World's most expensive malt whiskies


Recommended Posts

this from the winesearcher site. 

one distillery would be feeling pretty good about this list! 

The World's Most Expensive Malt Whiskies

© Lalique | Macallan's partnership with a famous crystal company has helped them corner the top end of the collectible malt market.

One distillery dominates our list of the priciest form of Scotch you can drink.

By Don Kavanagh | Posted Monday, 06-Jul-2020

When it comes to picking winners and losers, hindsight is a marvellous thing.

If someone had handed me $100,000 to invest a decade ago I might have looked to the sharemarket for a healthy rate of return, or perhaps property; but what I should have been looking at was whiskey – and specifically single malt.Whisky has always been big business, but the emergence of single malts as a premium category in the 1970s really offered the launchpad to send prices into orbit. Whereas malts had traditionally been mostly used in blended Scotch, they were suddenly widely available in all their individual glories.

Suddenly you had a wide range of whiskies hitting the market, each one subtly different to the next, and each one with an elevated price tag that consumers didn't really blink at. It was only a matter of time before small amounts of very old spirit were released into the market and these weren't long about attracting high prices.

As producers saw bottles sell for jaw-dropping prices, more of them released super-old, hyper-rare whiskies and no one caught the wave quite so thoroughly as Macallan, the great Speyside distillery. As well as releasing ultra rare whiskies, Macallan started issuing them in collectible formats as well, none more successful – or more expensive – than the Lalique bottlings.

Even given a small correction in the vertiginously rising average price rates that the recent turbulence has triggered, the returns on collectible malts remain very impressive indeed. Almost as impressive as the domination by Macallan of our list of the world's most expensive widely available single malts. Let's take a look at them.

The Most Expensive Single Malts on Wine-Searcher:

 

Whisky Name

Ave Price

 

The Macallan Lalique 55 Year Old

$163,494

 

The Macallan Lalique IV 60 Year Old

$135,644

 

The Macallan Lalique 62 Year Old

$132,242

 

The Macallan Lalique 72 Year Old

$117,052

 

The Macallan 50 Year Old

$104,826

 

The Macallan 52 Year Old

$101,927

 

The Macallan Lalique VI 65 Year Old

$91,108

 

Bowmore Black The Last Cask 50 Year Old

$80,440

 

The Balvenie 50 Year Old

$41,215

 

The Macallan Fine & Rare

$39,172

Macallan's dominance is almost comical. With the exception of the Bowmore and Balvenie, the entirety of the list emerges from Easter Elchies estate on the outskirts of Craigellachie. That level of saturation is matched only by the Buffalo Trace distillery on our Bourbon lists.

The prices are bordering on the insane. However, they are – and I know this is hard to believe – actually down a little this year; the average price of the top-ranked bottling peaked in March 2019 at more than $225,000. That it has lost almost $62,000 is sobering – well, for anyone who bought it in March last year, at least – but some perspective is required; five years ago, the average price stood at $42,600, so it still represents almost fourfold return.

Similarly, the second-placed bottling on this list was available for an average price of $38,024 five years ago, and it is currently showing a 356 percent return. This difficult past year alone has witnessed a $16,000 increase in its average price. Even the "lowest" bottling on the list, the Fine & Rare, has doubled in average price over the past five years, soaring from $19,220 to a shade less than $40,000.

Now, has anyone got $100,000 they can lend me? I've got to go shopping for some Macallan.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • JohnS changed the title to World's most expensive malt whiskies
11 minutes ago, ChanceSchmerr said:

Hey, if you fancy slick packaging and fancier marketing, Macallan has you covered, Ken.

Now, if you actually want good, interesting whisky....that's another conversation ;)

 

not my list. just what it says, most expensive. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

 

not my list. just what it says, most expensive. 

Agreed, and it's completely accurate for prices.  But I would somewhat disagree on the premise that Macallan is a top investment choice - they pump out so many new releases that it can be hard to identify what might actually appreciate in value and what is best just to pass on.  The same is true for many distilleries now.  

