This story originally appeared in the July/August 2018 issue of Elite Traveler.
From beautiful and ornate bottles to unassuming and ancient vintages, you’re sure to find a new tipple to add to your collection.
PHOTOGRAPHER Nicholas Duers
STYLIST Kristen Shirley
Hardy L’Été A feminine take on a bold cognac, this Lalique bottle is a truework of art, eclipsed only by the 1920s Grande Champagne cognac within. $15,900, available at Park Avenue Liquors in New York, contact Jonathan Goldstein, email@example.com, +1 212 685 2442, ahardyusa.com
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Arôme 28 Founder’s Reserve Produced with Panamanian sugarcane, Arôme was distilled in an aging warehouse for 28 years before just 500 were bottled by the brand’s maestro ronero, trained in the tradition of Cuban rum distillation. $595, contact Andrew Troyer, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 561 517 3616, rumarome.com Patrón en Lalique: Serie 2 Made in Alsace, France, and filled with tequila aged seven years in Jalisco, Mexico, there are only 299 crystal Art Deco–inspired bottles of this tequila in the world. $7,500, available online at reservebar.com, patrontequila.com Casa Noble Selección del Fundador Volume II The longer tequila stays in oak barrels, the more dramatic the change in flavor and color, which rings true for this triple-distilled añejo tequila. Aged for eight years in French oak barrels, the spirit has smooth flavors of butter, vanilla, flowers and cinnamon. $1,500, available at casanoble.com Glenmorangie Pride 1974 This single malt whisky is the rarest and oldest expression in Glenmorangie’s portfolio—it started maturing in October 1974. Decades spent casked in Scotland’s tallest stills in both ex-bourbon and ex–Oloroso sherry casks have produced a one-of-a-kind flavor. $9,050, available at Sherry-Lehmann in New York, contact Matt Wong, +1 646 747 0482, glenmorangie.com
L’Essence de Courvoisier This precious cognac fuses more than 100 rare eaux-de-vie, some dating back to the early 20th century, with notes of liquorice, dried plum and apricot. $3,500, available online at reservebar.com, courvoisier.com L’Or de Jean Martell A blend of more than 400 eaux-de-vie, including some aged for more than a century, L’Or de Jean Martell is the house’s highest expression, presented in a sensually curved bottle with gold detailing. $4,200, available at Sherry-Lehmann in New York, contact Matt Wong, +1 646 747 0482, pernod-ricard.com Grand Marnier Quintessence Directly from Paradis, the private cellar of the Marnier Lapostolle family, Quintessence is a blend of cognacs, some over 100 years old, sourced from the prestigious Grande Champagne region and matured in French oak casks with distilled orange essence. $900, available online at reservebar.com, grand-marnier.com Hennessy Paradis Impérial Paradis Impérial brings seven generations of master blenders’ talents and techniques to fruition in this outstanding blend of eaux-de-vie fromthe past 250 years. $3,000, available online at reservebar.com, hennessy.com 1908 Sherry-Lehmann Founder’s Reserve Armagnac For a more complex brandy, try armagnac instead of cognac. It’s distilled just once in a column still, then aged, and is nowhere near as popular as its cousin (although we don’t know why). This exceptional bottle from Sherry-Lehmann is 110 years old. $3,300, available at Sherry-Lehmann in New York, contact Matt Wong, +1 646 747 0482, pernod-ricard.com
The Last Drop 1971 Blended Scotch Whisky Only 1,352 bottles are available in the world, and the noteworthy blend offers notes of sweet honey, vanilla, crisp orange and oak with a classic smokiness. $4,000, available at Park Avenue Liquors in New York, contact Jonathan Goldstein, email@example.com, +1 212 685 2442, lastdropdistillers.com Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute Named for the 62-gun salute fired for royal anniversaries, this Scotch whisky’s blue decanter stands out, as does its case, which is fitted with 24K gold. $4,000, available at Sherry-Lehmann in New York, contact Matt Wong, +1 212 838 7500, pernod-ricard.com Highland Park 1968 Orcadian Vintage Series The 40-year-old vintage single malt Scotch whisky is bottled in a black glass case from specialist Stölzle Flaconnage and emblazoned with Viking art illustrations; only 1,500 bottles exist worldwide. $5,000, available at the Edrington Group Americas in New York, +1 212 352 6000, highlandparkwhisky.com Louis XIII Black Pearl The Baccarat-made crystal decanter was inspired by a flask found during the Battle of Jarnac, and this edition uses a unique plating technique that creates a metallic effect. Price on request, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, louisxiii-cognac.com Clase Azul Ultra With a 24K gold label and a hand-painted pure liquid platinum sheen, this artisan-made bottle takes two weeks to create—a short span compared to the five-year-aged tequila encapsulated within. $1,700, available online at shopwinedirect.com, claseazul.com
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WhistlePig The Boss Hog IV: Black Prince The first-ever rye whiskey made from former brandy armagnac barrels in France weds true American spirit (WhistlePig is based in Vermont) with French elegance, as its barrels date back to the 14th century and England’s Prince Edward, dubbed “the Black Prince.” $600, available at 10th Avenue Wines & Liquors in New York, +1 212 245 6700, whistlepigwhiskey.com The Macallan 50 Years Old Five decades of rest in a single European-oak sherry butt seemed like a suitable amount of time to distill this inimitable whisky.With only 200 bottles available worldwide (35 in the US), this single malt is a rare byproduct of half a century’s work. $35,000, email@example.com, themacallan.com Glenfiddich 1973 Rare Collection There are only 98 bottles of this 44-year-old bottle in the world. If you’re lucky enough to get a bottle, or even a taste, you’ll be captivated by its lively flavor and oaky finish. $6,000, available at Best Buy Liquors in Brooklyn, New York, +1 718 265 4350, glenfiddich.com Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 2017 Edition The oldest distillery in Japan, located just outside Kyoto, offers the perfect combination for whisky maturation: pure water, mild temperatures and lots of humidity. Aged for 18 years, it’s a crisp single malt with hints of fruit and smoke. $1,000, available at Total Wine & More in River’s Edge, New Jersey, +1 201 968 1777, suntory.com The Dalmore 45 Baccarat lent its delicate touch to the otherwise masculine–and-iconic bottle of The Dalmore’s 45-year-old single malt whisky. Matured in American white oak ex-bourbon casks, the whisky was transferred to two vintage Graham’s Port Colheita pipes dating back to 1961 and 1963. $12,500, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, thedalmore.com