I fundamentally believe that rare whiskey is meant to be consumed—not collected.
Vintage wine may require decades to achieve perfection, but exotic single malt whisky and small batch bourbons are aged in barrels for 18, 25, and even 50 years before they’re even released. Beyond saving them for an extra-special occasion or flipping them on the lucrative black market (or in this case amber market), these hard-to-come-by bottles should be enjoyed. That’s why they have tops.
But some rare bottles and vintages are scarcer than others.
Take for example, there’s the perpetual mad hunt for Kentucky bourbon Pappy Van Winkle—where aficionados are willing to pay aserious markup from the distiller’s suggested retail price. (The 15-, 20-, and 23-year are supposed to cost no more than $300). But because only 6,000 cases are produced each year, die-hard fans accept that $1,000 to $4,000 is a small price to pay.
And Pappy is not the only one with a dedicated following.
These seven whiskies are not easy to track down—even Captain Ahab himself might give up looking for a bottle of The Glenlivet Winchester Collection’s Vintage 1964. You almost need to commit to the big buy. Trust me on this one: They’re going be even more difficult to find in a few months. But they’ll certainly be worth the investment.
Royal Salute 38-Year-Old Stone of Destiny ($750)
Named after the coronation stone of ancient Scottish Kings (also known as the Stone of Scone), this blended Scotch is made from whiskies that are no younger than 38 years old. It’s a relatively new release by Chivas Regal, with the exception of a 50-year-old commemorative blend released more than a decade ago. And it’s deliciously complex—so much so that single malt snobs wouldn’t dare utter a word against it. If the price tag is a deterrent, consider its packaging: the whisky lives in a Révol porcelain flagon topped with a 24k-gold-plated stopper. But be swift. There are only 600 bottles out there and only a third are in the U.S. Buy here.
Chivas Regal only distributed 600 bottles of Royal Salute Stone of Destiny for its first release. Only a third are allocated in the U.S.
Yamazaki Single Malt 25-Year ($2,130)
Late last year, in his Whisky Bible 2015, critic Jim Murray deemed Suntory’s relatively inexpensive Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 the “World’s Best Whisky.” And as you can imagine, it’s already impossible to find. But Suntory has more on offer, such as its 12-yearHibiki and 12-year Yamazaki, both of which are easy to find and moderately priced. They are also equally exquisite. However, if you really want to go all out, get the Yamazaki 25-year single malt. It costs more than $2,000 so don’t count on it to be stocked at your nearest liquor store. But Hong Kong’s Ginsberg + Chan still has a few bottles in stock for HKD $16,000—that’s a little more that $2,100 in U.S. dollars.Buy here.
Mortlach Single Malt 25-Year ($1,150)
I’ve always loved Johnnie Walker Black, which is a blended Scotch in the upper-middle end of the Johnnie Walker portfolio. And for the first time, one of its components—the Mortlach Single Malt—is being bottled by itself, in a number of expressions. There’s the Rare Old ($130), the 18-Year ($300), the 25-Year, and the “Special Strength.” All four are tasty but the 25-Year is what you want—before other enthusiasts snatch it all up. And if you can get them all, why wouldn’t you? Buy here.
For years, fine blended Scotches have used Mortlach as a component. And now, the single malt is being released by itself—in four expressions.
The Balvenie Single Malt 30-Year ($900)
Most single malt drinkers love a dram of Balvenie. But real collectors especially love the hard to find ones. And this one, with its peaty and complex notes is extra special: master blender David Stewart used traditional oak and European sherry casks. It also says a lot thatAnthony Bourdain will be collaborating with the distiller—something he’s never really done. If it’s up to Bourdain’s standards, you know it’s the real deal. Buy here.
Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon 15-Year
Ah, Buffalo Trace’s storied Pappy is certainly not easy to find. But it’s out there if you do a little sleuthing accompanied by some extra legwork. You can also try the Pappy Tracker Twitter feed, in addition to all the sites and forums dedicated to the bourbon. We actually found our bottle (a 15-year for $500) in a local wine store—the kind that dots every other block of Manhattan. And I’ve found a number of bars serving the 15-, 20-, and 23-year versions in New Orleans. After trying them all, 15 was the best (at least from last year’s batch). I also discovered a gem of an online retailer: Amity Wine & Spirit had the 20-year for $1,150 just this week. (They also confirmed that they get allocations from Buffalo Trace every year.) And Staten Island-based City Wine Cellar still has the 15-year (at $1,700) and 23-year (at $4,000). They cost significantly more than the suggested retail price, but given the high demand, those bottles probably won’t be there for very long. Buy here.
The Dalmore Constellation Collection Single Malt
Just a few days ago, a Vancouver liquor store announced that it was selling the 1960s set of the Dalmore Constellation Collection for $139,000. For those who aren’t familiar, the Constellation Collection is a spectrum of rare—and incredibly expensive—vintages from 1964 to 1992. There are 21 releases altogether and all of them are bottled in crystal decanters housed in lacquered cabinets. Each one costs four or five figures, depending on the vintage year—so you’re not likely to find a bottle in your corner liquor store. It’s not even in New York’s Astor Wines & Spirits, Sherry-Lehmann, and other higher-end stores. But if you poke around online, you’ll find that several retailers do carry them, including my new Connecticut-based discovery: Amity Wine & Spirit. Buy here.
Vintages within The Dalmore’s Constellation Collection command four- to five-figure sums, depending on the vintage year.
The Glenlivet Winchester Collection: Vintage 1964 ($25,000)
Considered the world’s first collection of 50-year-old single malts, the Vintage 1964 was matured in an American Hogshead oak cask (seasoned with bourbon) by the last distilling descendant of The Glenlivet’s founder. And because the cask was singled out for a mere 100 units upon maturation, no expense was spared in the bottling and packaging process. Each bottle is handblown in the Bristish Isles, incorporating precious metals such as rose gold and cairngorm stone. The vessel even comes in its own cabinet.
thanks to original post:http://www.forbes.com/sites/karlaalindahao/2015/02/19/the-best-whisky-investments-to-buy-right-now-2015/