Most Expensive Bottles Of Bourbon Ever Produced
Bourbon or American Whiskey dates back to the mid-19th century and did not really become popular until the late 1980s and 1990s. Since then, there has been high demand for bourbon, both domestically and internationally. This has made bourbon incredibly expensive in recent years, especially any bottles that were limited releases/vintages. All of the bourbons on this list cost thousands of dollars and are currently only available on the secondary market. Some of the bourbons on this list are so rare and expensive that the average whiskey fan will never ever get to drink them or even lay eyes on a bottle.
Old Rip Van Winkle 25
The most expensive bourbon on this list comes from Old Rip Van Winkle. This awe-inspiring bourbon whiskey is the oldest ever released by the distillery. Taken from 11 different casks, it spent 25 years maturing, beginning its journey in 1989 at the Stitzel-Weller distillery. It was then moved to Buffalo Trace Distillery in 2002 before being transferred into stainless steel tanks in 2014 to make sure it didnt overage.
Not only is this bourbon one of the oldest, but when released in 2017 it came bottled in a homemade glass decanter. Only 710 of these were ever produced. Each bottle of bourbon comes in a wooden box made from the oak barrels that the spirit was aged in. Its also accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by Julian Van Winkle, grandson of founder Julian P. Pappy Van Winkle, Sr.
Originally retailing for just $1,800, due to the limited amount of bottles produced, an unopened Old Rip Van Winkle 25-Year-Old can now fetch as much as $57,078 according to Wine-Searcher.
A Detailed Rundown Of Our Favorite Bourbons Ryes Wheaters And Tennessee Whiskeys Ideal For Celebrating The Usa
Whiskey is not an American invention, but the best domestic iterations certainly have their own fanciful backstories and flavor profiles . Without spending too much time on a history lesson though we suggest quickly familiarizing yourself with the Whiskey Rebellion, Nearest Green and the Bottled-in-Bond Act we simply wanted to profile 50 American whiskeys we appreciate on this, our Independence Day weekend.
As with any list, there are omissions . We didnt have room for everything we like and Im positive we outright forgot a few. And one of the most popular whiskey brands were still not quite sure how to discuss. Then youve got our criteria for inclusion, which was admittedly pretty loose many of these hail from a few select distilleries and the larger brands they supply, but others are tiny and regional. And even though we went with 50 for thematic reasons, we did not include a whiskey from each state .
Still, we consider this a good overview of where American whiskey started, where it is today and where were headed with a drink in hand.
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The 25 Most Expensive Bourbons In The World
If theres one spirit synonymous with American drinking culture, its Bourbon and thats written into law. Americas Native Spirit must be produced in the States to qualify officially as Bourbon. And while it doesnt have to be produced in Kentucky by law, 95 percent of it is.
Bourbon is available at a range of price points, but the rarest and oldest bottles of the spirit could set you back by up to $55,000. Read below to find the most expensive Bourbons according to Wine Searcher.
25. Parkers Heritage Collection 2nd Edition 27 Year Old Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey, Kentucky, USA
- Average price: $4,856
- ABV: 48 percent
- Tasting notes: Sweet corn, buttered popcorn, corn syrup, honey, light oak
24. Parkers Heritage Collection 1st Edition 11 Year Old Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey, Kentucky, USA
- Average price: $4,867
- ABV: 61.3 to 63.7 percent
- Tasting notes: Stewed plum, cinnamon, vanilla, cherry
23. Old Rip Van Winkle Pappy Van Winkles Family Reserve 20 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, USA
- Average price: $5,243
- Tasting notes: Oiled leather, smoke, minerals, coffee, cigar boxes
22. Old Taylor 6 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, USA
- Average price: $5,318
21. Blantons Silver Edition Bourbon Kentucky Straight Whiskey, USA
- Average price: $5,430
- Tasting notes: Quince, mandarins, cinnamon, vanilla
20. John E. Fitzgerald Very Special Reserve 20 Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Kentucky, USA
- Average price: $5,519
- Tasting notes: Caramel, cocoa, clove
Interesting Facts About Scotch Whiskey
According to the Scotch whisky regulations act, Scotch whisky must be aged with the help of oak barrels only! But wait for a second! Why am I using such a formal tone? Well, thats one of the interesting facts about Scotch! Lets check more of these!
- In the Gaelic language, whiskey translates into the water of life!
- Its production and all other related activities are regulated by Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009.
- A cask that is aged in Britain or America will not be Scotch!
- The Bourbon of America has helped Scotch a lot! They are practically long-lost friends! The casks that once held Bourbon for maturation are used to mature Scotch Whiskey because Bourbon requires a new cask every time!
- Not all Scotch has a natural color and there might be a case where your Scotch has artificial coloring!
- Even your 5-year old Whiskey can be 12 because of how it was mixed! If a 20-year whisky is mixed with 5-year whisky, the resulting whiskey would be called a 5-year old whiskey!
- A unit for drinking scotch whiskey is called Dram!
- Exchequer Rolls of Scotland is the first book that mentions Scotch whiskey. It dates back to 1494!
