In general, most Irish whiskeys are not that expensive, however, there are many that are. There are also some that are so expensive you wonder whether anyone would actually pay so much for it and are amazed when you discover that many already have. Here’s a list of the twelve most expensive Irish whiskeys ever – so far.
(As an aside, I wrote a detailed article that explains exactly why some whiskeys are so expensive, which you can find here.)
1. George Roe 16 Years Old – $6,494
Ireland has been a prolific producer of whiskey for hundreds of years, however, due to changing tastes, a trade war with Britain and Prohibition in the USA, the industry suffered a massive decline in the early part of the 20th century. Most of Ireland’s hundreds of distilleries were forced to shut down including George Roe’s Thomas Street Distillery, which at its peak was the largest whiskey distillery in the world.
That’s why the George Roe 16 Years Old is so valuable. It was distilled in the 1910s or 1920s but bottled in the 1930s long after the distillery had shut down in 1923. Not only are the few remaining bottles old and rare, they’re also a relic from what was once the world’s most popular distillery.
The most expensive price a bottle of George Roe 16 Years Old has sold for at auction is $6,494.
2. Craft Irish Whiskey Company The Brollach – $8,000
The Craft Irish Whiskey Company was founded 2018, with the intention of returning Irish whiskey to the heights it once enjoyed before its decline in the early part of the 20th century. Their mission is to reinvent Irish whiskey and demonstrate its potential as a luxury product, restoring Ireland’s reputation for crafting the finest whiskeys in the world.
The Brollach is company founder Jay Bradley’s homage to his father who inspired his love and appreciation for the flavor and craftmanship that’s at the heart of all of their whiskeys. It’s double distilled, double casked (125L and 68L Madeira casks) and two decades old.
It comes in a beautifully crafted Nordic oak box with stainless steel trim. Also included are two handcrafted Finn glasses, four obsidian whiskey stones, an anodized silver pipette, and two vials – one to use as a whiskey taster and the other to add water to open the whiskey’s flavors.
When Northern Ireland’s first online whiskey auction house held its inaugural auction in March 2022, a bottle of The Brollach sold for just over $8,000, although the normal price for the remaining 661 bottles is around $6,500.
3. J.J. Corry The Chosen Single Cask 27 Year – $8,055
Similarly, J.J. Corry was founded in 2015 to resurrect the lost art of Irish Whiskey Bonding where publicans, grocers and mercantile owners would fill their own barrels at the local distillery, and mature, blend and bottle the new make spirit themselves. When the number of distilleries in Ireland was reduced from hundreds to a mere two in the mid-1970s, Irish Whiskey Bonding died out.
Today, as one of the leading Irish Whiskey Bonders, J.J. Corry has built a library of flavors by sourcing Irish Whiskey from the now over 40 distilleries in Ireland. They created The Chosen to celebrate the rich tradition of Irish Whiskey Bonding. It comes from a single barrel that was distilled in 1991 and matured for 27 years until it reached its peak, when it was bottled at cask strength – in this case 52%ABV.
The 100 bottles produced are in fact unique hand blown and hand cut crystal decanters, each of which come in an ash wood cabinet that contains a wax-dipped sample concealed in the pedestal. The most expensive price for one of these bottles is $8,055.
4. Teeling Vintage Reserve 37 Year – $11,999
The Teeling Vintage Reserve Collection is a series of whiskeys each of which come from casks that were hand selected for their distinctive characteristics, to create some of the finest and rarest Irish single malt whiskeys available today.
The 37-Year-Old is the oldest of the collection. It’s also one of the oldest Irish single malt whiskeys ever released. It was distilled in 1983 and matured exclusively in a single ex-Bourbon cask for over 37 years until 2020 when it was bottled at cask strength – in this case 41.3%ABV.
Once again, each of the 175 bottles produced are actually decanters that have been hand decorated with gold infill. They’re individually numbered, and each comes with its own unique certificate of authenticity. The most expensive price one of these bottles sells for is $11,999.
5. Cassidy & Co Monasterevin Irish Whiskey – $25,000
Cassidy’s was a distillery based in Monasterevin in Co Kildare, Ireland. It opened in 1784 and like many other distilleries, closed in 1921. In the 1880s Cassidy & Co Monasterevin was making 250,000 gallons of whiskey a year, including this quart-sized, hand-blown bottle that’s now over 140 years old.
