$289,879—that’s how much a 50-year-old bottle of Yamazaki sold for at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong, making it the most expensive whisky ever sold. The Yamazaki was released about six years ago by Suntory Spirits and was one of just 150 bottles of the single malt whisky. The whisky was a blend of malt whiskies that had been aged for at least 50 years in Japanese oak casks.
Yamazaki is Japan’s oldest whisky distillery, being established in 1923. Over their history, they have only released a 50-year-old expression on three occasions: 2005, 2007, and 2011. The record-breaking bottle came from the first edition release. The bottle was purchased by a Japanese phone bidder who wished to remain anonymous. The nearly $290,000 price tag is more than double the pre-sale estimate of $140,000. If the bottle contains a fifth of its nectar, each pour will be worth around $16,500. That may sound like a lot—and it is—but the most expensive whisky ever sold worldwide, The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60-year-old Scotch, sold for just over $1.1 million.