In Food + Drink

The World’s Most Expensive Drinks Ever Sold

Every year the winemakers from Penfolds and Henschke hold special invite-only tastings to showcase their new latest releases.

Invitations to these annual events, held a few months apart, are much sought after. At the end of the tastings, prices are revealed for the new icon wines; with Grange and Hill of Grace both sitting around $900 a bottle and fast closing in on the $1,000 mark.

Surprisingly, these two record prices are not, in fact, the most expensive drinks in Australia. Wondering which ones are? Read on.

1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, $2,335

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti made just 600 bottles of a 1945 Burgundy. Image: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti / supplied

In 1945, top Burgundy producer Domaine de la Romanée-Conti made just 600 bottles before pulling up its vines for replanting. Late last year two of those 600 bottles sold for a total of just over $1.4 million at Sotheby’s in New York. The wines from this producer are known as “DRC” to aficionados. The prices of old wines depend on many factors including rarity, provenance and the state of the cork.

Legacy by Angostura Rum, $35,100

Legacy by Angostura was released in 2012, and is the world’s most expensive rum. Image: Angostura / supplied

The world’s most expensive rum is Legacy by Angostura, released in 2012 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Trinidad’s independence. Just 20 decanters of the rum were put up for sale for $35,100 apiece.

Each 500ml crystal and silver decanter is specially created by Asprey of London, comes in a wooden box lined with silk and velvet and covered by red calf leather. The stopper is made of sterling silver.

Remy Martin Black Pearl Louis XIII Cognac £100,000

The Remy Martin Black Pearl Louis XIII Cognac was made from a blend of 1200 eaux de vie. Image: Remy Martin / supplied

The Remy Martin Black Pearl Louis XIII Cognac was auctioned for £100,000 in 2012. Made from a blend of 1200 eaux de vie that are between 40 and 100 years old, the bottle was designed by Baccarat and hand-blown from black crystal in tribute to a signature Louis XIII decanter modelled on a flask found in Cognac during the sixteenth century.

Bowmore 1957 Scotch whisky, $185,300

Only 12 bottles of Bowmore 1957 Scotch whisky were released. Image: Bowmore / supplied

Scotch lovers covet a Bowmore 1957 Scotch whisky, released in September 2012 in a set of just 12 bottles at £100,000 a bottle ($185,300 in today’s money). The Bowmore 1957 spent 43 years in a second-fill sherry cask, before being moved in 2000 and aged for a further 11 years in a bourbon cask.

1869 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, $328,000

A bottle of an 1869 Chateau Lafite Rothschild sold for $328,000 in 2010. Image: Chateau Lafite Rothschild / supplied

The New York prices smashed the world’s previous high-mark for a standard bottle: an 1869 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, a benchmark Bordeaux, which sold for $328,000 in Hong Kong in 2010. When it comes to older whites, a bottle of legendary 1811 Chateau d’Yquem dessert wine sold for $USD117,000.

Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne, $2 million

Dudognon-Heritage-Cognac

The Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne is a 100-year-old Cognac. Image: Remy Martin / supplied

The Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne is a 100-year-old Cognac – one of the rarest and most expensive drinks on the planet carrying a $2 million price tag. It comes in a 24-carat gold and sterling platinum bottle scattered with 6,500 diamonds made by jeweller Jose Davalos. It’s aged in barrels for more than 100 years and just 100cl is decanted into the 8kg diamond-studded bottle.

The Pasión Azteca, Platinum Liquor Bottle by Tequila Ley, $USD3.5 million

This tequila has a bottle studded with 6,400 diamonds. Image: Tequila Ley / supplied

The Pasión Azteca, Platinum Liquor Bottle by Tequila Ley, carries a price tag of $USD3.5 million. Released in 2010, this super decadent drop owes much of its value to white gold and platinum bottle encrusted with 6,400 diamonds designed by Mexican artist Alejandro Gomez Oropeza.

Isabella Islay whisky, $USD6.2 million

Macallan M Highland’s Isabella Islay was sold for$USD6.2 million. Image: Macallan M Highland / supplied

From the sublime to the ridiculous, a bottle of Isabella Islay whisky carries an incredible price tag of $USD6.2 million. The bottle is fashioned from white gold and is crusted with 8,500 diamonds and 300 rubies. The Macallan M Highland single malt whisky fetched $USD628,205 for a six-litre crystal decanter at a Hong Kong auction, making it a comparative bargain.

The Cornish submarine cellar, unknown

Potentially, some of the most expensive bottles of booze in the world are still sitting at the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Cornwall in England. In 1918, just two months before the end of World War I, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank a merchant vessel sailing from Bordeaux to Britain carrying a cargo of Champagne, rare wines, brandy and Benedictine.

The shipwreck has laid undisturbed on the seabed off the Cornish coast for a century but will soon be explored. At around 100 metres below sea level, the darkness and constant cool temperatures should have done an exceptional job in preserving the bottles’ contents. Estimates from archival research and initial dives put the number of bottles on board in their thousands and are potentially worth several million pounds, British magazine Drinks Business reported.

(Lead image: Pexels) 

Published 12 April, 2019