If you’re anything like me then you’ll know that sometimes you need a more luxurious and therefore more expensive whiskey. That’s where the world of high-end, exclusive whiskey brands comes in, but with so many options it can be difficult to know where to begin. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of twelve of the most expensive whiskey brands in the world.
1. Highland Park
Highland Park has been producing some of the finest single malt Scotch whiskies in the world for over 200 years. The brand is known for their commitment to traditional production methods and their use of locally sourced peat, which imparts a unique smoky flavor to their whiskies. The following table shows the whiskies in their core range and their approximate prices.
|Highland Park 12 Year Old Viking Honour||$59|
|Highland Park 18 Year Old Viking Pride||$160|
|Highland Park 21 Year Old||$360|
|Highland Park Cask Strength||$100|
|Highland Park Valkyrie||$83|
|Highland Park Valknut||$80|
|Highland Park Valfather||$89|
|Highland Park Twisted Tattoo 16 Year Old||$105|
|Highland Park Full Volume||$109|
As you can see, the 12-Year-Old is not too expensive (relatively speaking), but the 18- and 21-Year-Old expressions certainly are. The Valkyrie, Valknut and Valfather are also quite expensive for a no-age-statement whisky.
2. The Glenlivet
Glenlivet is a world-renowned whisky brand that’s been producing single malt Scotch whiskies since 1824. The brand is known for its commitment to quality and craftsmanship, and their whiskies are known for their smoothness, complexity, and delicate flavors. The following table shows the whiskies in their core range and their approximate prices.
|The Glenlivet 12 Year Old Double Oak||$50|
|The Glenlivet 14 Year Old||$63|
|The Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve||$80|
|The Glenlivet 18 Year Old Batch Reserve||$137|
|The Glenlivet 21 Year Old Archive||$294|
|The Glenlivet XXV||$460|
|The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve||$41|
|The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve||$42|
|The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso||$93|
|The Glenlivet Nàdurra First Fill Selection||$92|
|The Glenlivet Nàdurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish||$90|
As you can see, Glenlivet do produce some whiskies that are not too expensive, however, the same cannot be said for the older whiskies and three Nàdurra expressions. This is presumably due to their being bottled straight from the cask without being diluted or chill filtered, hence the name Nàdurra which is Gaelic for ‘natural’.
Laphroaig is located on the Scottish island of Islay, which is why it’s known for producing highly peated whiskies that have a distinctive and bold flavor profile. The brand has a wide range of expressions – their main whiskies along with their approximate prices are listed in the table below.
|Laphroaig 10 Year Old||$60|
|Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength||$90|
|Laphroaig Quarter Cask||$70|
|Laphroaig Triple Wood||$77|
|Laphroaig Càirdeas Port & Wine||$105|
|Laphroaig 16 Year Old||$250|
|Laphroaig 25 Year Old Cask Strength||$650|
As you can see, most Laphroaig whiskies are expensive – even the 10-Year-Old and no-age-statement expressions. The 16-Year-Old is very expensive, and the 25-Year-Old is expensively expensive.
Bowmore is another Islay whisky brand, so their whiskies are also known for their distinctive smoky and peaty flavor profile. The Bowmore distillery was founded in 1779, making it one of the oldest whisky distilleries in Scotland and most of their whiskies are matured in their No.1 Vaults, which is one of the oldest maturation warehouses in Scotland.
The following table shows the whiskies in the Bowmore core range and their approximate prices.
|Bowmore 12 Year Old||$61|
|Bowmore 15 Year Old||$102|
|Bowmore 18 Year Old||$150|
|Bowmore 25 Year Old||$500|
|Bowmore Vault Edition Atlantic Sea Salt||$150|
|Bowmore Vault Edition 2nd Release||$83|
|Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy: 18 Year Old||$260|
|Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy: 26 Year Old||$550|
|Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy: 27 Year Old||$638|
While you could argue that the 12-Year-Old is not that expensive the same cannot be said for the older expressions that become exponentially more expensive. The whiskies of the Vintner’s Trilogy are also very expensive, with the oldest expression costing over $600.