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/8/2020 at 3:00 PM, ChanceSchmerr said:

Agreed, and it's completely accurate for prices.  But I would somewhat disagree on the premise that Macallan is a top investment choice - they pump out so many new releases that it can be hard to identify what might actually appreciate in value and what is best just to pass on.  The same is true for many distilleries now.  

 

I still think the Macallan brand has enough to warrant a decent part of an investment portfolio. Additionally, in my opinion, I think that the closed-but-soon-to-be-reopened legendary distilleries (Port Ellen, Brora, Rosebank) will also make good medium-term investments. Always makes for a good story that "this bottle was distilled in the old distillery". It is however also a gamble that the spirit coming out of these reconstructed distilleries will be decent enough not to spoil the brand and mystique. 

My outside bets - Talisker and Bunnahabhain. Just look at the prices of the regular Laphroaig 10s from the 70s/80s on the auction market these days. Close to a thousand pounds for a bottle that probably cost no more than 10 pounds back in the day. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the Diageo special releases offer good value & potential for a decent return in time. The Lagavulin 12 is excellent & has been released every year since 2002?

The last 2 Talisker's ( 8 & 15 ) from the special releases are marvelous too, well worth drinking / collecting / investment, imho.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Meklown said:

I still think the Macallan brand has enough to warrant a decent part of an investment portfolio. Additionally, in my opinion, I think that the closed-but-soon-to-be-reopened legendary distilleries (Port Ellen, Brora, Rosebank) will also make good medium-term investments. Always makes for a good story that "this bottle was distilled in the old distillery". It is however also a gamble that the spirit coming out of these reconstructed distilleries will be decent enough not to spoil the brand and mystique. 

My outside bets - Talisker and Bunnahabhain. Just look at the prices of the regular Laphroaig 10s from the 70s/80s on the auction market these days. Close to a thousand pounds for a bottle that probably cost no more than 10 pounds back in the day. 

I'll agree that some Macallans has good investment potential, but their volume of new releases makes determining which will appreciate so much more daunting - unless you're happy to eat the cost and drink the whisky if it doesn't appreciate in price.  For me - taste trumps potential investment, I just want whisky that tastes great to my palate. Unfortunately, I feel that Macallan has focused on brand over flavour for the last several years, and the juice just isn't as good as it could be.  The BS "Colour" series still slays me, only the Ruby was even palatable.

The old Brora whiskies are in a class of their own for investment, but they were also in a class of their own for flavour. I finished my one and only Brora bottle (2005 30 Yr) about 6 months ago, I still mourn not having anymore, just an incredible dram.  I wish people would stop flipping them for ever higher prices and just drink them.  Port Ellen and Rosebank are great drams too, but don't seem to capture quite the same prices.  As the new spirit comes out, they will start going even higher too but I think Brora will always beat them for price. I also love to drink PE and Rosebank, I've just finished my only Rosebank (Flora Fauna 12 yr) and it was a masterclass in subtlety with floral sweetness + depth, and my last PE Bottle will get opened at some point too.

Don't get me started on Ardbeg. I love a lot of the mid-late 00's bottles, but so many of the recent releases have been pedestrian and overpriced, and for investment even more difficult to determine which will appreciate in value.  How many guys are out there sitting on a bunch of Auriverdes, Perpetuums and Drums and wondering WTF went wrong?  For me, it doesn't get better than the old 10 yr (pre-2007), I've stocked up on it when it could still be found for 40-50 Quid.

Old Talisker I could see appreciating substantially, but not Bunnahabhain - it has never really caught the investors eye in the same way, it has just been somewhat pedestrian for so long.  Comparing Feis Bottle prices between the Bunnas and the Lagavulins/Octomores will show you where the investors are going.  It's just not great whisky, but that's this man's opinion LOL.

