It’s not that difficult to spend ten thousand on a bottle of whisky – I’ll use the spelling associated with scotch because most of the priciest tipples come from Scotland. I left out the currency on purpose. It does not matter if it is dollars, euros, or pounds. If you can afford these prices on something as transitory as a bottle of drink, you will hardly be concerned with the finer points of foreign exchange trading. They are generally priced in dollars, however. So for the remainder of this article, we’ll stick to US currency. And that’s because those who buy these bottles often come from the United States or have their fortunes in that money.
In the main, two sorts of folk buy super-priced whiskies. And yes, there are not many of either category.
The first group are those for whom money is no object, provided they impress everyone at all cost at all times. Yes, they will spend ten grand on a bottle which will provide sixteen decent measures. That’s well under a thousand a time so who’s counting? Search the internet and you can find $150,000 – for that you get a classy decanter as well.
The second group consists of collectors. They have no interest in opening the bottle because that act immediately turns something costing many thousands into a commodity worth a few tens. Collectors form two sub-groups.
- One buys the bottle just to look at and marvel.
- The second purchases in the hope they can sell it on later to someone for an even greater price. That is known in stocks and share trading as the bigger fool concept. The danger is the bubble bursts and investors move on to something else. Or just hoard their money.
According to website thewhiskeywash.com, each of their most expensive drinks has two price labels. One – the most impressive – is the maximum price. The other is the average price – the second is usually around a quarter to a third lower.
Top of their current list is The Balvenie 50 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, from Scotland’s Speyside. The top price is $50,000 but the average is $37,149. This could mean you might pick up a bottle for less than $30,000 – averages balance off the maximum with the minimum. Lower priced bottles will still have the same content but they might be slight imperfections with the label.
Next is The Macallan Lalique 62 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, a snip for $47,285 tops and an average of around $30,000.It is also from Speyside in the Scottish Highlands as indeed are most of the top priced Scotches on this list.
The first non-Speyside is Highland Park 50 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Orkney costing a mere average $16,713 although better examples can reach a stratospheric $45,000. It weighs in at number seven.
There are a few Japanese whiskeys in the top 50 – probably as a result of patriotic (and rich) Japanese. But nothing from Ireland or the United States.
The top non-Scotch – after 11 from Scotland – is Karuizawa Samurai Cask Thirty Year Old Single Malt Whisky, from Japan. You can pick up an average bottle for just $5,705 but top price is a still a bargain $10,652.
Of course, this is just one list. Others will be different. And no one at Secret Food Tours has tasted any!