The Most Expensive Whisky Ever Sold At Auction
Discover which Whisky brand dominates our shortlist of the worlds most collectable bottles.
| October 14 2021
When it comes to the price of rare and collectible whisky, it seems like the only way is up. As soaring bids and an endless buzz of broken auction records continue to dominate the industrys headlines, it is predominantly Scottish whisky that commands the mightiest price tags amongst global collectors. As a result, it is the whisky of the small Celtic nation that makes up the majority of our shortlist of the most expensive whisky ever sold.
Although Craft Irish Cos Emerald Isle Collection created in collaboration with legendary jeweler Fabergé broke records in March selling for $2m, purists may debate its place at the top. This is because it could be argued that the Fabergé additions to the set had a large influence on the price. Golden eggs aside, it may be unsurprising to whisky aficionados that The Macallan reigns supreme when it comes to smashing records under the hammer. In fact, hardly any other Scotch whisky brand comes close.
Not only does the Speyside distillery take all but three spaces on our list of nine, four of the six Macallan lots featured are actually from the same cask: the legendary #263, which auction house Sothebys has described as the holy grail of whisky. But it has to be said, there are a number of factors that set the bottles apart.
Read Also: Jack Daniels Downhome Punch Recipe
Which Johnnie Walker Is Best
This is a very subjective question to answer as everyone has different taste preferences. That being said, the quality of they whiskies used for the Johnnie Walker Red Label blend wont be as good as the ones used for the Green Label.
The best Johnnie Walker to start with would be either the Black Label or the Double Black. These are great whiskies that will open you up to the wonderful world of Johnnie Walker. If you have a little more money to spend, go for the Green Label. Still affordable, but a great dram!
The Macallan 64 Year Old In Lalique 285000
Designed in a stunning Lalique crystal decanter, the 64 year old Macallan was created in order to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of René Lalique, the founder of the French crystal artisans.
The design of the bottle used the lost wax procedure, creating a one-off piece of art. Meanwhile, the whisky was taken from three sherry-seasoned Spanish oak casks the rst was lled in 1942, the second in 1945, and the third in 1946.
The unique methods by which The Macallan mature their whisky in the cask also contributes to the allure. The Macallans Ken Grier says that 60% of the flavour of a single malt whisky comes from the quality of the cask it is matured in. The Macallan buys 95% of the sherry oak casks used in the Scotch whisky industry and pays anything up to 10 times the price of the bourbon casks that others use.
M / Image: The Macallan
Don’t Miss: Spiced Rum Keto
Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve 1985 Inr 6600000
Released to honor the passing of Janet Sheed Roberts, Glenfiddich founder William Grants granddaughter, this 55-year-old Scotch was auctioned off to raise money for charity. Seven out of the eleven bottles of this extremely rare collection were sold and is one of the most expensive Scotch whisky to have ever been released by Glenfiddich.
The Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve is one of the oldest single malts in the world, with only eleven bottles released as a tribute to each passing decade of the remarkable life of the last grandchild of the founder.
This ultra-rare, 55-year-old bottle did not only break auction records but also raised over Rs 4 Cr for charity and noble causes. It is the most expensive whisky ever sold in an auction for a record-breaking amount of 94,000 US dollars in New York as per the brands official website.
Vintage Berry Bourbon With A Smokey Slideaverage Price: $1347
Another fine addition to our list of the most expensive bourbons in the world is the Willett Distillery Family Estate Bottled Single Barrel. With 110 proof, it gives off unique smoky flavors that play around with black pepper spice and hints of orange peel, mint, and vanilla.
Nosing it will give you tumbling whirls of stone fruits, coffee, cigar leaf sweetness, and thick oak. The finish is sparkling yet still lingers on your palate with hints of red berries and oak spice, which many bourbon enthusiasts are drawn to.
Made in Willett Distillery, this significantly flavorful bourbon only has 96 bottles for sale and was created solely for the familyâs private barrel selection program. Its complex blend of flavors, along with its unusual depth, makes for a sensual sipping experience.
