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The Most Exclusive Whiskies in the World

By Emma Reynolds |  May 22 2019


oldripvanwinkle.com

Of course, you’ve read about The Glenlivet Winchester‘s $25,000 bottle of Scotch whisky, but did you know about some of the rarest and most exclusive whiskies on the planet? Elite Traveler has rounded up the most sought after bottles around the world — you’ll be hard-pressed to find one of these rare expressions.

oldripvanwinkle.com

Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23 Year Old Bourbon Whiskey

It’s not everyday that American whiskies are as sought after as Pappy Van Winkle. This Frankfort, Kentucky-based whisky brand (it has only six expressions in its portfolio) has one of the most enormous cult followings of any whisky brand – there are only a few thousand bottles released per year and as the stock gets lower, that number decreases. Secondary markets are the only place to find the bottles, and the 23 Year Old expression sells in the liquor market for up to $2,700 per bottle – and beyond. But when you get your hands on a bottle (or even a small dram), watch out for hints of caramel, ripe apples, cherries, oak wood and tobacco. oldripvanwinkle.com

dekanta.com

Yamazaki 50 Year Old

In 2018, the Yamazaki 50-Year-Old broke the world record for the highest selling bottle of Japanese whisky ever at almost $300,000. Yamazaki Whisky in the Suntory portfolio is made in Japan’s first and oldest malt distillery and has become one of the most coveted Japanese whisky brands on the market. It was released in 2005 and only 50 bottles of this expression was produced so unless you know someone who knows someone with a bottle, your chance of bumping into a bottle of this caliber on accident is pretty rare. This isn’t the only exclusive bottle in Yamazaki’s collection – the Suntory Yamazaki 18 Year Old sells for nearly $1,000 and there are plenty more with heavy price tags. Inquire about purchasing the bottle at dekanta.comhouse.suntory.com

Macallan 64 Year Old in Lalique

The Macallan is another one of those brands with a cult whisky following. In 2012, this proved correct when the Macallan 64 Year Old in Lalique set the then-record for the most expensive whisky ever sold at an auction at $460,000. At the time, it was Macallan’s oldest and rarest whisky to date. However, in 2018, Macallan set to outdo itself with the release of an even older expression, the Macallan 72 Year Old, also in Lalique. Selling for $60,000, there are 600 worldwide and 156 in the US, meaning that unless you have some connections, the chances of getting your hands on one of these bottles is slim. Or you could drop a cool $150,000 to get one, as that’s the price marketed on third-party retail sites. If it’s not a bottle you want, but a taste, the Montage Beverly Hills is selling drams for $12,000. themacallan.com

Gordon & MacPhail 1981 from Coleburn Distillery

The latest addition to Gordon & MacPhail’s Private Collection Range, this rare single malt whisky from Coleburn Distillery was matured at a warehouse in Elgin, Scotland for 38 years. Gordon & MacPhail is no stranger to producing some of the world’s rarest single malt Scotch whiskies. They have sourced new make spirit from more than 100 Scottish distilleries and paired with a hand-selected cask for maturation. Their Private Collection, which included aged single malts from celebrated, little known or closed distilleries, is one of their most special portfolios. Coleburn Distillery is no exception – it was first opened in 1897 but closed its doors in the 1980s. There are only 101 bottles of this single expression. gordonandmacphail.com

Royal Salute Tribute to Honour

A bit of history on Chivas Brothers’ Royal Salute brand: The spirit was launched on June 2, 1953 as a tribute to honor Queen Elizabeth II on her coronation day, and fittingly, it’s suited for only the most special and most royal of occasions by using the rarest and oldest blends of Scotch whisky. It first launched in 2012 and while the 21 bottles (priced at $190,000 each) are most likely long gone, it still remains one of the most exclusive productions in the world. The bottle is a work of art, too – there are 413 black and white diamonds, or 22 carats, set in silver and gold. The liquid inside uses whisky that is 45 years old, no older, no younger. If you ever find a bottle, cherish it. royalsalute.com 

glenfiddich.com

Glenfiddich 1937 Rare Collection

In 2016, one of the 61 bottles of the Glenfiddich 1937 Rare Collection sold for nearly $70,000 at Bonhams Whisky Auction, and since then, it has grown to become one of the most coveted expressions ever released by the brand. While Glenfiddich has phenomenal everyday whiskies, it has a robust collection of rare, vintage and limited-edition spirits. The Scotch whisky spirits company, started in 1886, is still entirely family owned and is considered one of the best single malt Scotch whiskies in the world. Other ultra-rare expressions include the 50 Year Old and the Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve – we wish you the best of luck on your journey to finding them. glenfiddich.com

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