My Investment hedge for whisky (if I was investing and not buying to drink as I am now) would be 90s/early 00's Springbank, and the Port Charlotte PC series.  SB is already shooting right up in price for the secondary market (my favorite dram, and one that NEVER disappoints - thank God the distillery/company still charges a reasonable price and it's only resale that is crazy), and the PC series i think is criminally underrated.

The investment craze for whisky is coming to a reckoning soon, I think.  The failed Diageo Game of Thrones releases are ample example of that.  Again - buy what you like to drink, for the most part the only people making big money on these auctions are the auction house owners, who sell the same bottle multiple times and rake in the commission each time.  I love peated Benriach, and unless you're going into the 70's bottles, it doesn't appreciate in value (in fact some of their Authenticus 21-25 yr bottles I got an auction for less than the initial prices in stores)........but it's a bloody great peated dram. I've got nearly a case of the Benriach Solstice bottles from auctions over the last several years, and it's still going for less than 100 Quid at auction.  I'm okay that it doesn't appreciate in value, because I'm gonna drink every last bottle I have of it.

Remember, it's made to drink!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, ChanceSchmerr said:

Remember, it's made to drink!

I agree with basically your whole post! You, sir, are obviously a connoisseur. However as this post was made in the topic of "investment" so I wrote as such. 

I guess the thinking behind building an investment portfolio is to predict what will be the "hype" in a 10+ years time. That's why my left-field mention of Bunna, because I think it is often overlooked in today's times while in my opinion, it has a fine enough distillate - lightly peated, goes well in sherry / bourbon / refill casks - that it could be one of the hypes in future. Ardbegs, Lagas, Octomores, SB are immediately inflated and flipped in the market, so I suppose they will not appreciate as much (in terms of %) in price in the longer term. I think PC is also a fantastic dram but also I think that there already is a following these days. 

People have been saying the red wine market is "coming to a reckoning" for the past few decades but that bubble has not popped so far. I believe that there may be some time before the whisky bubble bursts, if it even does.

But overall, to me, like you said, it's made to be drunk! I have every intention of opening every single bottle that I buy. Even if one day I am not able to drink any more, I will definitely pass on my bottles to someone who will drink them all instead of auctioning them away. Maybe I will open every single bottle and drink just one dram - this will probably ensure that it cannot be resold :cigar:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

1 hour ago, ChanceSchmerr said:

I'll agree that some Macallans has good investment potential, but their volume of new releases makes determining which will appreciate so much more daunting - unless you're happy to eat the cost and drink the whisky if it doesn't appreciate in price.  For me - taste trumps potential investment, I just want whisky that tastes great to my palate. Unfortunately, I feel that Macallan has focused on brand over flavour for the last several years, and the juice just isn't as good as it could be.  The BS "Colour" series still slays me, only the Ruby was even palatable.

The old Brora whiskies are in a class of their own for investment, but they were also in a class of their own for flavour. I finished my one and only Brora bottle (2005 30 Yr) about 6 months ago, I still mourn not having anymore, just an incredible dram.  I wish people would stop flipping them for ever higher prices and just drink them.  Port Ellen and Rosebank are great drams too, but don't seem to capture quite the same prices.  As the new spirit comes out, they will start going even higher too but I think Brora will always beat them for price. I also love to drink PE and Rosebank, I've just finished my only Rosebank (Flora Fauna 12 yr) and it was a masterclass in subtlety with floral sweetness + depth, and my last PE Bottle will get opened at some point too.

Don't get me started on Ardbeg. I love a lot of the mid-late 00's bottles, but so many of the recent releases have been pedestrian and overpriced, and for investment even more difficult to determine which will appreciate in value.  How many guys are out there sitting on a bunch of Auriverdes, Perpetuums and Drums and wondering WTF went wrong?  For me, it doesn't get better than the old 10 yr (pre-2007), I've stocked up on it when it could still be found for 40-50 Quid.

