Most expensive whiskey: Top 10 priciest bottles ever sold

Most expensive whiskey: Top 10 priciest bottles ever sold

Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage manufactured from fermented grain mash. The value of the most expensive whiskey is determined by its taste, age, rarity, and brand. This, combined with the different production methods, determine how much a single bottle can be sold.

Most expensive whiskey
Photo:, @evgkowalievska (modified by author)
Source: UGC

It is incredible how much people are willing to spend on the world's fancy and expensive whiskey bottles. But what makes a bottle of whiskey expensive? Some of the main factors that determine the price of a bottle include age, quality of raw materials, rarity, and taste.

The most expensive whiskey bottles ever sold

What's the most expensive bottle of whisky? The most expensive bottles are distilled by masters, aged over half a century and most often packed in exquisite and stunning decanters. These expensive liquors have continued to break records. Here is a list of the top 10 most expensive whiskeys as of 2022:

10. The Macallan Red Collection

Expensive whiskey
An extremely rare, complete set of 'The Red Collection', a new collection of 6 classic aged single malt whiskies from The Macallan Distillery. Photo: Michael Bowles
Source: Getty Images

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  • Cost: $975,756
  • Distiller: The Macallan Distillery

The Red Collection is a classic aged collection of single malt from The Macallan Estate. The collection sold for $975,756 at Sotheby’s London Halloween sale of “Spirits” auction on the 31st of October 2020.

The set was a gift by the Macallan Estate to the City Harvest London. The funds raised from the auction were channelled to the City Harvest London charity. The organisation is an emergency response food charity delivering free surplus food to those in need.

9. The Macallan Lalique Six Pillars Collection

Most expensive whiskey in the world
Specialist at Bonhams views the pinnacle of a private whisky collection the extremely rare Macallan-50-year-old in a crystal decanter made by French glassmaker Lalique. Photo: Jeff J Mitchel
Source: Getty Images
  • Cost: $993,000
  • Distiller: The Macallan Distillery

The Lalique Six Pillars Collection is another collection from the Macallan Estate. The collection contains six bottles of rare single malt aged from 50 to 65 years old. Lalique Six Pillars Collection is a set of six crystal decanters from revered French glassmaker and jeweller Lalique.

The six bottles are housed in a bespoke natural ebony cabinet with six miniatures and six pairs of Lalique Macallan glasses. The collection was sold in April 2017 at the springs auction at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. Like the Red Collection, the Lalique Six Pillars proceeds were donated to Hong Kong-based and other Asian charities.

8. Macallan Peter Blake-1926-60 year old

Most expensive bottle of whiskey
The Macallan 1926, a 60-year-old whiskey, with a label by artist Sir Peter Blake, is on display at Sotheby's in New York, on October 12, 2018. Photo: Thomas Urbain
Source: Getty Images
  • Cost: 1,014,333
  • Distiller: The Macallan Distillery

As the name suggests, the bottle is named after famous English artist Sir Peter Blake. The Peter Blake 1926 bottle is from the Macallan’s legendary cask #263. The sherry-seasoned barrel was filled in 1926 and sat for six decades until its golden nectar was split into just 40 bottles in 1986.

Out of the 40 bottles filled, 24 were painted in labels by famous artists, one bottle was commissioned to be painted, while two were auctioned in empty bottles. The remaining 14 were to be offered as part of Macallan’s vintage release program.

Twelve bottles were handed to Sir Peter Blake for a hand-painted design. Bottle number 8 of 12 was sold for HK$ 7,962,500 (US$ 1,014,333) on 18 May 2018.

7. The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60 year old

what is the most expensive whiskey
Charles MacLean with the worldÕs rarest and most valuable whisky - a bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 60 year-old 1926. Photo: Andrew Milligan
Source: Getty Images
  • Cost: $1,100,097.35
  • Distiller: The Macallan Distillery

The Valerio Adami is another one of the legendary Macallan cask #263. Like the Peter Blake 60-year-old, the Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60 Year Old is named after Valerio Adami, an Italian artist and painter. Valerio was commissioned to paint 12 of the 40 bottles from the cask.

The number 12 of the 12-bottle sold for HK$8,636,250 ($1,100,097.35). The Valerios are rare in that only 10 of the twelve bottles remain. It is rumoured that one was lost in Japan during the 2011 earthquake, while the other is rumoured to have been opened.