There are only three known such bottles, one of which is housed in the Irish Whiskey Museum. The other two were sold at auction, and while both were expected to fetch between $5,000 and $10,000, one ended up being sold for $25,000 which is more than twice its original estimate.
6. Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Ch. 3 – $42,999
Midleton is Ireland’s largest distillery and produces many well-known whiskey brands. The Old Midleton Distillery which was said to have the largest pot still in the world, was in production for 150 years before being decommissioned in 1975, when a new adjacent distillery complex was built.
The Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection represents some of the last drops of whiskey from the old (silent) distillery and is a series of six annual releases to take place from 2020 to 2025 – the last of which has been timed to coincide with the old distillery’s 200th birthday.
The third in the series is a marriage of two single pot still whiskeys – an ex-sherry butt and an ex-bourbon barrel, laid down in 1973 and left to mature for 47 years before being blended and bottled at 55.7%ABV.
The whiskey comes in a handblown, etched, and individually numbered crystal decanter produced by Ireland’s Waterford Crystal, and the decanter comes in a Burr Elm wood cabinet handcrafted by Irish designer John Galvin. Only 97 bottles were produced and buying one of the last ones available for sale will cost you $42,999.
7. Midleton Very Rare 30th Anniversary – $51,395
Not to be confused with the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection, the Midleton Very Rare whiskeys are produced at the new distillery.
Every year since 1984 a new, limited, bottling is specially created using whiskeys handpicked from the distillery’s warehouses, with the objective of producing the best whiskey possible. They are a mix of pot still and grain whiskeys that have no age statement and are matured for about twelve to twenty years in ex-bourbon American oak barrels.
The Midleton Very Rare Pearl Edition celebrates the range’s 30th anniversary. It’s a rare whiskey because it was produced through a collaboration between the former and present master distillers – Barry Crockett and Brian Nation. It’s made with grain whiskey from 1981 and single pot still whiskey from 1984, both of which were matured in American oak casks.
The bottle comes in an oak presentation box and includes a 5cl miniature of the whiskey. Only 117 sets were produced and while some can bought for significantly cheaper, the most expensive price for one is $51,395.
8. Craft Irish Whiskey The Devil’s Keep – $60,000
The Devil’s Keep was the inaugural release from The Craft Irish Whiskey Company. It was distilled in 1991 and matured in American, French and Hungarian Oak casks for almost 30 years, making it one of the rarest and oldest triple-distilled and triple-casked single malt Irish whiskeys ever released.
Each Devil’s Keep bottle comes in a custom-made case with a bespoke Japanese style lock. Included are two expertly engineered Érimón glasses, a carafe of Irish spring water, three obsidian whiskey stones from the mountains of Armenia, a 24-karat gold water pipette and an atomizer containing the essence of the whiskey captured by expert perfumer, Sarah McCartney.
The Devil’s Keep has won awards across the board for taste, design and packaging. The first release of 333 bottles sold out in record time and although its usual price is $11,840, the very first bottle sold for $60,000, making it the most expensive inaugural whiskey sold at auction.
9. Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Ch. 1 – $85,000
This is the very first whiskey in the above mentioned Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection.
It was laid down in 1974 – a year before the closure of old distillery, and it was part of a series of innovative trials never to be released or repeated. Chapter 1 comes from the distillery’s experimentation with peated single malt whiskey which at the time, was unheard of for Irish whiskey and rare even today.
That’s why as a 45-year-old, peated single malt Irish whiskey, it’s one of the world’s rarest whiskeys.
The whiskey comes in a handblown, etched, and individually numbered crystal decanter produced by Ireland’s Waterford Crystal, and the decanter comes in a cabinet handcrafted by Irish designer, John Galvin using wood from 200-year-old reclaimed whiskey vats. Also included are a detailed history and tasting notes from the generations of dedicated staff at Midleton.
Only 48 of these whiskeys were produced and while many were sold for significantly less, the most expensive price you can buy one for today is $85,000.
