A connoisseur dilemma: Is R6?199 for a sip of Scotch whisky too much?

2012-10-16 00:00

WHO would pay R154 000 for a bottle of liquor?

That question must be keeping Charles Malgas, liquor buyer for Makro wholesalers, awake at night.

He said he hopes someone out there will buy the two bottles of 50-year-old, single-malt Scotch whisky that Makro ordered from Glenfiddich, which are now “on promotion” at the store.

“Otherwise President Jacob Zuma will hopefully acquire a bottle for himself,” said Malgas.

Makro ordered the two 700 ml bottles as collectors’ items and Malgas said they would add to any whisky connoisseur’s collection.

Makro had to deposit R75 000 before ordering the bottles.

According to the Glenfiddich distillery’s website, the 50-year-old single malt whisky has a sweet vanilla taste, with a soft tobacco flavour.

The whisky was stored for at least 50 years in two different vats and then decanted into American oak vats before it was bottled.

“We paid R145 000 per bottle, so we are not making much of a profit. You must rather not think that you are paying R6 199 per sip,” said Malgas.

The same Glenfiddich whisky was available for R149 999 last year, but due to “increasing worldwide demand” the price has increased.

“The vats are getting close to the empty mark and the whisky is getting more rare,” said Malgas.

He said last year a bottle of Johnnie Walker Platinum whisky sold for R78 000 in SA on an auction, which showed that people were willing to pay these types of prices. Malgas said it was a status symbol and people bought the whisky to make a statement.

The most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold was a bottle of 1955 Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve whisky, sold for $94 000 (now about R830 000) at an auction in New York.

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