Read Also: Best Mix For Jim Beam Honey
History Of Johnnie Walker
The story of this famous scotch began in 1820, in Kilmarnock, England. The Walker family was fed by farming, but after the death of his father in 1819, the energetic Johnny decided to try his luck in trade. He sold the farm and organized his own business with the proceeds. Among other things the shop sold teas and alcohol.
God gave Johnny the unique ability to discern the subtlest aromas and tastes, which revealed his talent for creating magnificent compositions.
Johns son, Alexander, was engaged in the study of blending tea in Glasgow. There he worked for a tea company. In 1856, he returned home to help his father in the field of family business. He managed to apply knowledge in the art of blending to create new varieties of whiskey.
He created his first drink, registered in 1867 and called Old Highland Whiskey. Later, Alexander renamed it in honor of his father, who founded a family company. Thus appeared Johnnie Walker. It immediately became a very popular drink.
The family business was continued by two sons George and Alexander . They turned it around on a large scale. In 1893, the brothers bought a farm, where they engaged in the production of whiskey. Since then, the need to purchase drinks from local manufacturers disappeared, and work gained industrial momentum. Today, Johnny Walker Museum stands on the site of the farm, showcasing the history of this whiskey.
Recently, Diageo bought a majority stake in this company.
Johnnie Walker Black Label
This is Johnnies signature blend thats dialed in to be a sipper with a few rocks thrown in. The blend leans into the peaty seaside distilleries with 30 plus whiskies from powerhouses like Lagavulin, Talisker, and Cardhu.
Mild notes of spice mingle with bright and sweet fruits and a hint of vanilla. The taste allows the malt to shine as the vanilla, spice, and fruit counter a distant wisp of smoke. That smoke warms as the sip fades out, leaving you with a final note of sweet wood.
This is a very quaffable whisky that works wonders on the rocks. Its also affordable, for what it is. Wed argue that this is a good place to start if you want to dip your toes into mildly smoky whiskies without diving headfirst into a Lagavulin or Ardbeg.
Also Check: Best Extra Añejo Tequila Under $100
The Macallan 30 Yo Sherry Hogshead
In November 2019 The Macallan grabbed headlines for the record-breaking sale of a 30-year-old Sherry hogshead cask, which sold for HK$4.5 million during a Bonhams Hong Kong sale a world record for the most expensive per bottle cask ever sold at auction, said Daniel Lam, Bonhams director of wine and spirits, Asia, at the time. Previously, an American hogshead containing 22-year-old Macallan sold for HK$3.4m in November 2018.
This cask contains whisky distilled in 1989, and is believed to have been one of the oldest casks of The Macallan available on the market at the time. The identity of the owner was not revealed, but it was reported that as the casks purchaser they would have the choice of storing the cask at The Macallan distillery for as long as they liked, or transfer the liquid into 261 bottles.
The Dalmore King Alexander Iii
This is what you drink when you strike the lottery or just really appreciate a fine whisky. This one is a truly beautiful and complex spirit thats oozing with peppery fruit.Erick Castro, Erick Castro, proprietor of Polite Provisions and Raised by Wolves in San Diego and Boilermaker in New York City
Recommended Reading: Bacardi 151 Discontinued
Recommended Reading: Best Jim Beam Mixers
Are Hybrid Vehicles Expensive
Price. A hybrid vehicle can be as much as 20 percent more expensive than its counterpart powered by a conventional gasoline engine. Plug-in hybrid or part-time electric models cost even more to purchase. The cheapest hybrid starts around $20,000, while the most expensive luxury model costs more than $100,000.
Types Of Johnnie Walker Whiskeys
Johnnie Walkers range currently includes 16 different whiskeys. These include the six classic blends, which are sorted by color from simple red labels to exclusive blue labels.
