Few consumer product purveyors dare to trumpet the exorbitance of their prices as an actual virtue. But this is the spirits world, where flavour nuances are as subtle as they are subjective, and where bragging rights can be more of a draw than the fleeting liquid in the bottle.
The past few years have seen a parade of "rare," bottles proudly promoted at stratospheric prices. In 2005, a bottle of The Macallan 1926 single malt was ceremoniously sold for $75,000 (U.S.) at a liquor store in Seoul, while a bottle of The Dalmore 62 Years recently changed hands for $51,000. And various spirit companies routinely stage similar publicity events with precious bottles from supposedly long-lost casks that are miraculously uncovered in a corner of the distillery by accident.Curiously, most Scotches, if left in cask for 50 years, wouldn't be worth blending into a Rusty Nail. By that age, the wood tends to impart too much of a lumber flavour, turning the spirit into a syrupy goop with an aroma of stale church pew.