- Bottles of Scotch are like a diamond mine for Scotland! Why? Because they act as huge tax avenues for the country!
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Paul John Classic Select Cask
After India was introduced to Scotch in the 19th century, they quickly started making their own. Today, India might not be known as a major whisky producer, but they make liquor thats worthy of any connoisseurs bar. One of Indias best whiskys is Paul John, a premium single malt launched in 2008 to compete in the high-end market.
Paul Johns Classic Select Cask is made using exclusively Indian-grown ingredients in Indian-made equipment. The whisky is distilled and aged in the tropical region of Goa, increasing maturation speed. The end result is a strong, rich liquor that packs a punch.
Whisky Auction Records: Most Expensive Bottle Sold By Auction House
Sold on: Feb. 13, 2020Hammer Price: $14,000
Sold on: Feb. 28, 2020Hammer Price: $14,055
Macallan released one bottle for every day of its distillation year, and this particular bottle was unique to May 11, 1948.
Sold on: October 1, 2020Hammer Price: $28,000
Drawn from three casks filled on January 14, 1949 Macallan released 900 of these decanters to celebrate the new millennium.
Sold on: March 23, 2020Hammer Price: $45,198
This 45 year old peated single malt Irish whiskey from the Old Midleton Distillery, which closed in 1975, set the record for the most expensive Irish whiskey ever sold at auction.
Sold on: March 10, 2020Hammer Price: $60,263
Sold on: Sept. 14, 2020Hammer Price: $77,250
After the conclusion of Macallans Six Pillars collection, the distillery has continued to work with Lalique to produce beautiful bottles for some of its oldest whiskies, including this one.
9. Acker AuctionsMacallan in Lalique Aged 72 Years Sold on: Nov. 5, 2020Hammer Price: $77,366
The Genesis decanter was released to mark the opening of the new Macallan distillery and visitor center.
Sold on: Dec. 13, 2020Hammer Price: $92,581
The pinnacle of the Red Collection for the Macallan, this 2020 release was also the oldest whisky ever released.
Sold on: Sept. 6, 2020Hammer Price: $108,930
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The Macallan Fine And Rare 60 Year Old $19m
All 14 bottles of The Macallan Fine and Rare 60 year old are thought to be housed in private collections / ©Macallan
The Macallan Fine and Rare 60 Year Old was bequeathed the status of the most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold at auction when in 2019 it sold for a record-breaking $1.9m at Sothebys in London. Its considered the founding father of The Macallan Fine and Rare series a collection of 57 vintage single-malt whiskies produced by the distillery over eight decades which remains the most coveted whisky collection to this day.
Now, all 14 bottles of The Macallan Fine and Rare 60 year old are thought to be housed in private collections, but another of the coveted bottles did go under the virtual hammer in February 2021. It didnt quite manage to reach the dizzying heights of its 2019 record, selling for $1.38 million, surprising many rare whisky fans.
How Many Calories Are In A Shot Of Whiskey
A 1.5 oz shot of whiskey contains around 100 calories.
The amount of calories in the shot depends on the alcohol content. Whiskey with higher alcohol content is generally more calorie-dense. For example, a 90-proof whiskey might have 97 calories, while a 94-proof whiskey would have 116, and a 100-proof would have 122 calories.
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The Macallan Peter Blake 1926
Average Price: Roughly $1.04 Million
Alcohol Content: 42.6%
What Makes It Expensive:
The Macallan Peter Blake 1926 is one of the most expensive whiskey bottles in the market. It was aged in a cask seasoned with sherry and aged for 60 years. There were only 40 bottles produced, and it became an expensive bottle because of Pop artist Peter Blake.
It is one of the most expensive bottles of whiskey in the world. The Macallan Peter Blake 1926 bears the distinct 60s pop art influence of Sir Peter Blake. He is known for making the cover of the Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.
American Whiskey = New Oak Barrels
Many American whiskeys, by law, must be aged in new oak barrels. Whereas Scotch, Irish, Japanese, and Canadian whiskeys are typically aged in used barrels, incidentally often ones that previously held bourbon. This is a key distiction, new barrels impart much stronger oak flavors up front, and they are a primary source of the trademark flavors you’d expect from a bourbon or rye, such as of vanilla, coconut, and toffee.
Use Higher Proof Whiskey For Cocktails
Whether you choose bourbon, rye, or another style, I recommend using higher proof whiskeys for cocktails, particularly stirred ones. Ideally around 45-50% ABV.
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Parkers Heritage Collection 3rd Edition Golden Anniversary Bourbon $6499
Parkers Heritage Collection is a wonderful full-bodied whiskey from Heaven Hill thats been released every year since 2007. Its named after master distiller Parker Beam, the man responsible for Heaven Hill whiskey. While there have been some great drops over the years, including the fourth edition Wheated Bourbon and ninth edition Malt Whiskey, the one most desired is the Golden Anniversary third edition.
