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The priciest vintages for whiskey connoisseurs
Words by Ankita Bhowmick in The Lifestyle · Feb 19th, 2019
The distilled alcoholic beverage of whiskey is made from fermented grain mash. Grains such as barley, corn, rye and wheat are generally used in the process. It is interesting to know that during the 18th century in America, whiskey was a preferred currency among Pennsylvania residents. What is more interesting is that most of the expensive bottles of whiskey are priced high not just due to their age, quality or taste, but due to the casks that contain them.
Let us have a look at the 10 most expensive bottles of whiskey in the world in 2021.
A bottle of Isabella's Islay is the most expensive whiskey that money can buy. The price tag of more than 6 million dollars that comes with a bottle of this whiskey is because of the decanter that contains it. It features 8,500 diamonds, 300 rubies and exquisite white gold. Talking about the whiskey, it is one of the finest ever and is the epitome of luxury scotch whiskey.
Sold in February 2021, The Emerlad Isle Collection was sold in a box containing seven pieces including the 30-year old whiskey, a bespoke Fabergé Celtic Egg handcrafted from emerald and 18-karat gold, a Faberge 22k gold timepiece, and a Cohiba Siglo VI Grand Reserva cigar with gold-plated cutter. It was created by the Irish Bradley family and was sourced using the rarest and oldest triple distilled whiskey from the world's oldest distillery in Bushmill, Ireland and placed in a Pedro Ximenez cask.
In 2019, a 60 year old bottle of Macallan was bought at a Sotheby's auction for US$ 1.9 million. Originally distilled in 1926, it was sold in its original cask no.263. This was the first bottle that featured a hand-painted design by Irish artist Michael Dillon, and was part of the 'The Macallan Fine and Rare' collection. It is dubbed as "the holy grail of whiskey".
Hand-painted by Irish painter Michael Dillion and commissioned by Fortnum & Mason, this 60-year old whiskey was released in 1999 and sold at a Christie's auction in November 2018 for US$1.53 million. The art depicts The Macallan Speyside estate’s cherished Easter Elchies House. Also belonging to the famous cask 263 (like the above), this particular one also receives much of its value due to the illustration. This bottle is the only one of its kind when it comes to design.
With only 12 of its kind in the world designed and crafted with pop artist Valerio Adami, this whiskey's decanter is placed in a special cabinet. Distilled in 1926 and bottled in 1986, it is estimated to have a price tag of US$ 1.1 million and was last sold through an auction in 2020 when a famous whiskey collector from Colorado called Richard Gooding passed away and his collection was auctioned off. It is believed out of the remaining 11 that remain, one was destroyed in an earthquake and the other has been drunk.
Designed by French glassmaker and jeweler Lalique, The Macallan Lalique Legacy Collection is a set of six stunning crystal decanters (called the Six Pillars odyssey) containing some of the rarest of The Macallan’s single malts aged from 50 to 65 years old. Each of the six sought-after limited-edition decanters had originally been single releases and are the product of a decade-long collaboration between The Macallan and Lalique. The bottles are housed in a bespoke natural ebony cabinet that also holds six miniatures and six pairs of Lalique Macallan glasses. It came up for auction in April 2017 at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, where we saw it sell for US$993,000.
The 6 litre bottle of The Macallan M is one of the oldest and most expensive whiskeys in the world. The decanter that contains it is made up of handcrafted crystal and was designed and created by 17 crafters. The last bottle of The Macallan M was sold at an auction in Hong Kong for USD 628,205. They are aged in Spanish Oak for 25 to over 75 years.