The Emerald Isle Becomes Most Expensive Whiskey Ever Sold

Irish Whiskey

January 22, 2024

The Emerald Isle full set SQUARE

The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. has seen a record-breaking start to 2024, selling a bottle of whiskey to American collector Mike Daley, for $2.8 million. This world-first sale makes The Emerald Isle, already the rarest triple-distilled single malt in existence, the most expensive bottle of whiskey, or whisky, ever sold, according to the distillery.

Historically, the most sought-after bottles of the spirit have been Scotch whiskies. Last November, a bottle of The Macallan 1926 fetched $2.7m at auction, briefly becoming the world’s most expensive bottle, a title that has now been usurped by The Emerald Isle, representing a shift in luxury collectors’ interests, many of whom feel the Scotch market has become too crowded.

“Irish is the future of whiskey.” Daley said. “I’m excited to be part of it, as a collector, but most importantly as a drinker.”

Daley is one of the US’ most prolific collectors of the spirit, with a vast collection consisting of several thousand bottles of Irish, American, and Scotch whiskeys/whiskies. His latest record-breaking purchase is one of only seven sets in existence; a liquid which three decades of maturation in a variety of casks, have imbued with an unrivalled intensity of flavour. The Emerald Isle’s stunning walnut case includes a single decanter, alongside a bespoke Fabergé egg — containing an actual emerald gem — a custom timepiece, and a pair of Cohiba cigars.

“The rebirth of Irish whiskey is relatively new, so I feel like I’m getting in on the ground floor,” Daley said. “Luxury Scotch, to me, is already a crowded type of market. But we’re only just starting to see luxury Irish make a name for itself. I guarantee you that in the years to come, it will get to where scotch is today.”

Daley’s predictions have proved accurate in the past; he made his fortune investing heavily in hyaluronic acid long before the pharmaceutical industry caught up. His thoughts about Irish whiskey’s increasing value are supported by data from the Distilled Spirits Council, showing that some super premium spirits within the category have soared by nearly 2,800% in price in the past two decades.

While there are some critics who claim that that The Emerald Isle’s value is bolstered by the luxury items included within the box, this criticism falls flat when considered alongside the fact that The Macallan 1926 that claimed the most expensive title last November, was one of only 12 bottles covered with a label designed by Italian painter Valerio Adami, adding considerable value to its auction price.

“A bottle of The Emerald Isle becoming the most expensive whiskey or whisky ever sold is a monumental achievement for my business, and an incredibly proud moment for me,” Jay Bradley, founder and CEO of The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. said. “I started The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. with the goal of making Irish whiskey the most coveted luxury spirit and restoring Ireland’s reputation for crafting the finest whiskeys in the world. This brings us several steps closer to achieving that, and we’re only six years into the journey.

“There’s a lot more to come from us, and I’m excited for our customers and competitors to see what we have in store.”   

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