15 of the Fanciest Rare Liquors to Drink Now
Every year, ultra-premium spirits are released in all categories, from whiskey to tequila to cognac. If you can get your hands on one of these expensive limited bottles—and have the cash to spend—you are in for a treat. Some feature special packaging and designs, while others are the very last drops of decades-old liquid.
Many of the rare releases will be snatched up by collectors who may never actually drink them—which is a shame, according to Iain McCallum, master of malts at Beam Suntory. Says McCallum, "If you were an artist and you created your masterpiece, would you want to put it in a locked room, or would you want it out there for people to see?"
Here are 16 bottles of rare, super premium spirits to try to hunt down.
1. The Dalmore 50 ($60,000)
The Dalmore 50, which was released to commemorate master distiller Richard Paterson’s 50th year in the whiskey business, was limited to a release of just 50 bottles. The whiskey was distilled in 1966 and aged in American oak,
2. Black Bowmore 1964 ($26,218)
This is the fifth and final release of Black Bowmore, a 50-year-old whiskey from the No. 1 Vaults at the Islay distillery, one of the oldest warehouses around. Once this whiskey is gone, it’s gone for good. Only 159 bottles were released, a few of which have made it to the U.S.
3. Bunnahabhain 46 Year Old ($5,440)
Only 30 bottles of this cask-strength scotch whiskey were released in the U.S. It’s been dubbed "Eich Bhana Lir," which means "the great waves of the God Lir" in Gaelic, a reference to the mythological god of the sea. This is the oldest release from Bunnahabhain, and it comes in handcrafted Italian glass.
4. Deanston 40-Year-Old ($1,032)
This is the oldest release to date from Deanston, a scotch barreled in 1975 at the Highlands distillery. Only 72 bottles are available in the U.S. of this dark and fruity whiskey, with light hints of sweet and malt on the palate.
5. The Last Drop Distillers 50 Year Old ($3,212)
The Last Drop’s 50-year-old Double Matured Blended Scotch Whisky was released in a run of 898 bottles. It’s a blend of more than 50 different
6. Hennessy Paradis Imperial ($2,399)
Paradis Imperial is getting its first worldwide campaign called "Made of Precision," which will highlight the art of the blender. The expression first came out in 2011, featuring a blend of cognac from the 19th- and 20th-centuries aged up to 130 years. This is a very special cognac with deep, fruity notes that call to mind a rum or aged whiskey.
7. Macallan Masters of Photography ($3,200)
This is the sixth release of The MacallanMasters of Photography series, a collaboration with photographer Steven Klein. Only 1,000 bottles were released, 100 of which hit the U.S. It features a bit of peat, which is unusual for The Macallan, a whiskey known for its sherry flavors. Rioja wine casks were used for the first time by The Macallan for this release, giving the whiskey a slight pink color and a touch of sweetness. It comes in a black case and a signed print from Klein, along with custom-made barware and a horse’s head bottle stopper.
8. Old Rip Van Winkle 25 (Suggested Retail Price: $1,800)
The already highly sought-after Van Winkle bourbon is now even more coveted with this 25-year-old release—just 710 bottles from 11 barrels of whiskey distilled in 1989. The whiskey was put into steel tanks in 2014 to halt the aging process and keep it from becoming over-oaked. It comes in a specially designed glass decanter from Glencairn Crystal Studio with a silver stopper and glass top. The decanter is then packaged in a wooden box with a lid made from the 11 barrels used to age the bourbon. Expect this release to follow the general Pappy Van Winkle trend and go for much more than its suggested retail price on the secondary market.
9. Mezcales Únicos ($500)
These days, even mezcal is getting into the rare, premium spirits game—appropriately so, as the category continues to gain in popularity. This is the first release in a series from Mezcales de Leyenda, made from agave
10. WhistlePig The Boss Hog - The Black Prince ($499)
This is the fourth release of WhistlePig's The Boss Hog series, due out in October. The Black Prince is, according to the distillery, the first rye to be finished in
11. Patrón x Guillermo del Toro ($475)
Horror and sci-fi movie director Guillermo del Toro has partnered with Patrón Tequila on this limited edition package. Within you’ll find a bottle of extra añejo tequila, along with a 100-ml bottle of aged orange liqueur made from Patrón. But the design is what really makes this special. Del Toro has created a box with intricate drawings inspired by the
12. Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend ($250)
Joy Spence is celebrating 20 years as Appleton Estate’s master blender, and the brand has released this limited edition 25-year-old rum in her honor. Spence’s background in chemistry led her to Appleton Estate in 1981, where she rose through the ranks to become master blender in 1997. This is a lovely sipping rum that lingers for ages on the palate. It’s made from a blend of rum including one barreled in 1981, along with one of Spence’s current favorite pot still rums.
13. Hennessy X.O. ($258)
Hennessy X.O. has been given a new look by Australian designer Marc Newson for a limited edition bottling that will run from July through September of this year. X.O. is a blend of 100
14. El Tesoro Tequila 80th Anniversary Limited Edition ($199)
This añejo tequila spent eight years in American oak before being bottled in celebration of El Tesoro’s 80th anniversary. The brand likes to do things the old-fashioned way, including using a
15. Compass Box Double Single ($175)
Compass Box Whisky is known for bucking trends with its total commitment to unabashed transparency in the whiskey world. This new release goes against the blended scotch norm by marrying together just two different
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the