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Some Dude Paid Way Too Much for the World's Most Expensive Whisky

Yes, somebody paid roughly two and a half times the price of America’s median household income for a single bottle of whisky.
Foto von Ernesto Andrade via Flickr

For $130,000 you can buy a Maserati GT, a meal at Masa for you and 129 of your closest friends, or an entire neighborhood in certain sections of Detroit. Or, you can do what one high roller just did and pay HK$1.003 million ($129,186 by today's exchange rates) for a single bottle of whisky.

Yes, somebody paid roughly two and a half times the price of America's median household income for a one bottle of whisky. The whisky—without an 'e'—wasn't distilled in Ireland or aged in charred new-oak American barrels. No, the world's priciest whisky hails from Japan, thanks to a record-shattering auction price garnered by a regular-sized bottle.


Suntory, Japan's oldest distillery, has been around since 1923, but it wasn't until 2005 that Suntory released the extremely limited-edition Yamazaki Single Malt 50 Year Old Whisky, of which only 250 were made. The product took on a cult following and was elevated to almost mythological status in the years following.

READ MORE: The World's Best Whisky Is Made in a Taiwanese Castle

So what does a $130k bottle of whisky taste like? "Sweet-sour dried fruits, a full-bodied, silky mouthfeel, and a lingering, slightly smoky aftertaste with mild woodiness," according to nosing and tasting notes from Suntory. So, like whisky, basically.

The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong got its hands on a bottle, and put it up for sale this month as part of Poly Auction's Prestige Collection of rare spirits. The bottle, which originally retailed for a still whopping $9,600 in 2005, sold for 13 times its original value. With just under 16 1.5-ounce shots in a 700-milliliter bottle, that's more than $8,000 per serving.

Somebody pass the Old Crow. Doing the math on booze I'll never be able to afford makes me need a drink.