One of the best ways to end a day is by enjoying a glass or two of whiskey. Strong and relaxing, whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage created out of fermented grain mash. While different kinds of grains may be used, such as barley, corn, rye or wheat, all of them are aged to perfection in wooden barrels generally made out of charred white oak.
Some of the best whiskies have been in storage for decades. Here is a list of the top 10 most expensive whiskies in the world.
1. Macallan 1946 – $460,000
This bottle of single malt whiskey in a LaliqueCire Perdue decanter was sold in 2010 at an auction, with the proceeds going to charity. This whiskey is unusual in that it was made with peated malt because of the then-prohibitive prices of coal that shot up because of World War II. This is a classic Macallan and one of the best ever released.
2. Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve 1955 – $94,000
Glenfiddich had a barrel of Scotch whiskey that has been aging since New Year’s Eve of 1955. When Janet Sheed Roberts, the granddaughter of Glenfiddich’s founder William Grant, passed away at the ripe old age of 110, the company decided to honor her by making 15 bottles from the said barrel. Four were kept by the family while the rest were auctioned off. A whiskey connoisseur from Atlanta bought one of them for $94,000. The whiskey has been acclaimed for its floral, fruity and sweet taste.
3. Macallan 1926 – $75,000
This is the oldest in the Fine and Rare collection of Macallan. It was distilled in 1926 and bottled only in 1986. Only 40 bottles were produced. The single malt blend is dry and concentrated as no water has been added. The color reflects that of the old barrel. A businessman from South Korea bought this bottle in 2005.
4. Dalmore 62 Single Highland Malt Scotch Matheson – $58,000
This is a blend of four single malt whiskies that were distilled in different years. Only 12 bottles were made in 1942, each of which was given names unique but relevant to the Dalmore Estate. The most expensive was the Matheson, named after Alexander Matheson, the owner of the estate. An anonymous buyer bought this in 2005. He quicly opened it and finished it with five of his closest friends.
5. Glenfiddich 1937 – $20,000
This is from the Rare Collection of Glenfiddich. It was distilled in 1937 in the company’s plant in Scotland. Left to age gracefully, the barrel was then opened and the whiskey was bottled in 2001. Only 61 bottles were made. The whiskey is said to have a rich walnut color, though it has hints of cedar, cinnamon, cloves and toffee. The bottle was bought at a charity auction in New York in 2006.
6. Macallan 55-Year-Old – $12,500
This whiskey was distilled in a sherry oak barrel and aged for 55 years. The single malt whiskey was then bottled in a Lalique Crystal Decanter, made by Rene Lalique who created a similar perfume bottle in 1910. The drink was said to have a dark rosewood color that exuded a nice smell that similar to peat smoke and sweet dried fruits. While the soft and smooth taste had a hint of citrus flavor, it was also noted to be a bit spicy.
7. Dalmore 50-Year-Old – $11,000
This is one of the best 50-year-old whiskies ever made and it is a much sought after drink all over the world. The whiskey was first distilled in 1920. It was then bottled in 1978, with only 60 bottles being produced. The bottles themselves were made of crystal decanters. The whiskey showed a deep amber hue. The taste itself is fresh, yet refined. It also had a flavor similar to that of a citrus. The drink also exhibited some spice and zest once the drinker tastes it.
8. Glenfarclas 1955 – $10,878
In 1865, John Grant bought the Glenfarclas Distillery in Ballindalloch in Scotland from Robert Hay. The distillery, at that time, was already running for 29 years. To celebrate his ancestor’s birthday, George Grant handpicked a barrel in 1955 that would honor the man who started the family business. This barrel was then bottled in 2005, or 50 years to the day after it was laid out in a wooden cask. The barrel was able to fill 110 bottles, all of which were sold even before the drink became available on the market. The whiskey has the usual Speyside malt taste associated with Glenfarclas. The whiskey drinker can also noticeably discern a heavy influence of sherry.
9. Macallan 1939 – $10,125
The Macallan 1939 comes from the distillery company’s Fine and Rare collection. The whiskey was first bottled in 1979 after the company had it aged for 40 years. It comes in one of their classic Lalique crystal decanter. Macallan is known for producing a strong collection of whiskeys and admittedly, this may pale in comparison to the three others on this list, especially when tasted side by side with the Macallan 1946 and Macallan 1926. The advantage of the Macallan 1939, however, is that it is more widely available and a lot more inexpensive as well. Yet, you will still get to enjoy the soft and smooth taste normally associated with its more expensive siblings, as well as smell the fine aroma that Macallan whiskeys are known for.
10. Chivas Regal Royal Salute 50-years-old – $10,000
To celebrate the golden jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2002, Chivas Regal released a specially-made whiskey called the Chivas Regal Royal Salute. Just like the queen’s ascension to the throne, this whiskey was also laid to a barrel in 1952 and aged for 50 years. It was then bottled in time for the celebration. Around 255 bottles were made. The whiskey is said to contain a raisin and cloudy anise flavor.