Unless you’re some sort of aspiring Scotch snob, whisky, nine times out of 10, is just whisky. Sure, you might be able to tell the difference between a Jameson shot and a swig of Beam, but when you’re out for a long night, that $7 well whisky tastes just fine no matter what it’s called.
Well, that certainly isn’t the case for one lucky -- and ridiculously wealthy -- liquor enthusiast who smashed all sorts of world records when he spent a cool $109,585 on a single bottle of Japanese whisky at a Hong Kong spirits auction earlier this month. The booze in question, a first edition bottle of Suntory’s Yamazaki 50 Year, has proudly held the title for Japan’s most expensive whisky since it casually debuted at $9,500 back in 2005 . But with this most recent sale, it now stands as the priciest standard-format bottle in the history of time and has landed a prominent spot in the Guinness World Records.
Yamazaki 50 is a single malt whisky, distilled back in the 1950s and left to age in flavorful Japanese mizunara oak barrels for the next half-century. The process gives the whisky a distinct sweet-and-sour character, with a hint of soft fruit, a dry finish, and a musky, sandalwood-like aroma. First-edition bottles also come dressed in delicate Japanese washi paper and topped off with a gold cord. This stuff basically makes that plastic handle of generic bourbon on all our kitchen counters look like garbage swill for garbage humans.