Whisky Magazine Issue 97
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There is a strange phenomenon afoot in the whisky world at the moment, and I don't think we have seen it reach its zenith yet.
This is of course the trend of über expensive whiskies in blinged out bottles. Now seriously expensive whiskies are not really a problem and are to be expected; in any luxury market these things are going to happen: carbon fibre racing bikes, super cars with exotic materials, handmade cameras or titanium watches.
However this trend is worrying because the emphasis is placed, not on the whisky, but on the packaging. It's all going a little Damien Hirst of late.
Recently the world's most expensive whisky (sic) was launched by the Luxury Beverage Company, and received a pretty hefty drubbing in the blogosphere, mainly because the price was pushed (rocketed more like) by the packaging.
The Isabella Original retails for £3.8 million ($6.2 million), and flaunts more than 8,500 diamonds, some 300 rubies and the equivalent of two bars of white gold all covering a fine English Crystal decanter and the Very Old Single Malt cask strength Islay whisky inside.
Each individual Isabella Islay is handcrafted to the buyer's liking, and let's face it there are only going to be a handful of folk opening their wallets for this.
Also available is the Isabella Special Edition, which retails for £450,000 ($740,000), and boasts the finest British craftsmanship in crystal, white gold and diamond lettering. The whisky inside both the editions is also available in refills.