Nothing warms the blood like a snifter of Scotch. The potent liquor is only produced in Scotland. Distillers make Scotch from three ingredients: water, yeast, and malted barley.
Every scotch fan knows the familiar, smokey flavor of the whisky and its robust and cozy aroma.
While an inexpensive scotch costs around twenty dollars, certain bottles have much higher price tags. If you’ve recently come into a massive inheritance and have already paid off your student loans, you may want to consider one of these top-shelf scotches.
Most of the bottles listed are firmly senior citizens, the youngest clocking in at fifty years old. The aging process gives the liquor distinct, smooth flavors.
Additionally, many come in display-worthy decanters and cases.
These bottles primarily exist for whisky collectors; very few will ever be drunk. Still, many of us wonder how a 30,000-dollar Scotch tastes. This article strives to provide a hint at the flavors captured in the bottles.
The Balvenie 50-Year
The Price Tag: $45,000-80,000
If you happen to have roughly the equivalent of two years of college tuition burning a hole in your pocket, you can purchase the Balvenie 50-Year scotch.
The passion projects of malt master David C. Stewart, Balvenie offers three 50-year whiskeys:
- Marriage 0614
- Marriage 0197
- Cask of 0962
These whisky marriage blends fuse the Scotch of various casks. All the barrels have been aged for at least 50 years for these particular marriages.
Balvenie credits their rich, delicious whiskey to their commitment to their Five Rare Crafts: Home-grown barley
- Malting Floor
- Copper stills
- Their Cooperage
- Their Malt Master
The copper stills’ shape and size significantly impact the whiskey’s taste.
The Balvenie distillery is located in Speyside, Scotland, and began production in 1892.
They are the only remaining Scottish distillery to grow their own barley. A coppersmith and a team of coopers are on staff.
The high price earns you a high alcohol by volume: 45.9 percent.
Gordon & MacPhail Generations Mortlach 75-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Price Tag: $30,650 (not including shipping)
Gordon & MacPhail is distilled in the Speyside region of Scotland and is a family-owned distillery established in 1895.
Yes, one bottle costs roughly the equivalent of one year of an administrative assistant’s salary, but you get more than just delicious Scotch.
The whisky comes in a beautiful and unusual crystal decanter. The decanter arrives in an Aniline leather bag, packaged with “Seven Nights with Mortlach,” a book written specifically for this release.
The volume contains stories about the country and the people who created the Mortlach and includes art from various Scottish illustrators.
Exclusivity always increases the price tag, and the 75-year Scotch is certainly limited to a small group. Gordon & MacPhail only filled 100 bottles for global release.
The Scotch celebrates its birthday on November 17. Those lucky enough to try the precious elixir will savor the flavors of:
The Mortlach came to life in a sherry cask in 1939, and the distillery bottled the whisky in 2015. Sip cautiously; the drink has 44.4 percent alcohol by volume.
Glenfiddich 1937 Rare Collection Scotch
Price Tag: $20,000
“Rare” is the precise correct word for this 1937 Glenfiddich scotch. The liquor filled only 61 bottles.
Though the whisky is delicious, few bottles are bought for drinking. The 1937 scotch is a collector’s bottle.
An enthusiastic buyer paid 87,300 dollars for a bottle at a 2016 auction, beating prior bidding records.
Those lucky enough to taste the liquor will enjoy a smooth, sweet sip. The whisky carries notes of:
- Dark Chocolate
- Poached pear
The 64-year-old Scotch contains 44 percent alcohol by volume.
Bottled in 2001 in Scotland’s Speyside region, the Rare Collection Scotch continues Glenfiddich’s legacy of superior whisky.
The Macallan Lalique 72-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Price Tag: $60,000
The Macallan Lalique’s staggering price tag pays for more than a bottle of exemplary whisky.
Celebrated glass artisans, Lalique hand-made each of the 600 crystal decanters holding the Scotch.
Macallan began distilling the liquor in the ’40s, following World War II. They finally bottle the spirit to coincide with the opening of their new distillery.
