Whether you are a lover of this amber-shaded beverage or not, you must know that a whiskey’s actual value lies in its age and flavor. On top of that, if its price tag does not break the bank, then that’s not a classic drink! For the unversed, this drink has been in the news recently thanks to a bottle of The Macallan 1926! A bottle of it was sold for a humongous $2.7 million at Sotheby’s auction, getting the label of the most expensive whiskey in the world. However, there’s more!
In this post, we will talk of the other bottles that also, over the years, have graced this list of ‘most expensive’ whiskies in the world. We will also delve into the factors that make one brand more expensive than the other. Here’s the listicle –
Table of Contents
Which is the most expensive whiskey in the world?
Here is the list –
1. The Macallan 1926
Surely, this comes first on the list now, given that it has gained additional popularity – the Macallan 1926 is officially called – ‘the holy grail’ of whiskies. For the record, this scotch whiskey has spent a greater portion of its life in the sherry caskets, and its enchanting, decadent taste is an ode to that. Originally distilled back in 1926 in the famed casket No:263, this beverage has been restricted to only 40 bottles that have been auctioned.
As the oldest of Macallan whiskey’s ever produced, this vintage shot comes packed in Michael Dillon’s hand-painted boxes. According to BBC’s whiskey expert, David Robertson, the flavor is quite like – “…dried fruits, of prunes and dates and tones of incredible spicy notes….” Thus, one can clearly state that this specific beverage is genuinely one whose price stands true to its quality.
2. Isabella’s Islay
Standing on the second spot in this list of most expensive whiskey in the world, this Irish drink priced at $6 million is triple-distilled, enhancing its flavors. Available in a luxury box laced with rubies, white gold, and diamonds, this whiskey, with its smooth and creamy texture and elegant feel, is truly a drink for the regals!
Boasting a combined aroma of berry and wood, this whiskey is curated from a mash bill of what we would call malted barley. As one of the most expensive whiskeys that money can buy, this one is totally worth the millions!
3. Emerald Isle Collection
Touted as the Master of Malt, this whiskey created by the Bradley family from Ireland is tagged at a rate of $2 million! Coming in a vanilla palate with a floral honey tone, this is made most traditionally and packed after following the triple-distilled method. Curated to celebrate the ‘Seven Wonders Of Ireland, ’ this one from the world’s oldest distillery was placed in a specific Pedro Ximenez cask to enhance its aging process.
The distinct feature associated with this whiskey comes from its combination of unmalted and malted barley with a sponge cake-like base popping from below. With a dash of marmalade for taste, this indeed has gained its place amidst the most expensive whiskey in the world.
4. Hanyu Ichiro’s Full Card Series
When talking of whiskeys, why must Japan stay behind? Keeping up the standard of creating one of the most expensive whiskey in the world is the Hanyu Ichiro’s Full Card Series. Coming in a 54-bottle set priced at $1.53 million, this Scotch-format malt was made available between 2005-2014, and that too from a now shut-down distillery.
For those interested in the history of this set, this shot was created by Isouji Akuto and is part of the 400 casks of the original created years back. No wonder they say that the rarer the whiskey gets, the better it tastes!! The rare earthy and peaty taste of this showcases the same!
5. Glenfiddich 1937 Rare Collection
This name, unlike the others online, might not be as well-known, but it surely takes the cake, given that only 64 bottles of this are left from the original set. This extravagant drink was distilled at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland with a distinct apple flavor. Going back to 2016, this single malt was sold at a record price.
For those who have not yet tasted it, vanilla and light honey lie on its side palate, while the malty sweet notes dominate the primary palate. As you swallow it, you get a slight alcoholic bite to it, while sherry influences the backside of the tongue. Priced supposedly at $157,520 (approximate estimate), this is known as one of the rarest and most expensive whiskey in the world.
6. Yamazaki 55-Year-Old Single Malt Whiskey
A floral beverage in nature, with plenty of zest and nut oil, this single malt was initially released in 2020 via a lottery system in Japan. One of the oldest Japanese whiskies to be sold (given that only 100 bottles were in circulation), the spirit commands a price of $780,000!
Found in calligraphed bottles, it has a woody note with a curious bitter-sweet flavor. With a smooth palate and the goodness of winter spice, the presence of light rum and fruity notes brings out its root-like basic taste. One of the most expensive whiskey in the world this Japanese beverage is available in bottles draped with Echizen washi paper and strapped with plaited cords.
7. Dalmore Decades No:6 Collection
Pegged at $1.1 million, the decanter of this collection is found in a bespoke silver collar and kept on a pedestal packed with sterling silver and black oak. This single malt is matured from the sherry buds of Southern Spain and packs up a drink with indulgent flavors.
Known to the world as one of the most expensive whiskey in the world its bottles were released between 1951 and 2001. For those who will try this for the first time, assuredly, you will get engrossed in the tobacco leaf smell churned within by the fruity flavors of – peaches, plums, oranges, and strawberries!
8. Johnnie Walker Diamond Jubilee Whiskey
Another glorious name in this range of the most expensive whiskey in the world – this drink has a history behind its creation. For the unversed, this drink was made to celebrate the 60th year of Late Queen Elizabeth’s monarchial domination! Priced at $227,700 – this drink has a base note of creamy vanilla with slight hints of fruit and spices.
This deeply structured whiskey has been a beverage lover’s favorite (since 2012) courtesy of its deeply evocative elegance. Aromatic in nature, this includes a dash of the woody nature, fruitiness, quinces, and old rum. What’s more? The sale of this whiskey has raised a fund of $ 12,70,500 for charitable purposes. If you haven’t sipped it, it is time you do so.
These are some of the ‘most expensive’ tagged whiskies in the world. Having said that, a curiosity remains – why are they so ‘pricey?’
Let’s try figuring that out –
What defines the price of a whiskey bottle?
Have you been wondering about that ‘X’ factor that makes this drink as pricey as they are? Let us inform you that there are a couple of factors that determine the price of this beverage. The costlier those are, the pricier are the drinks in themselves –
- The fact is that some of them are Limited Edition versions. The shorter the period of its availability, the higher the price. This is because the market demand for that product is higher compared to its availability in the market.
- The manufacturing cost is another key factor you must remember while checking through the list of most expensive whiskey in the world. Curating whiskey takes both time and money. The spirit may come off, but it still needs to rest in an oak case for 3 years to be labeled as whiskey. Therefore, the price is set according to the monetary and time investments that are made.
- Independent bottling of whiskeys is also another reason for the high cost. This individual packaging brings in the variation in the price range.
- Lastly, this beverage’s taxes are higher than others (given its demand and monetary investment). This raises the total cost.
These are the key factors that contribute to the high price that any noted whiskey is tagged at.
For the lovers of that single malt, without a doubt this listicle providing the most expensive whiskey in the world was helpful. For the newbies, we hope you can check out some names from this list and try out a sip or two in the future. If you liked this list and want to check out some more listicles like these, then do let us know in the comments section. For exciting posts like these, keep following Contour Cafe.
Monalisa Mukherjee is a content writer and copywriter with close to 3 years of experience. She has written for websites like Biography Talk, Contour Cafe, He And She Fitness and Fiction Pad. She is currently associated with a noted Digital Marketing Agency and specialises in writing articles for travel, entertainment, cooking, celeb, lifestyle, tech, health, fashion and film news.