We've put together a list of ten of the most expensive whiskies in the world - prepare to be impressed!

10. The Glenlivet 80 Year Old Generations - £100,000

Kicking off our list is the oldest single malt ever to be bottled. Distilled in 1940 and matured for 80 years in a first fill sherry butt at The Glenlivet Distillery, this bottle was the brainchild of father and son duo, John and George Urquhart. This spectacular expression was bottled on 5th February 2020 at 44.9% abv. With just 250 bottles produced, the expression is just about as rare as they come.

The bottle and presentation box design were created by globally renowned architect, Sir David Adjaye OBE. Only the finest materials were used in the presentation of this historic dram - the Glencairn Crystal produced the glass, and the pavilion oak case was made in Dorset's Wardour Workshops. Enticed? You can actually purchase a bottle of The Glenlivet 80 Year Old Generations here at The Whisky Shop today.

9. Yamazaki 55 Year Old - HK$6.2 million (around £605,000)

Next up we have Yamazaki 55 Year Old, a bottle of which sold for HK$6.2 million in August 2020, which equates to around £605,000. This sale broke the record for the highest price a single bottle of Japanese whisky had went for at auction.

This stunning release from Japan's oldest distillery was created to celebrate the passage of time. This whisky, which was born under the supervision of Suntory's founder, Shinjori Torii, was initially matured in Mizunara oak from 1960 before being transferred to white oak cask in 1964. The expression spent 55 years maturing before being bottled at 46% abv. Just 100 bottles of Yamazaki 55 Year Old were produced and it is the oldest Japanese whisky in the world at this time - truly impressive stuff!

Encased in a box made of Mizunara wood with a lacquer finish, the bottle itself is accentuated by black Japanese washi paper embellished with gold flakes. The dramatic presentation takes this already outstanding whisky to new heights. There's no way of knowing what Yamazaki will do to top this exceptional expression but we cannot wait to see it!

8. The Macallan Peter Blake 1926 60 Year Old - £751,000

The first of four bottles on this list from The Macallan's famous cask #263. Distilled in 1926 and matured in sherry-seasoned cask for 60 years until 1986 before being poured into 40 bottles. Twelve of these bottles were given labels designed by Sir Peter Blake who is most well-known for creating the cover art for The Beatles' 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

These twelve bottles were released in 1993 and they instantly became some of the most lucrative products on the market due to their ultra-rare status. One of these bottles appeared at auction in 2018 and sold for an eye-watering £751,703.

7. The Macallan Lalique Legacy Collection - HK$7.7 million (around £752,000)

Originally released individually, The Macallan Lalique Legacy Collection consists of six crystal decanters from Lalique filled with some of The Macallan's rarest single malts. All aged between 50 to 65 years old and encased in bespoke ebony boxes, a single bottle from this first-class collection would go for a fortune.

In April 2017, however, the entire collection came up at auction at Sotheby's in Hong Kong. The entire The Macallan Lalique Legacy Collection sold for HK$7.7 million which equates to around £752,000. All net proceeds of this sale were donated to charity.

6. The Macallan Red Collection - £756,400

Consisting of six rare whiskies from The Macallan, including some of their oldest ever bottlings, this collection was set to impress. Red has always been a significant colour for The Macallan from the very beginning - their founder Alexander Reid's surname translates to "the red one" in Scots. Two sets of these bottlings bore labels designed by Spanish artist Javi Azanarez, whose work has recently appeared in Wes Anderson's latest release, The French Dispatch. An animated film was also made in collaboration with Aznarez for the launch of The Macallan Red Collection.

Predicted to go for around £200,000 at auction, The Macallan Red Collection ended up selling for over triple this figure. In November 2020, the super limited edition set of six whiskies sold for a whopping £756,000 - all of which was donated to City Harvest London.

5. The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60 Year Old - £848,750

Another release from The Macallan's cask #263. Twelve bottles bore labels designed by Italian pop artist, Valerio Adami, known for his contemporary take on Cloisonnism. The Macallan and Adami were a match made in heaven - both regularly pushing the boundaries of their respective fields.

The combination of the elusiveness of cask #263 and the label design from an artist as renowned as Adami created a whisky that was bound to sell outrageously well at auction. With just twelve bottles of this expression in existence (and one rumoured to be destroyed by an earthquake in Japan), when this expression appeared at an online auction in Februrary 2020, over 1,500 bidders fought it out to take home this release from The Macallan. The winning bidder paid an immense £848, 750 and is now the owner of one of the rarest whiskies in the world.

4. Hanyu Ichiro's Full Card Series - HK$11.9 million (around £1.1 million)

Another record-breaking sale in 2020. Hanyu Ichiro's Full Card Series consists of 54 bottles of Japanese whisky, each bottle labeled to represent a different playing card in a deck. Released between 2005 and 2014, each bottle comes from casks from the now-silent Hanyu Distillery, which adds to the value of this collection.

This collection was amassed by Aaron Chan, the owner of the Club Qing bar in Hong Kong, and was sold for HK$11.9 million which equates to around £1.1 million. This is the most expensive collection of Japanese whisky ever to be sold and is the third Full Card Series collection to break this record.

3. The Macallan Michael Dillon 1926 60 Year Old - £1.2 million

Cask #263 strikes again. This one-of-a-kind bottle was hand-painted by Irish artist, Michael Dillon, and bears a depiction of The Macallan's idyllic Easter Elchies House. Released in 1999, the bottle was purchased at London's Fortnum & Mason department store and nothing was heard of the expression for 19 years.

2. Craft Irish Whiskey Co.'s The Emerald Isle Collection - $2 million (around £1.5 million)

A contentious addition to this list. Released to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in 2021, this set included two bottles of the oldest ever triple distilled Irish single malt, a Faberge Egg, and a Faberge timepiece. While it sold for $2 million (roughly £1.5 million) at auction, a large portion of the set's value comes from the Faberge Egg and timepiece. The whiskey itself would not have sold for anywhere near this amount.

However, we couldn't not include this impressive collaboration between Craft Irish Whiskey Co. and Faberge. A dramatic and dynamic Irish whiskey release.

1. The Macallan Fine and Rare 60 Year Old - £1.5 million

Rounding off our list is the record-breaking release from The Macallan's cask #263. This bottling bears the Fine and Rare label, perhaps the most iconic whisky release of all time. Sold for a staggering £1.5 million at Sotheby's in London in October 2019, this bottle now holds the record for the most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold.


Inspired to start a collection to take to auction yourself? Browse our range of Rare and Collectable drams at The Whisky Shop today!