Old Talisker I could see appreciating substantially, but not Bunnahabhain - it has never really caught the investors eye in the same way, it has just been somewhat pedestrian for so long.  Comparing Feis Bottle prices between the Bunnas and the Lagavulins/Octomores will show you where the investors are going.  It's just not great whisky, but that's this man's opinion LOL.

My Investment hedge for whisky (if I was investing and not buying to drink as I am now) would be 90s/early 00's Springbank, and the Port Charlotte PC series.  SB is already shooting right up in price for the secondary market (my favorite dram, and one that NEVER disappoints - thank God the distillery/company still charges a reasonable price and it's only resale that is crazy), and the PC series i think is criminally underrated.

The investment craze for whisky is coming to a reckoning soon, I think.  The failed Diageo Game of Thrones releases are ample example of that.  Again - buy what you like to drink, for the most part the only people making big money on these auctions are the auction house owners, who sell the same bottle multiple times and rake in the commission each time.  I love peated Benriach, and unless you're going into the 70's bottles, it doesn't appreciate in value (in fact some of their Authenticus 21-25 yr bottles I got an auction for less than the initial prices in stores)........but it's a bloody great peated dram. I've got nearly a case of the Benriach Solstice bottles from auctions over the last several years, and it's still going for less than 100 Quid at auction.  I'm okay that it doesn't appreciate in value, because I'm gonna drink every last bottle I have of it.

Remember, it's made to drink!

No surprise McCallan dominates this list. They have been forward thinking about gimmicks for a century plus. You'd have to get a real good gimmick bottle now'n'days, from them, to consider it an investment, because they over produce everything they consider "Rare"

Good Call on Springbank. Even a new 10 CS right off the shelf is an investment these days.

I'm not sure who would want something that was aged in the same barrel for 50+ years. It must be a tannin bomb. not only for the age in the barrel, but also for the amount of angel's share that leaves the cask is just compounding a tannin concentration. I've had (laphroaig 30 year which runs about $1000 - $1500 per 750ml.) And I had the impression it was waaay over oaked, the smoke was undetectable and too dry to be taken seriously by any Scotch fan. 50 must be like chewing on bark.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Might I add:

1. Missing from that list - Karuizawa.  The 50 year olds belong in the bottom half of that list.  Like the great silent Scotch distilleries (Brora, PE, Rosebank, [Littlemill?]), it satisfies the condition of rarity.  It's the one whisky that I am still tempted to pay secondary prices for, to actually drink.

2. Pretty sure thing as an investment - Chichibu.  Despite the bewildering deluge of single cask/exclusive/regional bottlings in every finish you can (and possibly wouldn't) think of, the fact is that they get sold out immediately on release and get flipped for 3x easy.  Ichiro Akuto will, let's hope, be around for many years to burnish his already legendary status.

3. Outside bets - Ledaig.  Ben Nevis.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, SirVantes said:

Might I add:

1. Missing from that list - Karuizawa.  The 50 year olds belong in the bottom half of that list.  Like the great silent Scotch distilleries (Brora, PE, Rosebank, [Littlemill?]), it satisfies the condition of rarity.  It's the one whisky that I am still tempted to pay secondary prices for, to actually drink.

2. Pretty sure thing as an investment - Chichibu.  Despite the bewildering deluge of single cask/exclusive/regional bottlings in every finish you can (and possibly wouldn't) think of, the fact is that they get sold out immediately on release and get flipped for 3x easy.  Ichiro Akuto will, let's hope, be around for many years to burnish his already legendary status.

3. Outside bets - Ledaig.  Ben Nevis.

SV, don't know Karuizawa.

i have been trying to grab a few chichibu when i can. but i have been making the mistake of enjoying them, not flipping them. great stuff. and sure, if you look at series like the playing cards, serious dosh, but in single bottlings, not certain they knock off any on the list yet. perhaps 5 or 10 years they will dominate. 

this list is simply from prices around the world. these guys monitor retail outlets around the globe plus wine/spirit auctions. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Ken Gargett said:

SV, don't know Karuizawa.

i have been trying to grab a few chichibu when i can. but i have been making the mistake of enjoying them, not flipping them. great stuff. and sure, if you look at series like the playing cards, serious dosh, but in single bottlings, not certain they knock off any on the list yet. perhaps 5 or 10 years they will dominate. 

