End 2017 with a (VERY EXPENSIVE) Bottle of Whisky

December 27, 2017

Hey you! Yeah, the one having a REALLY good 2017. This list is for you. On second thought, maybe this list is for those (of us) having a really BAD 2017. Regardless, let’s all blow out the year with a really expensive bottle of whisky! These are all rare, some of them are older than you, and all were released in 2017.

We have a whisky that was distilled in 1943! How’s that for rare? And yes, they’re all Scotch whiskies. Fifty-year-old whiskies just aren’t typically released anywhere else…except occasionally in Japan (and you thought these were expensive).

Scotland has been putting out very old whisky for some time now. In fact, there were so many whiskies in consideration for this list that we had to narrow it down to include just eleven bottles. Why eleven? Most lists go to ten. We need that extra push over the cliff, so we’re going with eleven.

Prices are suggested bottle retail prices worldwide unless otherwise indicated.

Glenmorangie Pride 1974
£7,200 (~$9500)

On October 30th 1974, single malt was filled into ex-bourbon and ex-oloroso sherry butts and left to slumber for over 40 years. From the mastermind and director of whisky creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, it was bottled in 2016 and unveiled in early 2017 as the oldest Glenmorangie expression ever to be released. A limited 503 crystal decanters containing this vintage expression were made available globally.

Glenmorangie Pride 1974 / Photo Credit: Glenmorangie

Loch Lomond 50 Year
£12,000 (~$15,500)

Available beginning December 2017, this 50 year-old whisky was distilled in 1967. It first was placed in American oak hogshead before being transferred to a former sherry European oak cask for its final 18 years of maturation. Bottled at 46.2% ABV, there are 60 hand-blown crystal decanters available worldwide. The decanter resides in a bespoke solid oak chest with indigo-lined leather created by Scotland’s Method Studio.

Loch Lomond 50 Year / Photo Credit: Loch Lomond

Tamdhu 50 Year
£16,000 (~$21,375)

Unveiled in early 2017 to celebrate their 120th anniversary, Tamdhu 50 Year is the oldest single malt released by this Speyside distillery. This single cask bottling was distilled in November 1963 and matured for half a century in a first fill European oak butt, once used in the aging of sherry. The design team for its bespoke decanter included a glass specialist, a crystal maker and luxury jewelers. Only 100 bottles were ever released, hence, the hefty price tag.

Tamdhu 50 Year / Photo Credit: Tamdhu

Bowmore 1966 50 Year

Released December 2017, this 50 year old bottling marks the third release in the Bowmore Vault Legends Collection. The whisky was filled in 1966, a special year for Bowmore, as it was the first official year that Bowmore bottled a single malt. It was also the first year distillery manager Eddie MacAffer joined the team. This is a single cask release which aged in an ex-bourbon hogshead cask. Only 70 bottles were produced. This whisky is presented in a handmade crystal decanter and handcrafted cabinet made of Scottish oak.

Bowmore 1966 50 Year / Photo Credit: Bowmore

Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Glenlivet 1943
£30,000 (~$39,700)

From independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail, this Private Collection series release was distilled at The Glenlivet on January 14, 1943. The single malt whisky was placed into a first-fill sherry hogshead for aging. A rare bottling from this time as, due to WWII, many distilleries had closed by October 1943. The Glenlivet closed in the spring of 1943, shortly after this distillation. Bottled at cask strength of 49.1% ABV in 2013, this is a single barrel release. Only 40 decanters are available for sale at a suggested retail price of £30,000. The handcrafted wooden presentation box depicts the River Spey meandering across it.

Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Glenlivet 1943 / Photo Credit: Gordon & MacPhail

Dalmore 50 Year
£50,000 (~$64,800)

This bottling, released in January 2017, was created by master distiller Richard Paterson and released in honor of his 50 years in the whisky industry. The whisky was aged in a variety of casks. First, it was filled in 1966 into American oak ex-bourbon barrels. Next, the whisky spent time in former Matusalem oloroso sherry and then colheita port pipes. Finally, the whisky was transferred to Henri Giraud Champagne barrels for 50 days to finish aging. The presentation of the bottle should be commented upon. The crystal decanter was crafted by Baccarat, the display cabinet created by bespoke furniture maker LINLEY, and the bottle adorned with a solid silver stag crafted by Hamilton & Inches.

Dalmore 50 Year / Photo Credit: Dalmore

The Balvenie DCS Compendium Collection: Chapter 3
£57,000 (~$76,000)

Okay so this isn’t just one bottle, but one-two-three-four-FIVE. You have the option of buying the collection for £57,000 or purchasing the bottles individually. We’ll list those individual prices below along with bottle detail.

In case you aren’t familiar with this collection, the DCS Compendium series is a 25 bottle series with 5 bottles released annually starting with 2015. This series celebrates the five decades malt master David Stewart has worked with the distillery and each collection has a theme. Chapter 3 was released in October 2017 with the theme of “Secrets of the Stock Model” following Chapter 1 “Distillery Style” and Chapter 2 “The Influence of Oak”.

Regarding Chapter 3 Balvenie states, “This chapter is as much an explanation of the arcane decision-making processes of maturation and stock management as it is a personal memoir of David’s life in whisky.”

The Balvenie DCS Compendium Collection: Chapter 3 / Photo Credit: The Balvenie

The Balvenie 2004 13 Year (Cask #741)

Barrel type: European oak oloroso sherry butt
Fill date: January 19, 2004
Bottle date: June 19, 2017
ABV: 58.2%
Price: £600 (~$800)

The Balvenie 1993 23 Year (Cask #11621)

Barrel type: Refill American oak
Fill date: December 6, 1993
Bottle date: June 19, 2017
ABV: 51.9%
Price: £900 (~$1200)

The Balvenie 1981 35 Year (Cask #7824)

Barrel type: Refill American oak hogshead
Fill date: October 29, 1981
Bottle date: June 19, 2017
ABV: 43.8%
Price: £3500 (~$4700)

The Balvenie 1973 43 Year (Cask #8556)

Barrel type: European oak oloroso sherry butt
Fill date: June 7, 1973
Bottle date: June 2, 2017
ABV: 46.6%
Price: £15,000 (~$20,000)

The Balvenie 1961 55 Year (Cask #4193)

Barrel type: European oak oloroso sherry hogshead
Fill date: June 14, 1961
Bottle date: June 12, 2017
ABV: 41.7% ABV
Price: £35,000 (~$46,800)

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