Talisker is a Scotch whisky brand located on the Isle of Skye (the largest and most northern island around the perimeter of the Scottish mainland) whose distillery was established in 1830. It’s become known for producing unique and complex single malt whiskies that have a distinctive peaty and smoky flavor, notes of sea salt and a spicy kick on the finish.
The following table shows some of the whiskies in their core range and their approximate prices.
|Talisker 8 Year Old Cask Strength||$121|
|Talisker 10 Year Old||$75|
|Talisker 18 Year Old||$171|
|Talisker 25 Year Old||$640|
|Talisker 30 Year Old||$1,045|
|Talisker Distiller’s Edition||$95|
|Talisker 57° North||$40|
As you can see, not only are some of the no-age-statement Talisker’s expensive but so is the whisky with the youngest age-statement – due to the fact that it’s also cask strength. The 18- and 25-Year-Old expressions are very expensive and the 30-Year-Old is the first whisky in this article to break the $1,000 barrier.
Compared to some other whisky brands, Aberlour is relatively young. The distillery was founded 1879 which means it is not even 150 years old. However, its use of traditional methods and the finest ingredients – the distillery is located near barley fields and the pure spring water of the River Spey, means it produces high quality single malt whiskies that are known for their unique and complex flavors.
The following table shows some of the whiskies in their core range and their approximate prices.
|Aberlour 12 Year Old Double Cask||$64|
|Aberlour 14 Year Old Double Cask||$200|
|Aberlour 16 Year Old||$100|
|Aberlour 18 Year Old||$160|
|Aberlour A’bunadh Cask Strength||$110|
|Aberlour A’bunadh Alba Cask Strength||$98|
|Aberlour Casg Annamh Batch Release||$72|
Interestingly, while all the Aberlour whiskies are quite expensive, it’s the price of the 14 Year Old that really stands out. Not only is it expensive for its age, it’s also more expensive than the older expressions in the range.
7. The Balvenie
Situated right next to the Glenfiddich distillery, the Balvenie distillery was originally designed to supply malt whisky to the Grant’s Blend, but over time, it developed its own unique style and a reputation for producing exceptional single malt whiskies. The following table shows some of the whiskies in their core range and their approximate prices.
|The Balvenie DoubleWood Aged 12 Years||$75|
|The Balvenie Caribbean Cask Aged 14 Years||$93|
|The Balvenie French Oak Aged 16 Years||$217|
|The Balvenie Portwood Aged 21 Years||$300|
|The Balvenie Aged 25 Years||$806|
|The Balvenie Aged 30 Years||$1,320|
|The Balvenie Aged 40 Years||$6,500|
|The Balvenie Single Barrel Aged 12 Years||$90|
|The Balvenie Single Barrel Aged 15 Years||$140|
|The Balvenie Single Barrel Aged 21 Years||$610|
While the 12-, 14- and 15-Year-Old whiskies are expensive, it’s the price of the older expressions that really show you how expensive The Balvenie whisky brand is. While you’d never expect a 25, 30 or 40-Year-Old whisky to be cheap, you’ll probably still find $806 – $6,500 to be very – very, very expensive indeed.
8. The Glendronach
The Glendronach is one of Scotland’s oldest and most respected distilleries, with a reputation for producing some of the finest single malt whiskies in the world. In recent years the brand has become increasingly popular among whisky enthusiasts despite the fact that, as you can see from the following table, its expressions are quite expensive.
|The Glendronach Original Aged 12 Years||$70|
|The Glendronach Revival Aged 15 Years||$106|
|The Glendronach Allardice Aged 18 Years||$192|
|The Glendronach Parliament Aged 21 Years||$296|
|The GlenDronach Traditionally Peated||$73|
|The GlenDronach Port Wood||$100|
|The GlenDronach Cask Strength||$100|
With so many of their main whiskies over $100 and some closer to $200 and $300, it’s clear that The Glendronach is not only one of Scotland’s oldest and most respected whisky brands, it’s one of Scotland’s most expensive whisky brands too.
9. The Dalmore
Dalmore is another almost 200-year-old distillery that has become increasingly popular among whisky enthusiasts around the world. This is partly because of its unique flavor profile – many of its whiskies are aged in ex-Oloroso sherry casks and the distillery has an over 100 year old relationship with sherry producers in Spain, and distinctive branding – the stag head emblem given to the owner’s ancestor’s clan by King Alexander III for saving him from a charging stag.