The decanter design mirrors the architecture of the updated Macallan facilities. Each bottle comes in a hand-made wooden case.
Celebrated cabinet makers, NEJ Stevenson, lent their considerable talents to the cause, creating a gorgeous display for those who can’t conceive of imbibing their 60,000-dollar investment.
The unique scotch tastes of:
- Green apples
Macallan achieves their superior whiskeys by using:
- Small copper still
- Natural Colors
- Uniquely created oak casks
The Speyside distillery began crafting spirits in 1824 and remains one of the leading forces in whisky.
Dalmore Constellation 1964
Price Tag: $53,000
Not quite as old as the cosmos it’s named for, the Dalmore Constellation took 46 years to come of age.
Dalmore aged the Scotch in two different casks: first, American white oak, then Matusalem oloroso sherry casks.
This process gave the whisky a nuanced flavor, making the considerable investment easier to swallow.
Sip slowly to savor the flavors of:
Dalmore distills their superior spirits in Alness, Scotland, where they preserve a close partnership with the Gonzalez Byass sherry house.
Gonzalez Byass provides Dalmore with the invaluable sherry casks that give the Scotch its unique flavor.
A little of the 1964 whisky goes a long way; the spirit has 47 percent alcohol by volume.
The Macallan Fine and Rare 60-Year Old
Price Tag: Nebulous. The bottles only sell at auction for incredibly high prices.
What can you say about a bottle of whiskey that sold at auction for 1.9 million dollars? We’ll attempt to do our best for the 60-year-old vintage.
Macallan began aging the Scotch in 1926. The Scotch only filled 40 bottles, making it a rare and valuable treasure.
The bottles themselves are works of art. Peter Blake designed the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album cover and the label of Macallan Fine and Rare 60-Year Old scotch.
He, Valerio Adami, and Michael Dillon created unique and beautiful bottles, and collectors of whiskey or art would be delighted to display them.
Macallan bottled the Scotch in 1986. Should anyone ever sip the 42.6 percent alcohol by volume spirit, they will taste:
Bowmore 50-Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Price Tag: $42,000
Bowmore’s 50-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch witnessed the start of the new millennium from a pair of bourbon casks.
The process began in 1961 and culminated with the packaging of a mere 200 bottles in 2011.
Bowmore began distilling whiskey in 1779 and possesses the oldest scotch maturation warehouse in the world.
The extravagant whisky offers flavors of:
The whisky packs a punch, having 40.7 percent alcohol by volume.
The Macallan’ The Red Collection’ 78-Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Price Tag: $87, 000
A dignified old grandfather of a scotch, The Red Collection is a treasure to display.
The whisky celebrates Macallan’s history and the vital role the color red has played for the distillery.
The Scotch comes in a gorgeously crafted case, made of the same oak Macallan uses for their casks.
Bridge of Weir Leather provides the red cushioning for the invaluable bottle.
If you’re wondering how approximately eight years of rent tastes, the answer is:
- Baked apples
Macallan’s oldest whisky has 42.2 percent alcohol by volume.
The Singleton of Dufftown 54-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Price Tag: $40,975
Poured into an oak cask on Halloween of 1966, the Singleton of Dufftown 54 Year Old Single Malt Scotch is the culmination of a long, patient distillation process.
Your considerable investment doesn’t stop at whiskey. The crystal decanter itself is a work of art hand-made by Baccarat. A carefully crafted wood cabinet holds the bottle on leather padding.
Those lucky enough to sample one of Dufftown’s 235 bottles will taste:
- Black currant cassis
Enjoy the 44.1 percent alcohol by volume scotch neat for the best experience.
It’s difficult to conceive of spending a down payment on a car on Scotch, but it’s fun to imagine how such a rare liquor might taste.
These scotches are investments, collector’s pieces intended for admiration and not imbibing. Distillers made these liquors in limited quantities, intended only for the privileged few who will appreciate the art and history of the whisky without ever needing to sample it.
While most of us can’t afford them, we can read about them and dream of their smoky flavors.