@Ken Gargett A good article on Karuizawa - https://cluboenologique.com/story/the-cult-of-karuizawa/.  

Chichibu will not appear on a list of most expensive whiskies; Hanyu, even the kings and aces in the Card Series, probably won't either, at least for now.  The only one I can think of that has a chance is the monochrome Joker.

I too make the mistake of enjoying my whisky instead of flipping them, so none of my opinions have any empirical weight.  But hell, we spend all our time grubbing for money, let's leave the things we're passionate about out of the money mill, shall we?

Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, SirVantes said:

@Ken Gargett A good article on Karuizawa - https://cluboenologique.com/story/the-cult-of-karuizawa/.  

Chichibu will not appear on a list of most expensive whiskies; Hanyu, even the kings and aces in the Card Series, probably won't either, at least for now.  The only one I can think of that has a chance is the monochrome Joker.

I too make the mistake of enjoying my whisky instead of flipping them, so none of my opinions have any empirical weight.  But hell, we spend all our time grubbing for money, let's leave the things we're passionate about out of the money mill, shall we?

absolutely

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Meklown said:

Maybe I will open every single bottle and drink just one dram - this will probably ensure that it cannot be resold :cigar:

I like.  On a couple of occasions, I have actually offered to do this in front of a reluctant seller, just to assure him that I am buying to drink and not to make a profit.

A true story: my boss at one of my first jobs was a collector of first growth Bordeaux and cult Napas.  He was also a collector of, er, experiences with women who were not his wife.  Just before the divorce was finalised, the missus casually removed a bottle from every single one of his pristine cases in his custom home cellar, uncorked, poured a tasting portion, and left the rest of the bottle on the bar counter.   

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, BoliDan said:

I'm not sure who would want something that was aged in the same barrel for 50+ years. It must be a tannin bomb. not only for the age in the barrel, but also for the amount of angel's share that leaves the cask is just compounding a tannin concentration. I've had (laphroaig 30 year which runs about $1000 - $1500 per 750ml.) And I had the impression it was waaay over oaked, the smoke was undetectable and too dry to be taken seriously by any Scotch fan. 50 must be like chewing on bark.

It is said that peat evolves and breaks down over time in the cask to something sweet-ish tasting. For all the old peated whiskies I've tried (not too many), I guess I would generally agree to that statement. I believe that's part of the reason why there aren't really old Octomores around.

Regarding the 50 years in cask, I would agree with this statement for 99.99999% of casks out there. They absolutely have no place being in the cask for that long. However, for that rare few - usually refill casks, 3rd or 4th - the oak has become rather inactive and hence does not have many tannins (or other tastes, for that matter) to impart any more. These are the real gems that are allowed to stay in cask for that amount of time. As I recall the oldest I've tried is a 48 year old and it was really impressive. None of that tannins / vanilla / coconut flavours, but just well aged raw distillate.

  

2 hours ago, SirVantes said:

It's the one whisky that I am still tempted to pay secondary prices for, to actually drink.

I would absolutely love to have a taste but I cannot imagine paying the prices these days. I balloted and won the 31yo Sapphire Geisha last year (on behalf of someone else, of course), but those are insane prices in my opinion. The top rated whiskies of all-time (which includes the Kingsbury Ardbeg and Samaroli Laphroaig) on popular review websites go for around 2-3000 pounds at auctions so I cannot fathom opening any whisky above that kind of price range!

