Not a day goes by I don’t see somebody complaining about $70 bourbon or so-called secondary prices. Hell, you’ll even seen people interviewing economic professors about bourbon pricing, going from $15 to $45 in a relatively short period. Truth is, I complain, too, and I make fun of myself for complaining.
But we should really all be complaining that somebody spends $61,500 of whisky without sharing us a drop. I mean, seriously: The Skinner Auctioneers sold a 57-year Macallan for that price yesterday. And as far as I know, none of us are getting a drop other than the rich person who’ll probably pour it with Coke.
Of course, this isn’t the only time old Scotch has sold for a mint. In fact, it happens so much that it’s hardly newsworthy anymore.
In 2013, Macallan Anniversary 50-years-old went for $40,460. At 77 proof, the rare Scotch was distilled in 1928. At this same auction, the AH Hirsch Reserve 16-year-old sold for $595. (BTW, that Hirsch now goes for $2kish.)
In 2010, Sotheby’s auction sold Macallan 64 year old for $460,000. For the love of god! Somebody spent nearly a half million bucks on whiskey (excuse me, whisky)? That’s insane.
Glenfiddich, Dalmore, Macallan and Bowmore have all sold limited edition whiskies for more than $50,000. But honestly, they’re pipedream whiskeys. Even if you have the money to buy, so do 50 other whiskey millionaires and the auctions become the I’m-better-than-you high school bidding competition.
Is the whiskey really worth $50,000? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the whiskey.
I have had priceless Cognac, which was distilled and barreled in 1806, and 100-year-old Spanish brandy that sent chills down my spine, leaving me with the indelible impression that if I had the money, I’d buy the stuff. I’ve also had extremely rare and expensive whiskey that made me wonder if I had just chewed on a molded log. It was disgusting.
But those with that kind of money will always spend it on lavish things. And forever, those lavish things never included bourbon.
Now that some bourbon–egad–goes for up to $6,000, it’s attracted business moguls, celebrities and other faces who will leave bourbon the minute it’s not cool. Fortunately, because of the new charred oak and the intense climate, Kentucky bourbon tastes like cherry cough syrup and fence posts when aged over 30 years. So, when an auction house tries to sell a “mere” 10-year-old bourbon from 1955, the typical Scotch drinkers, who crave 50-year-old whisky, will think it’s swill and pass. These auctions do not typically attract people who understand bourbon. Thank God!
Hopefully, the ultra rich remain uneducated on the good American whiskey. Until then, have you seen the secondary pricing on 57-year-old Macallan? OMG.
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