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10 Oldest Whiskies Ever Bottled

Updated: Mar 27

10 oldest whiskies ever bottled

Image by The Whisky Ardvark

In the past decade, a new kind of competition has emerged where the aim is to bottle the oldest whisky in the world. As more people enter the world of whisky collecting, these rare and old bottlings are becoming increasingly sought-after in auctions, with many fetching record-breaking prices. These bottlings are usually released in limited quantities, which only adds to their value.

However, only a select few distilleries are able to compete in this category. Some old distilleries with over a century and a half of history have not prepared themselves for this race, and only three contenders have decided to battle it out for bottling the world's oldest whisky can no longer. These contenders include Macallan, Dalmore, and Gordon & MacPhail.

Ageing old whisky can be challenging because the cask's wood doesn't last forever, and there comes the point when it becomes 'dead' and is no longer able to contribute anything to the whisky. In other cases, the result can be overly woody. We've had the pleasure of tasting old whiskies from all of these contenders, some of whom have reached the age of 50 or more. While some have been great, other times, the experience hasn't been as pleasurable as we'd hoped.

It's possible that a bad whiskey, which is considered unusable, can be bottled as an extremely old release. However, most of us may never know about it as these bottles are often out of reach due to their high prices and limited availability. These rare bottlings usually end up in collections and are never consumed. So, who knows what's out there?

Macallan recently announced their oldest whiskey ever bottled, set to release in early 2022. In light of this news, we thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of the rarest bottlings ever released. Let's dive in!


10. Macallan 64yo Cire Perdue

The previous record holder for the most expensive whisky was sold for $460,000 at a New York auction in 2010. This bottle is a magnum size, containing 150cl of 64-year-old Macallan whisky and only one exists.

Macallan 64 year old Cire Perdue

Image bone-offby's


9. Dalmore 64yo Trinitas

There is only one Dalmore on the list, called The Dalmore 64yo Trinitas. This whiskey was released in extremely limited quantities, with only 3 decanters produced in 2010. The first decanter is owned by Mahesh Patel in the US, and the second one is owned by Sukhinder Singh, one of the founders of The Whisky Exchange in the UK. The owner of the third decanter is unknown to us.

When it was first released, a bottle of Trinitas cost around £100,000. It's difficult to say how much it would be worth today.

Dalmore 64 year old Trinitas

Image by The Whisky Exchange


8. Macallan 65yo The Six Pillars Lalique Collection

The final instalment in the Six Pillars Collection is the 65-year-old Macallan Lalique. Only 450 crystal decanters were produced, and each of them is individually numbered. The 65-year-old whisky is usually sold as a part of a 6-bottle set, but, in some cases, it can also be purchased separately. Its price starts from £100,000 to £120,000. Because of the unique drop design on the bottle, it is also known as 'Peerless'. The whisky was bottled at 46.3% strength in 2016.

Macallan 65yo The Six Pillars Lalique Collection

Image by The Whisky World


7. Glenlivet 70yo Generations & Glenlivet 1943 70yo Private Collection G&M

The first two bottles on our list belong to Glenlivet and are bottled by G&M. The first one is called 'Generations' and was released in 2011. It is an extremely rare bottle with only 100 tear-shaped crystal decanters available. The second one is called 'Private Collection' and was bottled in 2013. It is even rarer than Generations, with only 42 bottles produced. Generations is priced at around £20,000, while Private Collection is priced at an exorbitant £40,000.

Glenlivet 70yo Generations & Glenlivet 1943 70yo Private Collection G&M

Image by The Whisky Exchange


6. Glen Grant 1948 72yo G&M

In 2020, G&M released a Glen Grant whisky that was kept in a cask since 1948 and aged for 72 years. Only 290 bottles were produced, and to get your hands on a bottle, you would need to have around £54,000 to spare.

Gordon & MacPhail has also launched a couple of exclusive bottlings for Polish company Wealth Solutions. These include a 1949 67-year-old whisky and a 1950 65-year-old whisky.

Glen Grant 1948 72yo G&M

Image by Premier Whisky


5. Macallan 72yo Genesis Lalique

Macallan has a habit of attempting to break the record for the oldest whisky ever bottled every few years. In 2018, they released the Macallan 72-year-old, which commemorated the opening of their new distillery extension. Only 600 bottles were made, and it can sometimes be found for around £120,000, but generally, it sells for a higher price at auctions.

Macallan 72yo Genesis Lalique

Image by Sotheby's


4. Mortlach 1939 75yo Generations G&M

In 1939, a Mortlach whisky was distilled, which was bottled in a crystal decanter 75 years later. It held the title of the world's oldest whisky ever bottled from 2015 to 2020. Only 100 bottles were released, with a price tag of around £33,000.

We have sold a few of these during our career and can confirm that the leather box bag is memorable. We wonder who thought this whisky would be nice on the go. Despite its luxurious leather box, the bottle and cap design can be quite unstable, which may cause leakage during shipment. We have heard stories about this happening with the Glenlivet 70yo as well. Despite this, the bottle designs are visually appealing.

Mortlach 1939 75yo Generations G&M

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


3. Macallan Red Collection - Ages 40 to 78

We chose to rank the oldest whiskies from the Macallan Red Collection as 3rd oldest for better understanding. The Red Collection consists of core expressions like 40yo, 50yo, and 60yo. On occasion, Macallan releases different rare and old limited editions that join the collection. The 71yo, 74yo, and 78yo whiskies were added to the Red Collection in 2021, which led us to include them on this list. The full set of the Red Collection was auctioned at Sotheby's in late 2020 for £756,400 and included specially designed labels by Javi Aznarez.

Macallan Red Collection - Ages 40 to 78

Image by Whisky Keeper


2. Glenlivet 80yo The Generations G&M

The Glenlivet 80-year-old whisky was distilled on February 3, 1940, and was finally released in 2021. The bottle and case of the whisky have been designed by Sir David Adjaye OBE, a renowned architect and designer. The whisky has been taken from just one cask, cask #340, and at the time of the release, it was priced at around £90,000, but it can now be found with a £110,000 price tag. Only 250 bottles of this rare whisky were ever produced.

Glenlivet 80yo The Generations G&M

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1. Macallan 81yo 1940

In early 2022, Macallan released an 81-year-old whisky called The Reach, which surpassed the release of an 80-year-old whisky by G&M in the previous year. The base of the bottle features a design by Scottish sculptor Saskia Robinson. Only 288 bottles were produced, with a base price of £125,000 per bottle. However, it is important to note that in the past, prices for rare whiskies have been known to skyrocket, so buyers might need to be prepared to pay double or more if they manage to find a bottle for sale.

Macallan 81yo 1940 The Reach

Image by The Macallan


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