10 Most Expensive Whiskeys In The World: The Well Crafted Gentleman’s Drink

November 11, 2023
4 mins read
most expensive whiskeys in the world

There is still growth in the whisky-collecting world. The most expensive whiskeys in the world sold at auction was less than $100,000 more than ten years ago. The whisky market is enormous. A product with no shortcuts is in higher demand due to interest from the US, Asia, and the Middle East. To manufacture a whisky that is 60 years old, 60 years are needed. Collectors and investors have been drawn to this actual scarcity because they take great satisfaction in possessing something genuinely unique.

Fermented grain mash is used to make whisky, an alcoholic beverage that has been distilled. For this technique, grains like wheat, barley, corn, and rye are typically used to make the most expensive whiskeys in the world. It’s interesting to note that Pennsylvanians preferred whisky over other forms of payment during the eighteenth century in America. What’s more intriguing is that most expensive whiskeys in the world are expensive not only because of their age, quality, or flavour but also because of the casks in which they are stored. 

While Scotland has always led the records, the folks at Craft Irish Whisky Co. have played a significant role in the remarkable comeback that Scotland’s Celtic neighbour over the water has seen recently. Opinions differing from purists on the Emerald Isle Collection’s ranking may stem from the fact that including a Fabergé watch and egg contributed significantly to the collection’s record-breaking price which led to most expensive whiskeys in the world. On the other hand, there’s no disputing that Irish whisky has made a comeback on the global scene, golden eggs and all.

So, here’s a list of 5 most expensive whiskeys in the world.

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5 Most Expensive Whiskeys in the World

Isabella’s Islay

most expensive whiskeys in the world

The most expensive whiskeys in the world money can purchase is in a bottle of Isabella’s Islay. The reason a bottle of this whisky costs over $6 million is the decanter that holds it. It is among the best and represents the pinnacle of upscale scotch whisky. 

Almost 300 rubies, five thousand diamonds and the equivalent of two bars of white gold are used to create the decanter of Isabella’s Islay Original Whisky, the most expensive whiskeys in the world, made by Scotland’s Luxury Beverage Company. Fresh malted barley and toasted woodsmoke are among the subtle flavours that this cask-strength whisky has to offer. The single malt scotch, which retails for $6.2 million (Rs51,26,79,550) and is housed in a wooden shell, is the most expensive whisky.

The Emerald Isle Collection

most expensive whiskeys in the world

On St. Patrick’s Day 2021, Craft Irish Whisky Co. broke all previous records when its Emerald Isle Collection, which it had created in collaboration with Fabergé, sold for $2 million adding to the list of most expensive whiskeys in the world. The beautifully crafted 18k gold and emerald Fabergé Celtic Egg and the 22k gold Fabergé watch encased in rose gold with sapphire crystals, which are also included in the set, account for a significant portion of the value of the Emerald Isle Collection, making it the most expensive whisky lot ever sold at auction, but not by much.

The scarce seven-piece sets, based on Ireland’s seven wonders, are incredibly sought-after because there are just seven of them. Let’s pay attention to the whisky itself, though. Two bottles of Emerald Isle whisky from Craft Irish Whisky Co. are included in the set. The oldest triple-distilled Irish single malt in existence is this uncommon 30-year-old whisky. After the first record-breaking release, four more highly anticipated groups were released the following year, with only one going unsold.

The Macallan

most expensive whiskeys in the world

At Sotheby’s in London in 2019, the Macallan Fine & Rare 1926 sold for an unprecedented $1.9 million, making it the third most expensive whiskeys in the world ever sold at auction. Fifty-seven vintage single-malt whiskies produced by the distillery over eight decades ago make up The Macallan Fine and Rare series, which is still the most sought-after whisky collection in the world. It is regarded as the collection’s founder.

Although it is believed that all 14 of the prized Macallan Fine and Rare 1926 bottles are kept in private collections, one did go up for virtual auction in February 2021. It sold for $1.38 million, shocking many rare whisky lovers, but it fell short of reaching the dizzying heights of its 2019 record.

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The Macallan Michael Dillon 1926

most expensive whiskeys in the world

The Macallan distillery commissioned Irish artist Michael Dillon to create a hand-painted bottle of their highly valued 60-year-old since it was one of the few bottles from cask #263 still intact. The unique bottle, introduced in 1999, features a stunning depiction of The Macallan Speyside estate’s beloved Easter Elchies House. These uniqueness of the bottle and the well made whiskey helped it gain the fourth position in most expensive whiskeys in the world list.

The bottle had not been seen since Fortnum & Mason, a renowned department shop in London, was first bought 19 years ago. That is until it was put up for auction in November 2018 at Christie’s in London. At that time, it sold for £1.2 million, or around $1.53 million, making it the first whisky to break the £1 million milestone. At this point, it is the second most costly single whisky bottle ever to be sold at auction.

Hanyu Ichiro’s Full Card Series

most expensive whiskeys in the world

They were indeed paid a substantial sum of US$1.53 million for 54 bottles. However, these bottles were sold as a set since they are precious. There are 54 bottles in the Hanyu Ichiro’s Full Card Series, the only Japanese whisky made in a Scotch-style malt on this list. Each bottle represents a playing card in a deck, which includes two joker cards. The entire collection falls on the fifth position of the most expensive whiskeys in the world list. 

Added to the collection’s rarity is the fact that the Hanyu distillery is currently closed. Only 400 whisky casks from this specific distillery, founded in 1941 by Isouji Akuto’s grandson, have been preserved. He taste-tested and hand-picked 54 different whiskies for each playing card. Between 2005 and 2014, this whisky collection was made available in a Bonhams Fine & Rare Wine and Whisky auction in Hong Kong in 2020. It was eventually sold for US$1.53 million. Club Qing is a Japanese and Scotch whisky bar in Hong Kong where the set was displayed before being sold at the auction.

Final Thoughts

These whiskies are beautifully crafted and delicately priced. They are aged over 50 years, distilled by experts in the field, and bottled in gorgeous decanters. Many people enjoy their scotch whisky in a glass. However, these whiskies have become the priciest malts available by shattering records and bank accounts.

Also Read: 5 Most expensive coffees in the world

Small town girl with big dreams. Pursuing her Masters degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, and aiming towards being a Travel Journalist. An avid reader, dancer and ever ready to pen down thoughts. Always up for binge watching and chai on repeat. A travel enthusiast, dog-lover, foodie, patron of art and culture. Preacher of the following vision by Vincent Van Gogh, "What is done in love, is done well".

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