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It feels like it was just yesterday that we reported on the most expensive bottle of whiskey ever sold at auction. Well, just like that the record’s been broken, but the whiskey in question might surprise you: It’s a bottle of Irish single malt that comes with a Faberge egg.
Typically, the bottles of whiskey (or whisky, most of the time) that sell for millions at auction are single malt scotch, and the most recent earth-shattering sale was a bottle of The Macallan 1926. This 60-year-old whisky became the most expensive ever sold when the hammer dropped at a Sotheby’s auction in November when someone paid $2.7 million for it. But last week came news that whiskey collector Mike Daley purchased The Craft Irish Whiskey Co.’s The Emerald Isle set for $100,000 more, setting a new record at $2.8 million.
So what makes this whiskey so special? The actual liquid itself sounds kind of standard, at least in the ultra-premium category. It’s a triple-distilled, 30-year-old Irish single malt whiskey aged in bourbon and sherry casks, something you could find from Bushmills for about $2,000 instead of $2 million. But The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. is known for its luxury packaging and exclusivity, and both apply here. Just seven sets of this particular whiskey were released, and each bottle comes inside a walnut case that has a Faberge egg with an emerald inside, a custom Faberge timepiece, and a couple of Cohiba cigars from Cuba.
According to Daley, who made his money by investing in hyaluronic acid, Irish whiskey is the future of whiskey overall. “The rebirth of Irish whiskey is relatively new, so I feel like I’m getting in on the ground floor,” he said in a statement. “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.”
As for The Craft Irish Whiskey Co., founder Jay Bradley’s goal was always to make Irish whiskey a luxury category, and this brings that vision one step closer to realization. You probably won’t find another Emerald Isle set for sale at the moment, but The Brollach single malt set is now available for pre-order from ReserveBar for just under eight grand.