 

Chichibus I agree have a bright future ahead and would be well worth adding to any investment portfolio. I remember reading that Chichibu is a relative (nephew?) of Hanyu/Karuizawa .. I forgot. But there is definitely some solid whisky making background behind them. The Hanyu card series, however, was a brilliant marketing move and I suppose very few bottles will ever be opened. The liquid inside is also said to be of average quality.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Meklown said:

It is said that peat evolves and breaks down over time in the cask to something sweet-ish tasting. For all the old peated whiskies I've tried (not too many), I guess I would generally agree to that statement. I believe that's part of the reason why there aren't really old Octomores around.

Regarding the 50 years in cask, I would agree with this statement for 99.99999% of casks out there. They absolutely have no place being in the cask for that long. However, for that rare few - usually refill casks, 3rd or 4th - the oak has become rather inactive and hence does not have many tannins (or other tastes, for that matter) to impart any more. These are the real gems that are allowed to stay in cask for that amount of time. As I recall the oldest I've tried is a 48 year old and it was really impressive. None of that tannins / vanilla / coconut flavours, but just well aged raw distillate.

  

I would absolutely love to have a taste but I cannot imagine paying the prices these days. I balloted and won the 31yo Sapphire Geisha last year (on behalf of someone else, of course), but those are insane prices in my opinion. The top rated whiskies of all-time (which includes the Kingsbury Ardbeg and Samaroli Laphroaig) on popular review websites go for around 2-3000 pounds at auctions so I cannot fathom opening any whisky above that kind of price range!

 

Chichibus I agree have a bright future ahead and would be well worth adding to any investment portfolio. I remember reading that Chichibu is a relative (nephew?) of Hanyu/Karuizawa .. I forgot. But there is definitely some solid whisky making background behind them. The Hanyu card series, however, was a brilliant marketing move and I suppose very few bottles will ever be opened. The liquid inside is also said to be of average quality.

I like you. ?

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've tried 3 Hanyu Card malts last year on deployment (I know of a Japanese cigar bar that has them) - 2 Of Clubs, 5 Spades, 3 of Diamonds.  They ranged from very good to spellbinding.  The barkeep refused to sell me a dram (said the price was too high) but then shocked me by pouring me a (generous) half dram of each after I gave him a RA Gigantes for having such a great cigar bar.  I've also tried the Colour Joker at the Whisky Show in London in 2015 - it was good but not out of this world. The hype and prices are ridiculous....but the whisky itself can be exceptional.  Just have to know which bottling to get/try.

Chichibu + Karuizawa - Yes, both great investment whiskies too, but more importantly, fantastic whiskies in their own right.  I loved the one Karuizawa I've tried, and my visit to Chichibu distillery in October 2017 remains one of my fondest distillery visits in memory (even if you can't buy any bottles at the distillery).  If you can try any of these, and can afford the price, I would recommend not to miss out!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Meklown said:

It is said that peat evolves and breaks down over time in the cask to something sweet-ish tasting. For all the old peated whiskies I've tried (not too many), I guess I would generally agree to that statement. I believe that's part of the reason why there aren't really old Octomores around.

Peated whisky absolutely does evolve into something magical at the 30+ year mark. To my palate, I find it akin to a Tropical Fruit Salad.  Try a '74 or '77 Ardbeg, or a 30+ yr old Caol Ila, and you'll see exactly what I mean. First time I tried a '74 Ardbeg, I almost wouln't believe that it was Ardbeg. No peat at all, just funky tropical fruits - unlike any whisky you'd had before.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Meklown said:

The top rated whiskies of all-time (which includes the Kingsbury Ardbeg and Samaroli Laphroaig) on popular review websites go for around 2-3000 pounds at auctions so I cannot fathom opening any whisky above that kind of price range!

I haven't been checking the prices of those Kingsburies, Samarolis and CAD dumpies, but I would have thought they are going for multiples of that.  But I do agree that Karuizawa prices have gone bonkers.  With the last casks slated to be bottled this year (this was before Covid changed everyone's outlook), the prices look to stay bonkers.  I said I was tempted to pay, but I am very good at resisting temptation by remembering what I used to pay for something.

55 minutes ago, Meklown said:

I remember reading that Chichibu is a relative (nephew?) of Hanyu/Karuizawa... The liquid inside is also said to be of average quality.