The best known and most widespread bottling is for Johnnie Walker Red Label, which is bottled without age and contains a good amount of grain whiskey in addition to Scotch whiskey. Other bottlings such as the internationally popular Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 years or the Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18 years come in the bottle with age information and are aimed at the more demanding connoisseurs.
The luxury division ranges from John Walker & Sons XR 21 to The John Walker, which costs several thousand dollars. That makes it the most expensive Johnnie Walker whisky.
The red label is a blended whisky made from 35 different alcohols. It was Winston Churchills favorite whiskey. A standard blend based on Cardhu whiskey with a catchy honey flavor. In addition, Red Label whiskey includes several peat whiskeys from island distilleries. Red Label whiskey has a short aging time. The blends used are not older than 5 years, because of which the taste of the drink is quite sharp and aggressive.
Expensive Whiskeys: Learn about Hibiki, the premium blended whiskeys from Japan
Johnnie Walker Platinum Label
Johnnie Walker Swing
You May Like: Jim Beam Whiskey Review
Frequently Asked Questions We Get On Johnnie Walker
Q: What are the different ages on the Johnnie Walkers?
A: This is a tricky one to answer as a lot of the colours are non-age statement blends. However, some of the bottlings like the Green Label 15 will contain, as the youngest whisky in the blend, 15-year-old whisky
Q: Is the Johnnie Walker Double Black as good as Chivas Regal?
A: In our opinion, if you like a whisky with a bit of smoke, yes, the Double Black is the superior whisky. Taste is extremely subjective. A whisky that one person enjoys may not be something for you. Our advice would be to try them both and decide for yourself.
Q: Is Johnnie Walker a single malt whisky or a blend?
A: All of the Johnnie Walker whiskies are blends. Basically, this means that they mix multiple whiskies from different distilleries together. They will use a Master Blender to make sure each expression tastes exactly how it should. A great job in our opinion.
If you have a specific question, ask us in the comment section and we will get back to you.
Th Anniversary Blue Label Scotch Whisky
Price Per Bottle: Reason For Price: Flavor Profile: Interesting Fact:
photo source: forbes.com
This special 200th anniversary Scotch whisky was made exclusively using liquids sourced from distilleries that operated in 1820 the same year John Walker started his shop in the town of Kilmarnock, Scotland.
Those rare ingredients alone are enough to make 200th Anniversary Blue Label Scotch Whisky an expensive drink, but the lines unique flavor profile probably boosted the price too. Although this blend features prominent notes of stewed apples, the finish offers hints of fresh cracked pepper and touches of Islay smoke.
In the end, this expensive drink comes with a steep price tag of $350.
Recommended Reading: Captain Morgan Carb Count
The Macallan Lalique Legacy Collection
Designed by French glassmaker and jeweler Lalique, The Macallan Lalique Legacy Collection is a set of six stunning crystal decanters containing some of the rarest of The Macallans 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 Sothebys in Hong Kong, where we saw it sell for US$993,000.
You May Like: How Many Carbs Does A Shot Of Vodka Have
How To Drink Expensive Whiskey Without
Pour your whiskey into a glass. Select a small glass tumbler, such as a lowball glass. To really get the most out of the scent and flavor of the whiskey, use a tulip-shaped whiskey glass. Try to avoid using a plastic or polystyrene cup as you might find that materials other than glass impart their own flavor to the whiskey.
Recommended Reading: What Mixes With Jim Beam
An Original Bottle Of Mackinlay Scotch
Cost: N/AChosen by: Rob Dietrich, Master Distiller & Blender, BLACKENED American WhiskeyWhy: My grail whiskey would be none other than one of the original bottles of MacKinlay scotch discovered under the floor of an abandoned building in Antarctica, built by Sir Earnest Shackletons exploration team and left behind after their ill-fated expedition to explore the South pole in 1909 was abandoned. Three cases of Scotch were recovered in 2010, over 100 years later, and the recipe was reverse engineered by renowned blender Richard Patterson, and re-released as Shackletons Blended Scotch Whiskey What a treat it would be to taste and own such an incredible part of history!
