Whisky lovers clink glasses to welcome top drop
Two bottles of Scotch whisky - part of a small batch believed to be the world's most expensive ever retailed - have arrived in Australia looking for buyers willing to part with a cool $200,000.
The "Tribute To Honour" whisky is the new pinnacle of the Royal Salute range, the high-end brand of Scotland's Chivas Brothers distillery. Only 21 bottles have been made and blender Colin Scott (pictured) is adamant there will be no more.
The whisky draws upon "exquisite, precious and scarce" whiskies from Royal Salute's vault at Strathisla in Scotland, all of which are at least 45 years old.
"Chivas Brothers has a phenomenal archive of high-aged whiskies some of which, after decades of careful maturation, have acquired a rich intensity and deep concentration of sumptuous characters," says Scott, who has been the company's master blender for 23 years.
The presentation of the Tribute To Honour to Australian media was accompanied by a tasting of the prestigious Royal Salute range, starting with the 21-year-old Royal Salute 21 that was created to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's 1953 coronation and began the Royal Salute tradition.
No one, though, save for Scott himself and the 21 buyers who will each fork over $200,000, has tasted the Tribute To Honour, helping to maintain its exclusivity. Scott describes the pinnacle of his range as "spectacular".
Royal Salute turned to the world's oldest jeweller to royalty, Garrard, to create a worthy vessel for the whisky.
The flagon is made of hand-cast black porcelain that contains 413 flawless white and black diamonds, 22 carats of gemstones and gold detailing that includes golden lions sitting either side of a diamond-encrusted sword.
Each flagon took days to make by Garrard's craftsmen and is believed to contribute around $50,000 to the overall price.
Each individually numbered, one-litre flagon of the Tribute To Honour whisky is accompanied by a 200 millilitre flask of the same drop. This is to be enjoyed by owners who want to taste the world's most expensive whisky but who prefer to keep their investment intact.
It is believed that six of the 21 flagons have already been sold - including two on one night recently in Las Vegas - and the two examples brought to Australia will be held at Melbourne's Crown Casino.