The ultimate drinks cabinet: 10 collectible alcoholic beverages

justCollecting

justCollecting

2017-02-22 16:32:51

OK. So you've got the snazzy home bar. What you need now are the collectible drinks to go with it.

Here's how to build a drinks collection to astound your guests, in 10 easy steps.

Beer: Antarctic Nail Ale

Antarctic Nail Ale is the world's most expensive beer.

Why so?

Because the water used in the brewing process comes from an Antarctic iceberg. As such, it's strictly limited edition – with only 30 bottles produced.

Australia based Nail Brewing crafted the 10% abv pale ale in 2010, with all proceeds going to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

"It is great to sell the most expensive bottle of beer in the world but it is all about a good cause," said the company's brewer, John Stallwood.

Expect to pay close to $2,000 for one of the 30 at auction today, more than double the $800 rrp in 2010.

Vodka: Studer Classic Vodka

You could spend a fortune buying jewel-encrusted vodka bottles, or on vodkas distilled through diamonds to extract impurities…

…or you could buy what the vodka aficionados buy: Studer Classic Vodka.

This three-time-distilled vodka uses pure Alpine water from Switzerland. A vodka of this quality doesn't need a fancy bottle, but it gets one anyway – and even this is tastefully done, featuring a glass mountain.

Expect to pay around $75.

Whisky: Bottles salvaged from the SS Politician

In 1941, the SS Politician, bound for Kingston, Jamaica, ran aground off the coast of Eriskay in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. In the hold of the huge freighter were hundreds of crates of whisky.

Enterprising locals – bereft of whisky due to wartime shortages - dived down and rescued around 24,000 of the 264,000 bottles on board, secreting them (often unsuccessfully) around the Outer Hebrides to avoid detection by the Customs and Excise men.

The episode has gone down in folklore and supplied the storyline for the book and film Whisky Galore!

The few bottles that weren't drunk (or destroyed by the government) auction for around $7,500 today.

Wine: DRC Romanee-Conti

Want to show off your wine connoisseur credentials with one purchase?

Opt for a Burgundy from wine producer Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, or DRC for short.

DRC produces seven bottlings, each from a different vineyard. Go for DRC's flagship Romanee-Conti. Just 5,000 bottles are produced each year, on average.

Expect to pay close around $13,000 for one. More still for top vintages 1990 and 2005.

Champagne: Krug Clos d’Ambonnay 2000

Champagne isn't like wine. It doesn't age in the bottle. In fact, if you leave it too long, it goes off. So collectible Champagne generally means old Champagne. Too old to drink, but with a fascinating story.

But collectors are making an exception with this one: the Krug Clos d’Ambonnay 2000, released in 2015.

Krug created just 5,000 bottles of this single-vineyard champers. It is the company's only blanc de noirs cuvee, which is white wine created from red grapes.

$3,000 should get you one.

Brandy: L’Art de Martell Cognac

Martell released just 1997 specially designed bottles of L’Art de Martell Cognac to mark Hong Kong's return to China 20 years ago – a country known for its Cognac consumption.

Today, brandy buffs and historians alike enjoy owning them. 

The price? Around $5,000. 

Port: Taylor's 1945

Taylor's 1945 vintage is the most collectible port around.

For starters, so called "victory vintages" co-inciding with the end of the second world war have great appeal to collectors.

Then there's the fact the 1945 is regarded as one of Taylor's finest years . And then there's rarity. At more than 70 years old, few have not been drunk.

Pick one up today from liquor specialists for around $600 to $1,250 – depending on condition.

Tequila: Partida Elegante

Handcrafted bottles. Each individually numbered. Aged for more than three years. A warming taste of honey, oak and spice.

That's why Partida Elegante sells for around $500 – if you can find it.

Rum: world's oldest rum

There's a distasteful story behind the world's oldest rum. Because this liquor was produced by slaves in Barbados in the 1780s before being shipped to Harewood House - a stately home in Yorkshire, UK.

It was there, just a few years ago, that several of the bottles were discovered. They routinely sell for more than $7,500 when they turn up at auction. 

Gin: Nolet’s Reserve Dry Gin

"Mother's ruin" remains popular with Brits, so it's no surprise many of the most collectible gins are produced in the UK.

But the Netherlands claims to having invented the stuff. And there's one company that's carrying on the tradition in remarkable style.

Nolet's Reserve Dry Gin is produced to a secret recipe. Word has it that saffron (one of the world's most expensive spices) is included in the concoction. That would help explain the $700 price tag. 

Absinthe: Tarragona

Few drinks have the mystique of this aniseed-flavoured mind-bender.

Those who have dabbled with the Green Fairy know she's a cruel mistress. Especially the following morning.

And at up to 74% abv, a couple of absinthe chasers can prompt even the most hardened drinker to "lose their inhibitions".

Fear not though, because bottles of Pernod's Tarragona from the 1950s (made in Spain – one of the few countries where production of absinthe wasn't banned) are a modest 68% abv. 

Expect to pay around $1,000 to own one of these rarities. 

 

 

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