It’s no coincidence that the most expensive bottles of liquor ever sold are Scotch whisky. There’s an enigma when it comes to this brown spirit and the Scottish have made their mark as its preeminent curators. In fact, there’s one distillery series in particular that lays claim to the top five highest spots in auction history. Launched in 2002, the Macallan’s Fine & Rare series has raised both eyebrows and checkbooks, celebrating the distillery’s history and craft. However, at the end of the day, whisky is meant to be consumed, and so as the years pass, fewer and fewer of these bottles still exist.
It’s a good thing the Macallan has continued to keep it going. As the 59th release in the Fine & Rare line — with previous bottles ranging from the iconic 60-year-old 1926 to the recent 27-year-old 1993 — the Scottish distillery has now unveiled its 32-year-old expression that was sent to the barrel back in 1989. Just like each past release, the new limited-edition Fine & Rare 1989 bottle will feature the age, strength, and volume of the expression hand-written on the front.
This is the second Fine & Rare release barreled in 1989. The last, aged only 21 years, was bottled back in 2010. For this 2022 release, the whisky was aged in sherry-seasoned European oak casks and bottled at cask strength (51.2% ABV). It’s said to bear a dynamic profile of dark cherries, toffee, cocoa powder, and gingerbread, giving way to biscuits, candied pineapple, plum jam, and dark chocolate notes with a long and complex finish.
The Macallan Fine & Rare 1989 is sure to go quickly despite its steep price tag. Available at select high-end retailers, the 750mL bottles will go for $18,500, while 700mL bottles are expected to sell for $17,300.