Top 10 most expensive spiritsBy Lauren Eads
The spirit category is home to some of the world’s most opulent bottlings with their value rising high into the millions.
From diamond encrusted platinum bottles and 100-year-old Cognacs crafted in honour of royalty, this list of the world’s most expensive spirits is a treasure trove of decadent delights.
True, much of these spirits’ value lies within it luxurious packaging, but for others their value comes from their age and rarity with expressions carefully tended over many years.
Take the 17-year-old aged Legacy Angostura or the Bowmore 1957, carefully aged for 43 years in sherry cask before spending another 11 years in a bourbon cask.
With a new world record set only this year for the world’s most expensive whisky, this list is ever changing proving continued demand for ultra-expensive spirits.
Scroll through to find out which spirits currently make it onto our list of the world’s most expensive spirits…
10. Legacy by Angostura – £20,000 ($25,000)
Released in 2012 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Trinidad’s independence, 20 decanters of the rum were put up for sale for £20,000 a piece. Each 500ml crystal and silver decanter, specially created by Asprey of London, the jewellers to Prince Charles, is protected by a wooden box lined with silk and velvet and covered by soft red calf leather. Its stopper is made of sterling silver and depicts a rare Trinidadian butterfly resting on sugar cane. Currently the ‘world’s most expensive rum’ Legacy by Angostura is made up of rums aged for at least 17 years and each decanter comes with a US$25,000 price tag.
9. Bowmore 1957 – £100,000 ($165,000)
In September 2012, Bowmore distillers unveiled 12 bottles of this £100,000 a pop 54-year-old Scotch whisky – the oldest Islay malt had ever released. Bowmore 1957 spent 43 years in a second-fill sherry cask, before being moved in 2000 and aged for a further 11 years in a bourbon cask.
The whisky is housed in a glass and platinum bottle featuring glass shaped to symbolise the waves that crash against the distillery’s maturation warehouse which sits below sea level.
Most of this Scotch was available only direct from the distillery.
8. Remy Martin Black Pearl Louis XIII – £100,000 ($165,000)
The Remy Martin Black Pearl Louis XIII Cognac, made with carefully selected grapes from Grande Champagne, was auctioned for £100,000 in 2012. Made from a blend of 1200 eaux de vie that are between 40 and 100 years old and matured in an ancient tierçon, the bottle was designed by Baccarat and hand-blown from black crystal in tribute to the signature Louis XIII decanter modelled on a flask found in Cognac during the sixteenth century.
7. Diamond Jubilee by Johnnie Walker – £100,000 ($165,000)
This Johnnie Walker whisky was released in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s 60th anniversary in 2012 with the distillery crafting just 60 bottles of this 60-year-old Scotch whisky. The unique blend, which was finished in a cask made of English oak from the Queen’s Sandringham Estate, was bottled in diamond-shaped Baccarat decanters and adorned with a Britannia silver collar boasting a half-carat diamond. One of the 60 decanters made was gifted to the Queen while the remaining were sold for £100,000 each. All proceeds were donated to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship fund – a charity which pays to train UK residents in traditional skills.
6. The Dalmore 62 – £125,000 ($200,000)
Released in September 2012 Dalmore 62 Year Old was for a time the ‘world’s most expensive whisky’ when it went on sale at Singapore’s Changai airport for £125,000. Its title has been since been taken by the 64-year-old Macallan. Only 12 bottles of this expression, featuring a stag’s head, were released making it extremely rare.
6. Tribute To Honour, Royal Salute £125,000 ($200,000)
Released in 2011, only 21 bottles of Royal Salute’s Tribute to Honour were produced as part of a prestige Scotch whisky range, crafted by creator and Master Blender, Colin Scott, in tribute to the oldest crown jewels of the British Isles: The Honours of Scotland. This £125,000 whisky was blended from some of Royal Salute’s oldest whiskies – all age 45 years and up – and comes presented in a bejeweled bottle crafted by the world’s oldest jeweller to royalty, Garrard. It boasts 413 white and black diamonds. with 22 carats of gemstones set in gold and silver.
5. The Macallan ‘M’ six litre in Lalique — £381,620 ($628,000)
A six-litre decanter of the Macallan became the new world record holder for most expensive whisky sold at auction earlier this year. Auctioned in Hong Kong on Saturday 18 January The Macallan ‘M’ was sold for £381,620, £100,000 more than the previous record of £288,000 paid for a decanter of the Macallan 64-year-old in New York in 2010. Named “Constantine” after the Roman emperor, the Lalique-designed decanter is one of just four in the world and the only one to be offered for auction as the malt producer has decided to archive two while the third has been pre-sold to an Asian collector.
4. Mendis Coconut Brandy — £600,000 ($1 million)
Released in 2007 Mendis Coconut brandy was the world’s first clear brandy distilled from coconut and matured in special Halmilla wood casks. Distributed by luxury brand Luxe Coterie, its first release was sold for $1 million, a bottle which was signed, numbered and dated by the House of Mendis’ founder, WM Mendis.
3. Scottish Diva Vodka — £600,000 ($1 million)
Scottish Diva Vodka is the most expensive vodka in the world, however the majority of its value is found on its bottle which comes adorned with crystals and gemstones.
Retailing for $1 million, Diva Vodka is a triple filtered expression ice filtered through Nordic birch charcoal and then filtered again through sand peppered with precious and semi-precious stones. A swathe of Swarovski crystals runs through the centre of the bottle which can be used to ‘garnish’ the drink.
It is made by Scotland-based Blackwood Distillers.
2. Henry IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne — £1.2 million ($2 million)
This 100-year-old Cognac is one of the rarest and most expensive drinks on the planet carrying a $2 million price tag. It comes in a 24-carat gold and sterling platinum bottle scattered 6,500 diamonds made by jeweller Jose Davalos. The expression itself was first produced in 1776 and was named to honour King Henri IV. It is aged in barrels for more than 100 years and just 100cl is decanted into the 8kg diamond studded bottle.
1. Pasión Azteca, Platinum Liquor Bottle by Tequila Ley — £2.1 million ($3.5 million)
Released in 2010, this super decadent Tequila from Tequila Ley carries an astonishing price tag of $3.5 million with much of its value carried by its white gold and platinum bottle encrusted with 6,400 diamonds designed by Mexican artist Alejandro Gomez Oropeza. The remarkable similarity between this design and the Henry IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne is explained by the fact that both were created by Ley .925.