6. The Dalmore Decades No.6 Collection

  • Cost: $1,124,000
  • Distiller: Dalmore Distillery

This is the most expensive collection by the Scottish-based distillery. The Dalmore Decades No.6 Collection consists of 6 bespoke ultra-rare crystal decanters with silver collars. Each decanter is adorned with a 12-point royal stag emblem with the year and distillery’s branding near the base.

Dalmore Decades No.6 Collection was sold at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in October 2021 for $1,124,000. In addition, 15% of the proceeds were donated to the V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum.

5. Hanyu Ichiro’s Full Card Series

  • Cost: $1,520,000
  • Distiller: Hanyu Ichiro distillery

This is a one-of-a-kind collection. Unlike most collections that have six or fewer bottles, the Hanyu Ichiro’s Full Card Series has 54 different bottles from the Hanyu Ichiro distillery. The collection is rare, given that it has 54 different bottles based on playing cards.

Hanyu Ichiro’s Full Card Series was sold at Bonhams Fine and Rare Wine and Whisky Sale, which took place in Hong Kong in November 2020. The set was purchased for $1,520,000.

4. The Macallan Michael Dillon 1926 60-Year-Old

  • Cost: $1,528,800
  • Distiller: The Macallan Distillery

The bottle once held the title of the most expensive whiskey ever sold. It comes from the legendary Macallan cask #263. It was bottled in 1986, after six decades of maturation. It gets its name from renowned artist Michael Dillon.

It was a single bottle that depicted Easter Elchies House, Macallan’s home. After its first sale in 1999, little was known about Macallan whiskey until it went up for sale in 2018. The bottle was sold for $1,528,800 at Christie’s in London in 2018.

3. The Macallan Fine and Rare 60 Year Old

  • Cost: $1.9 million
  • Distiller: The Macallan Distillery

What is the most high-quality whiskey? If you are looking for the number one quality whiskey in the world, it is one of the Macallan Fine and Rare 60-Year-Old series. The Fine and Rare is also from cask #263. It was launched in 2002 and designed to represent the best vintages and whisky Macallan has to offer.

Currently, there are 14 bottles of The Macallan Fine and Rare 60-year-old. The Macallan Fine and Rare was estimated to sell for $550,000 as part of a Sotheby’s auction. However, it surpassed that estimate as it sold for $1.9 million.

2. The Emerald Isle Collection

  • Cost: $2 million
  • Distiller: The Craft Irish Whiskey Co

The Emerald Isle collection is another exceptional set developed through the partnership of Craft Irish Whiskey Co and Fabergé, the world’s most iconic artist-jeweller. The Emerald Isle Collection is a seven-piece custom-made whiskey set that celebrates Ireland's seven wonders.

The Emerald Isle Collection whiskey was sold for $2 million at a charity auction. Some of the proceeds from the auction were donated to a charity organization that looks after more than 15,000 children with cancer and provides funds for food, transport and rent.

1. Isabella’s Islay

  • Cost: $6.2 million
  • Distiller: Islay whisky

What is the most expensive whiskey in the world? Isabella’s Islay takes the title of the most expensive whiskey in the world. A single bottle of Isabella’s Islay sold for $6.2 million. The decanter is one of the main reasons it is so pricey.

The crystal decanter has over 8,500 diamonds and 300 rubies inlaid into white gold. The decanter is valued at $6 million, while its contents are valued at $200,000.

What makes whiskey expensive?

There is no shortage of expensive whiskeys in the world. However, there are factors that make different brands of whiskey expensive. The most expensive brands tend to have great tastes, are rare, and have beautiful bottle designs.

Although these factors impact the price of the most expensive whiskey brands. However, one of the major factors that significantly influence the price is age. The longer the time the whiskey spends in the cask, the higher the cost. most expensive whiskey brands

What is the number 1 whiskey in the world?

Although Isabella’s Islay is the most expensive whisky in the world, it is not the ultimate number one bottle. Instead, the position is held by The Macallan Fine and Rare 60-Year-Old. As of 2022, The Macallan Fine and Rare 60-Year-Old hold the title of the most expensive whiskey based on its contents and rarity.

The most expensive whiskey in the world as of 2022 is Isabella’s Islay. It is the priciest whiskey mainly because of its bottle that is made of jewellery. Otherwise, The Macallan Distillery dominates the list with several priciest brands.

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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