Brooks Grain – celebrating the rye merchants of the past
According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the oldest whisky in existence is believed to have been bottled in Ballindaloch, Scotland at the Glenavon Distillery. Although it is difficult to pinpoint exactly, it is believed to have been bottled some time between 1851 and 1858.
The bottle is green and smaller than most and contains 14 fl oz (roughly 400 ml). It has been passed along through the generations by a family in Ireland.
The label reads “Glenavon – Special Liqueur Whisky Bottled by the Distillers,” but it is certain that Glenavon ceased operation sometime in the 1850s.
Experts have said that if the whisky was indeed bottled by the distillers, it could be the oldest to ever come to auction. It was sold in 2006 for £14850 (in the $19,850 range).
However, the Glenavon bottle is not the most expensive whisky to be auctioned, far from it. According to CNN, the most expensive whisky sold to date is the Constantine. Named after the Roman emperor, the bottle is every bit as priceless as its contents as it is one of only four of its type in the world. It took 17 French craftsmen more than 50 hours to create the bottle and 40 of the hand blown decanters were discarded due to imperfections in the glass. It stands 28″ and holds 6 liters of whisky.
The whisky itself was chosen over the course of two years from seven different casks (of an estimated 200,000 or so). These were blended to make the “M” whisky of the Macallan brand. It is unknown how old this particular bottle is, however, as the M was created based on the rarity of the casks it was blended from and not for age alone.
It was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong for…ready? Almost half a million dollars. $628,205, to be precise.
Prior to this sale, the most expensive whisky ever sold was another Macallan product which sold in New York for a measly $460,000 in 2010. It was 64 years old.