One of the golden liquids in this list of rare whiskies was distilled 100 years ago, in 1921. Another vintage whisky comes from the ruins of a ghost distillery in Japan; its bottles now almost extinct but in high demand. In the world of whisky, what is deplete, vintage and laced with history is the rarest gem of all.
Black Bowmore Archive Cabinet
A desirable collector’s item, Sotheby’s will soon auction a complete set of five Black Bowmore single malt whiskies sourced directly from the Bowmore distillery. The distillery was built in 1779 and is the oldest licensed whisky creator on the Isle of Islay in Scotland. These whiskies were distilled in 1964 with sherry oak cask finish. Award-winning furniture artist John Galvin has exclusively handcrafted an antique-esque cabinet that houses the five sculpted bottles of the dram.
Brora Triptych collection
The yet-to-release limited-edition Triptych set consists of three bottles of old, never-seen-before whisky from the defunct Brora distillery on the east coast of the Scottish Highlands. The three unique single malts are, 48 years old, 43 years old and 38 years old respectively. These whiskies celebrate the re-opening project of Brora distillery in 2021, by Diageo. If one manages to set their hands on this exclusive, luxurious crystal decanter of whisky, he/she will receive a personal invitation to visit the Brora distillery from its Master Distiller Stewart Bowman.
The rare Brora whisky has made a comeback after 38 years of the closure of the distillery. It was built 202 years ago, in 1819 by the Duke of Sutherland (a county in Scotland).
Glenfiddich 50 Year Old
This Glenfiddich 50 Year Old is one of the finest produces from the Scottish distillery. Drawn from two casks, the whisky was matured for 50 years in the darkness and chill of the Scottish warehouse. For six months before bottling, whisky from both the barrels were mixed and kept in an American oak barrel to create a unique taste. A total of 500 bottles were created in 2009 of which 50 bottles are released every year. The bottles are made of hand-blown glass and are numbered in wax. They are packed in a hand-stitched, black leather case.
Hibiki 35 Year Old Blended Whisky
Japan’s oldest whisky producing company, Suntory is among the best whisky makers in the world. Most whisky experts consider 35 Year Old Blended Whisky of Suntory as one of its finest. 150 bottles of the limited-edition whisky were released in 2017. The launch celebrated 400 years of Japan porcelain, of which the blended whisky bottle is made.
The blue illustration on the ceramic decanter signifies wealth, long life and happiness. The handmade Arita ceramic bottle that comes in a wooden box is so popular amongst whisky collectors that even empty bottles have been auctioned.
Karuizawa 1960 Single Cask 52 Years Old – “The Archer”
From the ghost distillery of Karuizawa emerged this extremely old, rare, sought-after Japanese whisky, The Archer, which was auctioned off by Sotheby’s last year. It is a 52-year old whisky distilled way back in 1960, of which only 41 bottles were produced. The Archer is also one of the first liquids made at the Karuizawa distillery, after it was built in 1956 in the Japanese town of Miyoto, on the highlands of an active volcano, Mount Asama, making it an exemplary relic of the past.
Karuizawa halted business in 2000 and was later razed to the soil in 2012. But the demand for its highly limited stock of single malt has shot skywards ever since.
Lark Rare Cask PARA100
Several whisky connoisseurs and only 450 bottles of the Lark Rare Cask PARA100. For collectors, this now sold-out single malt holds a very high value. Originating from the iconic Tasmania-based Lark Distillery, the Rare Cask PARA100 is touted as the world’s first single malt finished in a 100-year-old cask of the highly acclaimed Seppeltsfield Para Vintage Tawny wine.
The palate has hints of cherry sweetness with dark undertones of fresh tobacco, saddle leather and antique furniture. The resulting taste is a mix of cocoa nibs, coffee, blackberry jam and fruit cake.
Royal Salute 52 Year Old
A collector’s item, this whisky comes in a hand-blown Dartington crystal decanter, of which only 106 bottles are available. The dram has been matured for over 52 years and is known for its strong aroma of ripe plums, toffee apples, dark chocolate-covered hazelnuts and sweet aromatic oak. It has a taste of sweet orange marmalade with hints of ginger, scented cloves and ripe pears.
The Dalmore 60 Year Old
This rare and limited-edition single malt was released in December 2020 to celebrate Dalmore’s 180th anniversary. The 60-year-old single malt has been created from two twin casks, the very last casks of the great Mackenzie era that’s been reposed in Dalmore’s Highland distillery.
The spirit was first distilled on June 7, 1951, in two ex-sherry casks and matured for six decades. Richard Paterson, Master Distiller at Dalmore, nurtured this whisky of which only 3 bottles exist today.
The Macallan 72 Year Old in Lalique
This Macallan spirit and its decanter celebrates the coming together of fine crafts, whisky making and architecture. Around three years ago, Macallan’s distillery got a new structure designed by internationally acclaimed, London-based architect Rogers Stirk Harbour.
The new facade of the distillery has been replicated on the crystal decanters by Lalique, the French glassmaker. Each decanter is encased in a bespoke presentation case inspired by the interiors of the newly renovated distillery. The spirit was distilled in the 1940s, during the Second World War and it matured for 72 years in oak casks. In 2018, 600 bottles of this exquisite whisky were released, all of which sold out almost immediately.