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If you’re a whiskey lover, chances are you’ve thought about splurging on a truly expensive whiskey — maybe not the most expensive whiskey in the world (at well over $500,000 a bottle), but certainly something storied and rare, with a price tag equivalent to its extravagance. Perhaps the most expensive bourbon with a half-century age statement. Or a bottle of scotch distilled and laid down in oak the year you were born. Pondering which expensive liquors we’d buy if we could is a fun thought experiment. Hell, we’ve added the Glenmorangie 1978 to our cart more than a few times only to have our decadent impulses shouted down by virtuous prudence. Still it’s an important question: What are the most expensive bottles of whiskey out there? And which are truly worth the price?
Anyone can find the most expensive bottle of liquor by performing a quick Google search. But in order to find those worth buying, one must consider taste and experience. So, to find an answer to that question, we put the query to a group with a deep knowledge and understanding of spirits: whisk(e)y makers. We gave a group of the finest in their craft the hypothetical question, What is the most expensive bottle of whiskey you would buy if you had an unlimited budget? They were happy to oblige. While some bottles suggested were ultra-rare with a price tag to match, others, surprisingly, were less so. This goes to show you that not every dream bottle of whiskey needs to be inordinately expensive. Here, then, are 14 bottles of scotch, bourbon, rye, Japanese whisky, and more that should be on your dream list.
Chosen by: Adam Polonski, Co-founder, Lost Lantern Whiskey
Why? If there was one whiskey I could buy at any price, I would return to my first love, Scotch, and go for either a Laphroaig 30-year-old or a Brora 40-year-old. The delicate smoke of a really long-aged Islay is unusual and spectacular, and I love the mystery and romance surrounding distilleries that closed before I was born. And they’re a lot more unattainable than all but the most expensive American whiskies.