The Macallan, a revered whisky producer in the Speyside region of the Scottish Highlands, set a record in 2015 when a six-liter Lalique crystal decanter of the distillery’s “M” single-malt scotch sold at auction in Hong Kong for HK$4.9 million, or $631,850. Six liters is the equivalent of eight regular bottles, so the price came out to $78,981 per bottle.
That was a bargain compared to some of the prices The Macallan is charging today. According to figures collected internationally by the wine and liquor database and search engine Wine-Searcher, nine of the world’s ten most expensive whiskies come from that one Speyside institution.
The tenth-most-expensive bottle may cost only $34,486, but things escalate rapidly from there. The next most expensive Macallan, the Lalique VI 65-Year-Old Single Malt, goes for $83,073.
Other offerings from the distillery, most of them also in Lalique crystal bottles (which add substantially to the price, it might be noted), range from 50 to 72 years of age. Age undoubtedly plays a part in these prices, but sometimes obscure brands list new wines or spirits at outrageous prices as well as reasons. For example, you won’t believe why this brand is selling its new wine for $35,000 a bottle.
Interestingly, the most expensive Macallan of them all is not the oldest — it’s the Lalique 55-Year-Old Single Malt, whose average price is a sobering (as it were) $188,118 per 70 cl bottle.
“The union of tiny-production, seriously old malts and elegant decanters…has been a winner for Macallan,” according to Wine-Searcher.
Of course, the problem with buying one of these staggeringly expensive bottles is…when do you crack it open and pour yourself a shot? There are 15.78 standard shots in a 70 cl bottle, so if you’d paid $188,118 for that 55-Year-Old, you’d be tossing back $11,921 worth of whisky. That’s an indulgence that would probably give pause even to the wealthiest people.
Even if you had the money to spare, would you buy it if the whiskey tasted like a more common kind of alcohol? Consumers may soon be able to sip Scotch flavored with faint hints of other spirits. Here is why your whiskey may soon taste like tequila.