As any liquor aficionado knows, there’s the good stuff, and then there’s the REALLY good stuff. Check out these top-shelf wine and spirits that require seriously deep pockets to be imbibed.
Ley Diamante Pasion Azteca Platinum Tequila
PRICE: $3.5 million
The world’s most expensive tequila is made from the pure sap of the blue agave plant, fermented, distilled and aged for six years before bottled in a specially designed gold-and-platinum bottle by Mexican artist Alejandro Gomez Oropeza. Only 33 bottles were ever produced.
This Dalmore 62 Single Hiland Malt Scotch became the most expensive whiskey ever sold back in 2011, when a bottle was purchased for a reported $250,000 by a Chinese businessman in the unlikeliest of locations, Singapore’s Changi Airport.
Legacy by Angostura
You’ll probably want to hold the Coke when enjoying the world’s priciest rum, made from a special blend of seven rare, precious rums. “Legacy by Angostura is the ultimate expression of Angostura rum,” says Angostura’s master distiller John Georges. “We set out to create the greatest sipping rum ever produced and we believe we have achieved something that is both unique and unequalled.”
In 2011, bottles of this single-malt whiskey (distilled in 1957) were sold at auction, and, at the time, the oldest whiskey ever to be made available to the public. The taste of this unique whiskey is described as “a symphony of aromas and flavours never before experienced.”
1811 Château d’Yquem
Prized by collectors, this rare white wine from the Bordeaux region of France is said to taste like “liquefied crème brûlée,” and has earned a perfect score of 100 by rare critics.
Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne
PRICE: $2 million
Dubbed “the DNA of cognac,” Henri IV Dudognon Heritage is packaged in an exquisite bottle, with the cognac inside having aged in barrels for more than a century.
PRICE: $1 million
You’re probably thinking, ‘What in the world could possibly make a bottle of vodka worth a million bucks?’ The answer lies not so much within the liquor (although it’s said to be pretty tasty, triple-refined by being poured through diamonds and Nordic birch charcoal) but the bottle, which is encrusted with precious Swarovski crystals.
Tribute to Honour Royal Salute
In 1953, Chivas Brothers released its 21-year-old Royal Salute Scotch whiskey to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Six decades later, this new tribute in a bottle blends some of the most rare and preciouswhiskeys in the warehouses at Strathisla distillery — none of them younger than 45 years old — to result in a one-of-a-kind blend that is described as “liquid history.”
In 1998, 2000 bottles of this 1097 vintage champagne were salvaged from a shipwreck at the bottom of the Gulf of Finland, amidst the wreckage of the freighter that was torpedoed by a German sub during the First World War. Originally destined for the Imperial Court of Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II, these historic bottles have fetched huge prices at auction — not so much for how the champagne actually tastes, but for the bottles’ historical significance.
Johnnie Walker Diamond Jubilee
Described as a “citrus, vanilla, honeyed masterpiece,” only 330 bottles (specially designed Baccarat crystal) of this rare whiskey were produced, in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne. The $200k-per-bottle price tag only applies to commoners, as Her Majesty was presented with a free bottle. To paraphrase Mel Brooks, it’s good to be Queen.
1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc
In 2011, a rare six-litre bottle of this 1947 French Bordeaux wine was sold to a private collector for a whopping $304,375, which, at the time, set the world record for the highest price ever paid for a single bottle of wine.
Remy Martin Black Pearl Louis XIII
Remy Martin cellar master Pierrette Trichet describes this unbelievably rare cognac as “a century in a glass,” and a tiny sip (you do not want to chug this beauty) yields “a fireworks of flavours” and scents — as many as 200 of them, in fact.
The Macallan 6-litre 'M' by Lalique
A six-litre bottle of this rare whiskey fetched a record $628,000 collaboration between Macallan and Lalique crystal at a Sotheby’s auction. Only four of these rare Imperiale “M” decanters were made — the one sold at auction was the only one to be signed by the principals responsible. Each of the hand-crafted decanters took 17 craftsmen more than 50 hours to complete, with the whiskey inside dating from the early 1900s.
D’Amalfi Limoncello Supreme
PRICE: $44 million
The world’s most expensive liquor, the price tag of this extraordinary Italian limoncello comes almost entirely from its gem-encrusted bottle, which boasts three single-cut 13-carat diamonds on the neck, as well as a monstrous 18.5-carat diamond — said to be one of the worlds rarest diamonds.
Brent Furdyk is a freelance writer in Vancouver.