This rare bourbon is bottled at 50% ABV and features a blend of whiskies and marks a fitting tribute to Paker Beam, celebrating his 50-year career. This bourbon has a bit of everything, with the Whisky Advocate proclaiming in their review that the Golden Anniversary Bourbon is a complex but balanced whiskey with hints of candied citrus, nectarine, blueberry, and sultana anchored by a nougat center, laced with honeyed vanilla and orange creamsicle. Theres a dusting of cocoa powder, brittle mint, and cinnamon, too. Tobacco leaves, polished leather, and teasing bourbon barrel char round out the palate, emerging more prominently towards a warming finish. A classic!
Most Expensive Whiskey No 8
Only 11 bottles have ever been produced, with one selling at a New York auction for $94,000 in 2012. The first thing that stands out is its color. Significantly different from the rest on our list, this whiskey is said to contain flavors of pear, heather, and barley. A very distinct combination, and a very interesting whiskey altogether.
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The Macallan In Lalique 50 Years Old $257903
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.
William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon
With generations of distilling dating back to the 18th century in his DNA, William Larue Weller opened his own distillery in 1849. After Weller’s passing in 1908, the famed “Pappy” Van Winkle purchased the company.
With the start of Prohibition, the company merged with APH Stitzel Distillery, and the legendary Stitzel-Weller Distillery was born. Soon after their official opening on Derby Day in 1935, the distillery gained widespread acclaim and popularity for its wheated bourbon recipe, where wheat grain is used in the cooking mash instead of rye, making for a more palatable, silky smooth bourbon. Today, Buffalo Trace Distillery claims ownership of the storied bourbon brand and continues to sell a variety of bottled recipes passed down from W.L. Weller, himself.
William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is hand-bottled, uncut, and unfiltered at barrel proof. This bourbon’s price tag is not reflective of its taste alone, but the long standing resilience, tradition, and innovation it represents. A bottle can be purchased today for $2,400.
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The Macallan Lalique Legacy Collection $993000
The Macallan Lalique Legacy Collection
Six whiskies aged between 50 and 65 years constitute the Lalique Legacy Collection. The set of this unique blend is one of their most famous offerings, and the brand has many that are all special in their own way.
The decanters the vintages are offered in are known as the Six Pillars Odyssey. The whole set is sold in a cabinet made out of ebony, plus it includes six Lalique Macallan glasses and six miniature bottles. The price it sold at was $993,000.
The Macallan 50 Years Old $118668
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.
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Crown Royals Extra Rare Heritage Blend
A presentation bottle of this special blend Canadian Whisky was presented to Great Britains Queen Elizabeth in 2007 when she was an attendee at the Kentucky Derby. The bottling was supervised by the companys master blender and contained in a special bottle by Glassworks in Louisville. Gold lettering enhances the design, marking the special occasion and the companys gift to the reigning sovereign.
Price: This special bottle of Canadian Rye Whisky is valued at $10,000, although it might be termed priceless, and is likely never to be sold
While American bourbon and Canadian brands are not normally included on any lists of the worlds most expensive whiskeys, they are undeniably among the most popular. So, whether you wish to drop a couple of grand on a bottle of bourbon, a century note on Canadian Whisky, or only spend a couple of Hamiltons for a bottle, youll probably find something smooth to wet your whistle.
What Is Whiskey Made Of
All whiskeys are made from cereal grains that the distillery ferments inside wooden containers. The most common grains distilleries use in making whiskey include wheat, corn, barley malt, and rye. The only other ingredients for making whiskey are water and yeast.
To get more complex flavors from their whiskeys, distilleries experiment with the type of smoke they use to dry their grains or using different types of wooden containers .
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Dalmore 62 Single Highland Malt Scotch Matheson 1942 $58000
Dalmore 62 Single Highland Malt Scotch Matheson 1942
Brought to you from the Dalmore distillery, this is the most affordable bottle to make our list, priced at $58,000. Founded by Alexander Mathesoin in 1839, the distillery has been producing fine quality single malt Scotch.
Aged in multi casks, their 1942 was released in honor of its founder. The 62 bold Scotch is rare to find, which is why the price is so high. The distillery only released 12 bottles of this unique spirit.
The 15 Most Expensive Whiskey Ever Sold
If you enjoy a whiskey, you are probably curious to know what the most expensive whiskies are. Weve got you covered. Weve searched far and wide in search of the most expensive whiskey brands.
You will not find any of the bottles available at your liquor store on this list. Weve only included the most expensive and exclusive whiskeys in the world.
Here is a quick recap of our most expensive whiskeys:
Ready yourself. You will see whiskeys that cost more than a car, and some that cost more than a house!
Heres our list of the most expensive whiskey.
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A Mythical Undertaking With A Touch Of Caramel Average Price: $9000
Distilled back in 1974 at Michters Distillery, the A.H. Hirsch Reserve is not only one of the most expensive bourbons but also a classy concoction that appeals to common tongues. This 16-year-old bottle is all about tradition made in Kentucky using pot-still down to its last drop.
Its richness and sweetness are balanced despite its complex layers on the palate. Nosing this fine drink brings you creamy vanilla and caramel tones, along with an oak spice that reveals soft notes of toffee.
The finish is dry and oaky but brings out touches of baking spices and black pepper. With 91.6 proof, its no doubt this unique bourbon is well-liked and was even featured in Mens Journal and the Rolling Stone!