Most expensive whisky in SA

If you have a taste for rare, expensive spirits – and have the cash to spare – you can be one of 21 people in the world to own a limited edition whisky.

On promotion at Makro’s online liquor store, a super-wealthy individual can now pick up a limited edition bottle of Chivas’ Royal Salute Tribute to Honour for the low price of R2 million.

The spirit is a blend of “the rarest and most opulent whiskies” from the “archive of liquid history” – the Strathisla distillery, the oldest continuously operating distillery in Scotland.

According to the whisky’s Master Blender, the rare blend could only fill 21 bottles, with each costing GBP150,000 (R2.7 million).

Makro has the Royal Salute Tribute to Honour on sale – online only – for R2 million.

Royal Salute
Royal Salute

The store also has other expensive whiskies on sale, including a 50 year old Balvenie single malt, as well as other popular brands such as Glenfiddich and Glen Grant.

Whisky Price
Royal Salute Tribute to Honour R2,000,000
Balvenie 50 YO Speyside SM R539,999
Glenfiddich 50 YO Speyside SM R409,999
Glen Grant 50 YO Speyside SM R169,999
Balvenie 40 YO Speyside SM R84,999

Whiskies are known to fetch extremely high prices at auctions across the globe – particularly rare blends from renowned distilleries.

The most expensive whisky in the world is known as “The Constantine” from Macallan distilliery in Scotland, according to CNN Money.

Macallan - The Constantine
Macallan – The Constantine

At auction, a 6-litre crystal decanter of this single-malt whiskey, blended from 7 casks, fetched a neat sum of $628,205 – or just short of R7 million.

There are only four bottles of The Constantine in existence.

The previous record (as noted by Guinness World Records) was also a Macallan blend, which sold for $460,000 (R5.1 million) in New York in 2010.

Other costly bottles of booze can be seen on sale for millions of dollars – though these high prices are often as a result of the opulent containers which house the liquor.

For instance, often regarded as the most expensive alcohol in the world, the Tequila Ley .925 comes in a bottle that contains 6,400 diamonds. However, it remains unpurchased – and with a price tag of $3.5 million (R37.5 million) it’s no surprise as to why.

What’s in a price?

According to whisky connoisseurs, WhiskyBrother, just because a whisky is more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it is better.

“In most cases it isn’t,” said WhiskyBrother Marc Pendlebury. “All it is, is more expensive. Does the whisky in the bottle justify the price, usually not. The whisky maker isn’t deciding the price, it is the marketing team.”

“It doesn’t actually matter what the most expensive is. What matters is the flavour, history, provenance and individual detail of the actual whisky.”

According to Pendlebury, high-cost whiskies are often packaged in “stupid-expensive” limited editions, which are targeted at uninformed consumers.

“Don’t fall into the hype of expensive whiskies. Whisky has been around 100s of years and will be around for 100s more.”

“Because whisky is a hot topic, big business is taking advantage of it. When the hype fades and people move on to the next thing, whisky and the true enthusiast will remain quietly seated in the corner enjoying a dram.”

WhiskyBrother noted that the costliest whisky they had in stock was a 45 year-old Dalmore Aurora, retailing for R59,000.

“There are literally several of 10,000s of whiskies available. In theory I could get anything that was still available in the open market that a customer wanted,” Pendlebury said.

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Most expensive whisky in SA