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Thursday, 26 April 2012
Diamonds are expensive !
Queen's ransom for diamond jubilee scotch
THIRSTY? If you have $157,000 to spare, you can lubricate that dry throat with the world's most expensive scotch -- the 60-year-old John Walker Diamond Jubilee.
Made to commemorate the Queen's 60 years on the throne, the ultimate in premium spirits is a blend of malt and grain whiskies distilled in 1952, packaged in a Baccarat crystal decanter with a silver collar adorned by a half-carat diamond, and boxed up in a wooden chest made of oak from the royal estate at Sandringham.
Just 63 bottles have been produced - one for the Queen, two for the distiller's library, and 60 for sale at pound stg. 100,000 apiece.
Jonathan Driver, global whisky ambassador for Johnnie Walker parent company Diageo, said the price was a record for a newly bottled whisky, with only the rarest of one-off bottles with historical significance having sold for more.
He described the flavour, which only prospective buyers are allowed to experience, as "like mountains in the distance, with a waterfall running through them that you may never see again". The normal phrases used to describe whisky simply did not apply to a product of this calibre, he added.
"It's 1952 in a bottle . . . we will never be able to make this again, because we don't have the material - it will be here for a short time and then gone," Mr Driver said.
Collectors in the US, Canada, the Middle East and China - the fastest-growing market for scotch whisky and premium spirits in the world - have already purchased bottles.
Only one bottle has been allocated for sale in Australia.
The company is hoping the frisson surrounding the Jubilee whisky will rub off on its more mainstream range of Johnnie Walker, the best-selling scotch whisky brand in the world.
In Australia, sales of super premium scotch whisky - defined as anything costing more than $50 a bottle - surged by 11.8 per cent over the 12 months to the end of February, while the overall spirits market declined by 0.8 per cent.
Diageo, which also owns Bundaberg rum, Smirnoff vodka and Tanqueray gin, has put out a range of new upmarket products including white rum Bundaberg Five, launched last year as a competitor to top-shelf market leader Bacardi.
In the Johnnie Walker range, the company has augmented its red, black and blue-labelled bottles with "double black" (extra smoky) and platinum-label whiskies.