 9) from the Macallan distillery. The decanter is also finished using the same copper.
The whiskey is dark in color has aromas of chocolate orange, dried fruits and spices. This vintage is becoming increasingly rare and has a price tag of $23,000.
Rittenhouse 25 year old rye
Heaven Hill owner of the Rittenhouse brand is the largest family owned Whiskey distillery in America. Founded in Kentucky by the Shapira family, they are rumored to be the seventh largest spirits supplier in the US, holding over one million barrels of aging bourbon whiskey.
The whiskey has been blended by the Beam family for six generations. The skill and craft has been passed from father to son over that time, with James Beauregard Beam being the original master distiller. Known by his friends as “Jim” he was responsible for the world famous “Jim Beam” label (now owned by Suntory Holdings in Japan)
Rittenhouse rye whiskey as its name suggests was a classic rye whiskey and is seen as a classic whiskey now enjoying something of a comeback. The 25 year old Rittenhouse was a single barrel edition. It was kept and aged in one of the coldest parts of the warehouse to allow an even maturing. The result is unique deep rich colored liquor which has a sweet and spicy aroma. The taste reminds one of chocolate raisins, vanilla and sandalwood and reveals a spicy aftertaste. At only $1600 a bottle, this is a real steal.
Coleraine 1959 34 year old Irish Malt Whiskey
The Coleraine Distillery was set up in 1820. It was rebuilt from an abandoned mill in County Derry. At that time there were only two distilleries in Ireland and Coleraine quickly became the distillery of choice. In fact it became so popular that it was the only whiskey allowed to be drunk in the House of Commons in London. As a result it was allowed to include the initials HC on all of its bottles.
It was renowned for its triple distilling and the fact that the whole process from start to final bottling was carried out on the same site. No whiskey was bottled until it was at least ten years old.
Unfortunately after the owner Robert Taylor passed away in the early 1900’s the distillery fell into decline and after several periods of no whiskey being produced and the distillery being brought and sold, the Coleraine brand became extinct and the doors closed for the final time in 1978.
This has resulted in early bottles of Coleraine Irish whiskeys becoming really sort after and therefore puts a premium on the label. The Coleraine 1959 was bottled in 1993 and is a clean single malt whiskey with no smoky taste, because the malt was dried using coal rather than peat as they do in Scotland.
The price of a bottle is approximately $3400.
I hope you have found our search for the most expensive whiskey interesting. If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on a bottle, you can still enjoy some incredible whiskeys at a fraction of the price.