The following table shows some of the whiskies in The Dalmore core range and their approximate prices.
|The Dalmore 12||$68|
|The Dalmore 12 Year Old Sherry Cask Select||$80|
|The Dalmore 14||$110|
|The Dalmore Port Wood Reserve||$109|
|The Dalmore 15||$142|
|The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve||$190|
|The Dalmore 18||$250|
|The Dalmore King Alexander III||$294|
|The Dalmore 21 Year Old||$800|
|The Dalmore 25||$1,500|
As you can see, The Dalmore is a pretty expensive whisky brand. Most of its whiskies are over $100, and the 15- and 18-Year-Old at $142 and $250 respectively, while quite expensive are cheap compared to the 21- and 25-Year-Old that at $800 and $1,500 respectively, are very expensive indeed.
10. The Macallan
The Macallan is known for being a premium whisky brand, which is just a fancy way of saying one of the most expensive whisky brands in the world. Some of their rarer expressions keep breaking records for the most expensive whisky ever sold (we’re talking in the millions of dollars), but their core range of whiskies are expensive too, as you can see from the following table.
|The Macallan Sherry Oak 12 Years Old||$81|
|The Macallan Sherry Oak 18 Years Old||$350|
|The Macallan Double Cask Gold||$65|
|The Macallan Double Cask 12||$75|
|The Macallan Double Cask 15||$145|
|The Macallan Double Cask 18||$346|
|The Macallan Triple Cask Matured 12 Years Old||$70|
|The Macallan Triple Cask Matured 15 Years Old||$136|
|The Macallan Triple Cask Matured 18 Years Old||$350|
|The Macallan Rare Cask||$330|
|The Macallan Estate||$276|
$70 – $80 for a 12-Year-Old whisky, almost $150 for a 15-Year-Old whisky and about $350 for an 18-Year-Old whisky is the epitome of expensive whisky brand. And if you want a quick look at the million-dollar rarer expressions, see the detailed article I wrote about the 12 most expensive whiskeys in the world, here, half of which are Macallan whiskies.
11. Midleton Very Rare
Midleton is Ireland’s largest distillery. The old distillery was in production for 150 years before it was decommissioned in 1975, when a new adjacent distillery complex was built. In 1984, the Midleton Very Rare Vintage Collection was launched to celebrate the whiskeys produced at Midleton. This is a yearly release whose initial vintages, because the new distillery had only been open for about a decade at the time, contained whiskey from the old distillery.
The following table shows some of the Midleton Very Rare whiskeys and their approximate prices.
|Midleton Very Rare Vintage Collection 2017||$249|
|Midleton Very Rare Vintage Collection 2019||$254|
|Midleton Very Rare Vintage Collection 2020||$362|
|Midleton Very Rare Barry Crockett Legacy||$300|
|Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Grinsell’s Wood||$241|
|Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest||$330|
The Midleton Very Rare Vintage Collection whiskeys are aged from anywhere between 12 – 20 years, nevertheless at more than $250 they’re still very expensive.
To find out more about the remaining and now rare whiskeys from the old distillery that cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, see the detailed article I wrote about the 12 most expensive Irish whiskeys in the world, here, many of which come from the closed (silent) Midleton distillery.
Suntory is Japan’s oldest whisky making company and today the country’s largest and most recognizable producer of quality whisky. It produces several brands of Japanese whisky including Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki. The following table shows some of their whiskies and their approximate prices.
|Yamazaki 12 Years Old||$198|
|Yamazaki 18 Years Old||$989|
|Yamazaki 25 Years Old||$10,056|
|Hakushu 12 Years Old||$190|
|Hakushu 18 Years Old||$750|
|Hibiki 21 Years Old||$2,225|
|Hibiki Japanese Harmony||$100|
|Hibiki Blossom Harmony||$700|
|Hibiki 30 Years Old||$9,444|
As you can see, every Suntory whisky is expensive. And not only expensive, super expensive. A 12-Year-Old whisky costs about $200, an 18-Year-Old whisky costs almost $1,000 and a 25-Year-Old whisky costs over $10,000! This makes Suntory one of the most expensive whisky brands in the world.