If you follow happenings in the whiskey world or are subscribed to Whiskey Network and their weekly Barrel Report newsletter, you’ll have come across really expensive bottles for sale. It’s fun getting to see what luxury collaborations are happening and what’s new and exciting coming out. On occasion, product prices can seem ridiculous. This one might just take the cake.
In a collaboration lauded as “incredible and refined” between The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. and jeweler Fabergé, 7 bottles of 30 Year Old Single Malt are being auctioned off for $2 million. Each. And that’s just the starting bid.
These 7 bottles represent the The Emerald Isle Collection, crafted to celebrate the 7 Wonders of Ireland and their mythology (from the Blarney Stone to Giant’s Causeway).
Now, what could possibly make a bottle of whiskey worth a cool $2+ million? Well, let’s take a closer look, because those winners are getting far more than just a bottle of whiskey. While they’ll be getting “the oldest and rarest triple distilled Irish single malt in existence”, it’s really everything that’s accompanying the bottles which makes the price skyrocket. And yes, gemstones are involved. Literally, hundreds of gems.
What’s in the Box?
Let’s start with the display box itself (loftily entitled “Experience Box”). Hand crafted (as every detail for each gift set is), each box is made of dark walnut wood and has a unique, gold-etched, geometric pattern carved into the front which represents one of the mythical sites. The lock is egg shaped (there’ll be a lot of egg imagery, because #fabergé) and set with a cabochon Emerald which leads “to the immersive experience within.”
Front and center is the whiskey – each case comes with two bottles. The whiskey was aged in first fill 200L American Bourbon casks and was finished in rare 40L Pedro Ximenez casks, and was bottled at 51.2% abv.
-Two bespoke glass tasting glasses inspired by Fabergé’s original Hen Egg shape, decorated with gold tessellations, and an Emerald cabochon. These will allow the buyer to experience the whiskey “like never before”.
(Speaking of eggs, inside each box is a Fabergé Celtic Egg, the front of which sports a different gemstone (Emerald, Blue Sapphire, Ruby, Amethyst, Rhodolite, Spessartite, or Tourmaline) which relates to one of the seven locations. Each egg was created by Fabergé Workmaster, Dr. Marcus Mohr, and took over 100 hours to craft. Sporting green, white, and gold colours to symbolize the Irish flag, each egg’s exterior is adorned with a pavé Celtic knot made of 104 brilliant-cut diamonds. Inside the eggs awaits a rough, uncut Emerald sourced from Zambia.)
-Four Obsidian whiskey stones to chill without diluting the rare spirit.
And if you’re looking for some real ostentation, look no further than the 24 karat gold pipette for use in conjunction with the carafe of spring water taken directly from the distillery’s water source.
But Wait! There’s More!
Now, I get it. All of the above are useful and applicable to enjoying the whiskey (well, not the gem-encrusted egg). However, we’re not done. And this is where things get interesting. The collection sports 7 one-of-a-kind bespoke “Altruist timepieces” (ie: a watch. They’ve included a watch with this – “Why?” You may wonder. “Why Not!” Says I/TCIWC/Fabergé.) which reflect the significance and symbolism of the 7 Irish Wonders. Each is encased in rose gold, has sapphire crystals, a brown alligator strap, and is water resistant up to 30 metres.
And cigar smokers, rejoice! Because we’re still not done, and now we move to the cigar portion of the collection – a hand forged, gold-plated cigar cutter made with “Japanese tempered surgical stainless-steel blades for a sharp and precise cut to allow the perfect amount of smoke through.” Of course, they’re including “the holy grail of collectible cigars” along with that handy dandy cigar cutter – it would really be a shame to use it on anything less than the best, after all. So, get ready for two “ultra-rare Cohiba Siglo VI Grand Reserva” which, of course, come safely stored in their own mini humidor.
Surely we must be done by now, right? Oh no, dear reader. There’s more. Craft Irish Whiskey Co. and Fabergé have realized it might be inconvenient toting this expensive box of goodies around to enjoy your precious whiskey, so they’ve also included a glass and Obsidian flask, which also holds a sample of the 30yr whiskey! It was even designed with a curve to match the owner’s hip – now wasn’t that thoughtful?
If all of the bells and whistles (and gemstones!) weren’t enough to pique your fancy and get you to jump into the bidding, maybe these tasting notes (courtesy of Craft Irish Whiskey Co.) will make you rethink.
Colour: Deep, Rich Treacle
Nose: Butter toffee and chocolate fudge, followed by maple syrup. As time moves on, hints of brine and tobacco come to the fore.
Palate: A powerful combination of old leather-bound books up front with slight tobacco smoke backdrop. Really silky smooth with some cherry drop notes interwoven with ripe banana and residual caramel. The back palate gives way to Christmas cake spices that flow flawlessly into the finish.
Finish: A wonderful long and decadent finish with hints of creamy meringue and vanilla cigar smoke that transform into a hint of spice and sweetened leather that will be with you when you wake the next day.
While there was some light ribbing in this piece, the proceeds from the auctions (which are held over the course of the year) go to charity – 50% goes to the Correa Family Foundation with the other 50% going to the winner’s charity of choice. So, that’s pretty cool.
To explore this colossal offering for yourself and check out their video, GO HERE.