Aged whiskies made by popular distilleries are a pricey investment, and competition amongst buyers can be fierce. Collectors hunting down rare and highly sought-after whiskies may spend well over $100,000 just for one bottle.
Unsurprisingly for whiskey aficionados, Japan and Scotland’s distilleries currently offer the most expensive whiskies in the world. The Macallan distillery in the Scottish highlands dominates the list. Read on to learn about the availability, taste and price point of the most expensive whiskies in the world.
10. The Macallan in Lalique 65 Years Old — $107,441
Least expensive — but certainly not cheap — on this list is The Macallan in Lalique 65 Years Old single malt scotch whisky at $107,441. This whisky includes notes of black pepper, cloves and toasted cocoa bean. The 65 Years Old whisky is the last in the Six Pillars Collection, with only 450 individual decanters released in 2016.
9. The Macallan 50 Years Old — $118,668
The Macallan 50 Years Old single malt scotch whisky was distilled during a time when The Macallan was shifting to its “new make” techniques. Its average price is $118,668. Its flavor profile starts with sweet flavors of vanilla, fudge and toffee, which are followed by black peppercorn, orange peel and figs.
8. The Macallan ‘The Red Collection’ 78 Years Old — $121,225
The Red Collection pays tribute to the ranges of red present throughout The Macallan’s history, and the 78 Years Old whisky is currently the oldest whisky released by the distillery. It bears notes of nutmeg and ginger that mingle with dried fruits, treacle toffee and baked apple. Expect to pay an average of $121,225 for this single malt scotch whisky.
7. The Macallan in Lalique 72 Years Old — $122,714
The Macallan in Lalique 72 Years Old single malt scotch whisky costs $122,714 on average. It presents sippers with a combination of peat smoke, vanilla and wood spice that fades to notes of citrus fruits and apple. There were only 600 decanters released in select locations across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
6. Bowmore Aston Martin ‘Black Bowmore DB5’ — $126,558
The Black Bowmore DB5 single malt scotch whisky takes sixth place at $126,558. The DB5 is the fifth edition of the Black Bowmore whisky distilled in 1964 in partnership with the luxury car brand, Aston Martin. Its flavor profile includes mango and acacia honey with notes of chocolatey espresso. It’s also one of the most expensive whiskies to have come from the island of Islay in Scotland.
5. ‘Tales of The Macallan Volume I’ 71 Years Old — $142,689
The “Tales of The Macallan” line is dedicated to Captain John Grant and others who helped to build The Macallan legacy. The average price of the Volume I 71 Years Old single malt scotch whisky is $142,689. This whisky has notes of peach, apple, ginger, cloves and yuzu.
4. The Macallan in Lalique 55 Years Old — $165,506
Next up is The Macallan in Lalique 55 Years Old single malt scotch whisky at $165,506. It tastes of dried raisins and citrus, particularly orange zest. With only 420 decanters in circulation, this bottle is even rarer than the 50 Years Old Macallan release.
3. The Macallan in Lalique 62 Years Old — $167,958
The Macallan in Lalique 62 Years Old single malt scotch whisky averages $167,958 per decanter. Its flavor profile boasts a combination of toffee, dried fruits and aromatic spices before finishing with oak. Only 400 individual decanters were released in 2014.
2. The Macallan in Lalique 50 Years Old — $257,903
The 50 Years Old Macallan single malt whisky from Scotland is the runner-up at $257,903 for a 750mL, individually-numbered decanter. Notes of chocolate and prunes stand out among the flavor profile, and it finishes with a mild smokiness. This whisky is the first of the Lalique Six Pillars Collection. Only 470 decanters were released.
1. The Yamazaki 55 Year Old Single Malt Whisky — $843,661
The Yamazaki single malt Japanese whisky, aged 55 years, tops the list at an average price of $843,661 per 750mL bottle — excluding tax. Matured in a Japanese Mizunara oak cask, the whisky’s oaky tannins are balanced with invitingly sweet and fruity notes. It’s one of the rarest Japanese whiskies, with only 200 bottles in existence.
Rare whiskies typically become more expensive as they age, which is why they are often bought by collectors and rarely tasted. Traditional investments will have a lower cost to enter the market, but having a whisky collection may be a fun alternative for those who can afford the initial investment.
What is the best top shelf whisky? This list is a good place to start — check out the flavor notes for each bottle and consider which sounds best to you.
Besides whiskey, there are expensive wines and other alcoholic beverages ripe for long-term investment. Investors can also choose to combine investing methods by exploring options such as wine and whiskey NFTs. Whichever route an investor takes, it’s important to do proper research to reduce risk.