You May Like: What To Mix With Jim Beam Honey Whiskey
Is Johnnie Walker A Good Scotch
The beginning and the foundations of the Johnnie Walker range starts with Johnnie Walker Red Label. A delightful entry level scotch available in almost every bar you will come across. But this is only the beginning of the extensive Johnnie Walker range. There are nine types of Johnnie Walker Whisky in total. Starting with Johnnie Walker Red Label all the way up to Johnnie Walker Blue Label, the pinnacle of the Johnnie Walker range, aside from the Limited Edition collection offered on rare occasions by Johnnie Walker. Blue Label is claimed to be from only one in 10 thousand casks that are of the perfect quality to produce this blend.
You May Like: Don Julio 1942 Celebrities
Is Johnnie Walker Blue Or Gold Better
It has a little more peat and smoke than Gold, but its still noticeable. An intense vanilla flavor follows, followed by dried red fruit. A first sniff reveals that the Gold stands out, and that it is probably more suited to single malt enthusiasts. In general, Blue is deeper, richer, and more complex, even if it is more subtle.
Johnnie Walker: The Story Behind The Brand
Johnnie Walker was the creation of a man named John Walker. A grocer in the Scottish town of Kilmarnock, John had a good head for business. At the time, most stores sold whisky in the form of single malts whose quality varied from bottle to bottle. He decided to start selling blended whiskies to offer customers a consistent product.
This proved to be a big success. And so when Johns son Alexander took over the business in 1857at the tail-end of the Industrial Revolutionhe was able to take advantage of the boom in trade and transport to engage ship captains as agents. They would take his whisky around the world and introduce the globe to Johnnie Walker.
The companys first commercial blend was called Old Highland Whisky and was launched in 1867, complete with the slanted label that is so recognizable today. In 1909, Alexanders grandsons launched two new Johnnie Walker labels: Johnnie Walker Red Label and Johnnie Walker Black Label.
Also joining company ranks was a new Johnny Walker logo. The Striding Man, a flamboyant dandy-like figurecomplete with a top hat, monocle, and canehas since become the iconic symbol of Johnnie Walker whisky.
Today, the Johnnie Walker hefty square-shaped bottleoriginally designed to withstand sea crossingsis recognizable to anyone who knows their alcoholic libations, and an absolute staple on bartender shelves.
Don’t Miss: Jameson And Ginger Ale Ratio
What Is The Most Expensive Scotch Whiskey In The World
1926 Tasting Notes: Candy Toffee One of the most expensive scotches in the world, The Macallan 1926 is a world-class bottle of scotch. Before the liquor was bottled in 1986, it grew old for 60 years. During an auction held in April 2019, a bottle of this whisky went for $600,000.
How To Drink Johnnie Walker
In the Scotch drinking world, there are all sorts of myths and sayings about how the whisky-drinking elite consume their beverage of choice. But when it comes down to it, you should drink your whisky in the way that works for you.
Different kinds of glasses and different temperatures will affect the flavoras will the addition of water or ice. In terms of receptacles, you really want a solid heavy-bottomed tumbler, or a sniftera tulip-shaped glass.
If youre drinking Johnnie Walker as part of a cocktail, or with soda or juice, youll want a highball glass. Top tip: flavored soda waters such as lemon or lime taste great with Johnnie Walker Red.
You can drink Johnny Walker neatas the most ardent whisky fans would advise. Or you can add a drop or two of water to open up the flavors and decrease the intensity of the alcohol.
Adding ice can make it more refreshing, but will also dilute it slightly. This will subdue some flavors but enhance others. Opt for a big chunky ice-cube that will melt slowly.
Before drinking, be sure to take a good sniff of the whisky. The aroma is part of the experience. Then take a small sip and allow it to roll around your mouth before swallowing. Savor it and pay attention to the different flavors.
Read Also: Jim Beam Honey Drink