People take booze very seriously. While we’re happy to kick back with a 35-dollar bottle of Monkey Shoulder every once in a while, we know there’s a serious market all over the world for rare, vintage and special wines and spirits. Hell, we all know the MSRP on a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle is less than 100 bucks, but because so many people want to get their hands on the coveted stuff, good luck finding some in the sub-$1,500/bottle range.
Drinking good hooch is a time-honored tradition prevalent throughout human history, and as you can imagine, the competition for those sought after bottles—that specific year wine, that super limited run bourbon, that ancient scotch from that now-defunct distillery—is incredibly fierce.
But how rich are we talkin’, here? Well, you’ll probably be surprised.
Here are 8 of The Most Expensive Bottles of Booze Ever Sold:
When people think spendy booze, they usually think of wine. They think of some old guy with a brightly colored ‘60s-style ascot and a smoking jacket yammering on about “The famous ’57; nectar of the gods!” But believe it or not, whiskies (scotches, in particular) have, since 2011, outperformed fine wine at auction. This super limited (only 12 made) sold at Bonhams Hong Kong for a record smashing $1.1 million. These bottles were released in 1986 after aging for 60 years—yes, seriously, sixty.
Ley Diamante Pasion Azteca Platinum Tequila—$3,500,000
Now, we know what you’re thinking: Who on Earth, in even a remote semblance of their right mind, would pay 3.5 million dollars for a bottle of tequila? Well, we’ll be frank: The stuff inside the bottle is a simple six-year aged añejo tequila. There’s no real big deal there. We don’t care if the tequila is distilled from blue agave planted on a mountain of cocaine on a 1,200-foot yacht; it’s not worth that much money.
The real selling point for this tequila is the bottle. These beautiful bottles, designed by Mexican artist Alejandro Gomez Oropeza, are made from white gold and platinum, and are diamond-encrusted. But don’t worry—if the diamonds are a little too rich for your blood, you can buy one sans-diamonds for about 250 grand.
Even though this bottle of Dalmore 62 Single Hiland Malt Scotch retails for a modest $215,000 ($159,060 USD), a Chinese businessman purchased a bottle for an astonishing $250,000 USD back in 2011 at, believe it or not, an airport in Singapore. What makes this particular scotch so valuable is its rarity—only 12 bottles were ever released. And it became even rarer in 2005 after a guy bought a bottle at a hotel bar for a little over $41,000 and drank nearly the entire bottle in one sitting.
Armand de Brignac Midas—$200,000
We have no idea why anyone would spend $200,000 on a bottle of champagne, but we also aren’t the kinds of people who have $200,000 to waste on champagne (We’d waste it on way cooler stuff).
Of course, that hasn’t stopped people from enjoying the stuff. Jay Z is the owner of Armand de Brignac, a famous French champagne company, and he’s also the owner of one of their infamous $200,000 Midas bottles. We don’t know if he bought the 3-liter behemoth bottle or if it was a “gift,” but we know he has one, and we know how much they cost.
The Macallan 64 Year Old in Lalique: Cire Perdue—$460,000
It seems in the world of expensive liquor, there are two things at play: The quality of the juice, and the quality of the bottle that protects it. In this particular case, both things are spectacular.
The Macallan 64 Year Old is, well, Macallan 64 Year Old. It’s practically the nectar of the gods, and far as we know, is still the oldest and rarest whisky ever bottled by Macallan. The “bottle” it comes in is a gorgeous one-of-a-kind Lalique crystal decanter. When it was sold at a Sotheby’s auction back in November 2010, every penny of the $460,000 it sold for was donated to charity—which, far as we’re concerned, only adds to the overall badassery of this truly one-of-a-kind bottle of hooch.
Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne—$2,000,000
Of all the spirits out there, cognac is considered the most dignified of them all. It’s long since been considered a luxury in the drinking community and, for us, it’s the crème de la crème. However, if you want the bona fide best stuff out there, the Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne is that cognac.
Will a single bottle run you a cool $2 million? Absolutely. But for that money, you’re getting a cognac that’s been aged for over 100 years (the stuff has been in production since 1776), served up in a bottle that’s dipped in 24 karat yellow gold and sterling platinum, and then decorated with over 6,500—no, that’s not a typo—elegant diamonds.
If you ever wondered what a $100,000 glass of the finest booze on Earth would taste like, this is a not-so-easy route to the Promised Land.
1947 Château Cheval Blanc—$304,375
We know people love French wine (We’re fans of it, ourselves), but man, this one is next level. In 2010, a six-liter bottle of 1947 Château Chevalier Blanc set a new world record as the single-most expensive bottle of wine ever sold after fetching a price tag of $304,375 at a a Christie’s auction.
Aside from its age, the bottle is renowned for its specific year, as 1947 was a fantastic year for some of history’s best wine, according to Christie’s wine expert Michael Ganne. We have no idea what that extra $375 was tacked on for after the first $304,000, but hey, whatever feels right.
1907 Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Diamanté’s Bleu—$275,000
Surprisingly, with a price tag of $275,000 per bottle, the 1907 Heidsieck isn’t the most expensive bottle of of champagne ever sold. However, its story is, by far, the most interesting.
In 1916, a Swedish freight liner was on it’s way to deliver a bunch of wine and champagne to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. It never made it because it was sunk by a German U-Boat. The ship—and its cargo—sunk about 206 feet to the ocean’s floor, where it remained for 80 years until it was recovered in the Gulf of Finland.
Thanks to sheer luck, the water pressure at that depth matched the amount of pressure inside the average bottle of champagne, which helped the bottles keep perfectly preserved in the frigid waters of the Gulf. They were able to recover 200 of the perfectly preserved bottles (We’ve heard as many as 500 were recovered, though), and sold for various amounts. However, at least two sold for around $275,000 each, at an auction in Moscow. If you’re going to drink champagne, it might as well be this stuff.
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