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.
Suntory only released 250 of these pretty babies total, and, as a result, they’re super, super rare. So start saving your pennies, kiddos, one day you might even have your own Suntory time.
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