Ichiro Akuto, founder of Chichibu, is the grandson of the founder of Hanyu.  He also watches over the few remaining casks of Karuizawa that are stored in Chichibu by the largest collector of Karuizawa.  It's a tangled web in Japanese whisky.

The few Hanyu cards I have tried are of varying quality, to my taste, but there were a few absolute stars - 2 of Spades being a particularly fond memory.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, SirVantes said:

I haven't been checking the prices of those Kingsburies, Samarolis and CAD dumpies, but I would have thought they are going for multiples of that.  But I do agree that Karuizawa prices have gone bonkers.  With the last casks slated to be bottled this year (this was before Covid changed everyone's outlook), the prices look to stay bonkers.  I said I was tempted to pay, but I am very good at resisting temptation by remembering what I used to pay for something.

Ichiro Akuto, founder of Chichibu, is the grandson of the founder of Hanyu.  He also watches over the few remaining casks of Karuizawa that are stored in Chichibu by the largest collector of Karuizawa.  It's a tangled web in Japanese whisky.

The few Hanyu I have tried are of varying quality, to my taste, but there were a few absolute stars.

Ichiro is a legend.  When Hanyu closed, he bought all the casks he could get so that they could stay in the family and released bottlings steadily.  I often wonder how the world would see them (and Japanese Whisky in general) if Jimmy M had kept his mouth shut about Yamazaki in his bible.

Have you been to Zoetrope in Tokyo?  Phenomenal little whisky bar to try some rare and HTF Japanese whiskies, not to mention his own cask bottlings of Chichibu.  That is - if the owner/bartender lets you come in!  He can be a bit prickly.... 

Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, ChanceSchmerr said:

I often wonder how the world would see them (and Japanese Whisky in general) if Jimmy M had kept his mouth shut about Yamazaki in his bible.

I think the secret would have got out somehow.  The casual drinker seems to equate Japanese whisky with uber friendly Hibiki and what Yamazaki is now available - Hanyu and Chichibu at cask strength with funky finishes would probably be "challenging".  A blast of 80s Karuizawa sulphur would probably clear the ranks.

24 minutes ago, ChanceSchmerr said:

Have you been to Zoetrope in Tokyo?  Phenomenal little whisky bar to try some rare and HTF Japanese whiskies, not to mention his own cask bottlings of Chichibu.  That is - if the owner/bartender lets you come in!  He can be a bit prickly.... 

Yes, I have been a couple of times, the last being last June.  I think he's a bit of a victim of his own success and the fact that he is known to speak English, so all sorts find their way there.  He tends to measure you up with casual inquiries about the starter drams he offers by default and warms up after that, and out come the exclusive Hanyu and Chichibu when you ask nicely. I always have a good time eventually.  The other Tokyo bar that I really like is Campbelltoun Loch, which is fantastic for Scotch.  

A03D0744-7209-4A49-BF84-B0ADE517F272.jpeg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, SirVantes said:

 

3. Outside bets - Ledaig.  Ben Nevis.

Totally second this. Great whiskies that have flown under the radar for many. BN in particular is often sold with some Japanese words on the label but with 10x the price ?

4 hours ago, ChanceSchmerr said:

Peated whisky absolutely does evolve into something magical at the 30+ year mark. To my palate, I find it akin to a Tropical Fruit Salad.  Try a '74 or '77 Ardbeg, or a 30+ yr old Caol Ila, and you'll see exactly what I mean. First time I tried a '74 Ardbeg, I almost wouln't believe that it was Ardbeg. No peat at all, just funky tropical fruits - unlike any whisky you'd had before.

I've had the privilege to try some 70s Ardbegs and CIs. A completely different proposition to when they were young. Had completely no recognition of what I was drinking at all but I know it was fantastic. One CI in particular got me thinking I was drinking some kind of golden syrup. Fantastic. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Community Software by Invision Power Services, Inc.