10. Craft Irish Whiskey Company The Aodh – $85,857
The Aodh from the Craft Irish Whiskey Company,is the oldest triple distilled Irish single malt whiskey in the world. Originally matured in ex-bourbon barrels the whiskey’s depth comes from accidentally being left to finish for over two years in two small custom-built Sherry Oloroso barrels, one of 50L and another of just 40L. Blended together the two barrels offered up enough for 88 bottles of truly magical whiskey.
However, part of the reason this whiskey is so expensive is the unique bottle and exo-skeleton structure it comes in – there are no other words for it, that was created in partnership with leading jewelry designer MJ Jones.
The bottle has gold detailing, inset gemstones and frost cuts on the neck and base. It’s curved at the bottom so it can’t easily be put down. The point of that is to force it to be handed around for guests to admire or else return it to its … case.
The bottle’s obsidian stopper conceals a secret compartment containing a silver double band ring that’s finished in black armor and has the whiskey’s edition number engraved on its side. The top part of the ring is embedded with amethyst stones and a single natural diamond set within the 18-carat gold logo of the Craft Irish Whiskey Company. And inside the logo is a hermetically sealed whiskey capsule.
The exo-skeleton structure the bottle is encased in has spiraling arms of gold and royal purple that unfold via the touch sensor on the base, which is a layered, circular winged chassis that locks the bottle in place.
And it doesn’t stop there. Buying one of these bottles also grants you access to The Craft Circle – an exclusive members’ club offering invitations to private events and tastings that have so far included a three-day yacht party, circuit-side for the Monaco Grand Prix and a two-day golf tournament with world renowned Michelin starred and celebrity chefs.
11. Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Ch. 2 – $94,999
The second of the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection is a single pot still whiskey that’s been aged for over 46 years and which captures the traditional style of the Old Midleton Distillery. It was matured in bourbon, sherry and port casks, and then a third-fill bourbon cask before finally being bottled at 53.6%ABV.
This whiskey also comes in a handblown, etched, and individually numbered crystal decanter from Ireland’s Waterford Crystal, and the decanter comes in an ancient Elm and Japanese Tamo wood cabinet handcrafted by Irish designer, John Galvin with finishing touches that include sterling silver and premium leather detailing, traditional hand-etching and ancient oak reclaimed from Irish whiskey vats.
And again, only 48 of these whiskeys were produced and while you can probably find one for significantly less, the most expensive price you can buy one for is $94,999.
12. Craft Irish Whiskey Company The Emerald Isle – $3m
One day Craft Irish Whiskey Company founder Jay Bradley was tasting the casks in his warehouse when he came across the smallest barrel he had – a 40L Pedro Ximénez cask just half filled with liquid, in which whiskey was finishing after three decades of maturation in American bourbon barrels. Tasting it, Jay found that it was an ultra-rare, impeccable whiskey.
Of course, the perfect whiskey needs the perfect packaging where every component is crafted entirely by hand. The box cabinet is made of polished walnut wood with gold detailing, and the glass of the doors are surrounded by embedded emeralds. Inside the box is a bottle of The Emerald Isle whiskey as well as:
- A bespoke Fabergé Celtic Egg handcrafted from 18k yellow gold featuring Fabergé’s legendary guilloché vitreous enamel in a pastel green. The egg is adorned with a pavé Celtic knot (a symbol of Irish heritage) and set with 104 brilliant-cut diamonds. Inside is a rough, uncut emerald, sourced from Gemfields’ Kagem mine in Zambia.
- A Fabergé watch that’s encased in rose gold, with rose gold crowns and upper and lower sapphire crystals. The watch contains a self-winding automatic movement and a precious and rare 22k gold oscillating weight. Each watch is numbered and finished with a brown alligator strap and rose gold buckle.
- Two Finn glasses.
- Pure obsidian whiskey stones.
- A 24k gold water pipette.
- Two ultra-rare Cohiba Gran Reserva VI cigars concealed in a humidor within the box.
- A gold-plated cigar cutter.
- A tasting log.
- A hip flask with a sample of The Emerald Isle whiskey.
Only seven sets were made, the first of which was sold at auction for $2 million. The remaining sets were launched at exclusive events across the world where one was sold for more than $3 million.