Despite the recent flourish of craft beers
made in small batches, the humble amber beverage is often seen as a drink for
the masses. While most beer is relatively affordable, 10-year old Vieille Bon
Secours Ale is an exception to the rule at US$1,000 per 12-litre bottle.
Another expensive beer is also the world's strongest, with Schorschbock 57
coming in with a price tag of US$275 per 330ml and an ABV of 57.5%. However,
the world's most expensive beer title goes to a bottle of Allsopp sold in 2007
for US$503,300, with this single bottle of beer brewed in 1875 for an Antarctic
expedition, meaning it can't even be consumed.
While luxury beer is relatively uncommon,
the same can't be said for the wine and champagne market. An 1787 bottle of Chateau
Lafite sold in 1985 for $156,450, thanks mostly to Thomas Jefferson's initials
Th.J. etched into the glass. An extra-large bottle of 1945 Jeroboam from
Chateau Mouton-Rothschild was sold for twice this value in 2007 at US$310,700,
although the price per-glass was just one-third of the ancient Bordeaux. An
1811 bottle of Chateau D’quem sold for US$117,000 in 2011, with this ‘comet
vintage’ produced in the harvest season following a comet sighting. If a glass
of bubbly is more your style, a giant 20 litre bottle of Armand de Brignac
Midas can be bought today for US$190,000.
The price of alcohol products often comes
down to rarity, with vintage wines and aged spirits commanding the highest
prices at auctions. Dalmore released their 62-year-old scotch in 2002, a drop
that immediately became the most valuable in the world at US$180,000. Even the
wood presentation case supposedly took 100 hours to create, with this price
surpassed in 2010 when a 64 year old bottle of Macallan 64 in Lalique was
purchased for $460,000. While whisky gets most of the attention at the top end
of the market, a bottle of Legacy By Angostura rum will still set you back
US$25,000. Luxury cocktails often combine rare and exotic spirits for
mind-boggling price tags, with a single glass of the 'Gigi's' combining vintage
champagne with an ultra-rare Armagnac brandy for US$14,000.
When it comes to the record-breaking end of
the luxury alcohol market, it's more about the bottle than the drink inside.
Diva Vodka comes in at third place at a cost of US$1 million, with the bottle’s
core made out of Swarovski crystals. This seams cheap compared to a bottle of
Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne at US$2 million, with a 100
year old ageing process combined with a bottle that has been dipped in 24 K
gold and platinum and decorated with 6,500 brilliant diamonds. Surprisingly,
the world's most expensive alcohol title goes to a bottle of tequila, with the
Pasion Azteca Platinum Liquor Bottle by Tequila Ley costing a cool US$3 million,
thanks mostly to its white gold and platinum bottle which has been studded with
Image source: Africa Studio