The World's Oldest Scotch Sold For A Surprisingly Low Price

An aged Scotch is definitely something to marvel at and behold. Its complexity ripens with age, as does its prestige and price tag. But every bottle has its price limit. According to Food & Wine, The Reach, an 81-year-old single malt liquor, has just been sold. However, the price for what's been dubbed the world's oldest Scotch might surprise you. 

Just like bourbon or rye, Scotch is a type of whisky. However, in order to be legally deemed Scotch, Imbibe explains that the spirit must be made from malted barley distilled only in Scotland and matured in oak barrels for a minimum of 3 years. However, some distillers opt to age spirits for longer, which multiplies their worth. If you've ever wondered why the value of aged whisky increases, it's mainly because of two reasons: Taste and quantity. As Scotch ages, its alcohol content reduces, resulting in a smoother taste. However, The Good Stuff explains that in addition to a lower ABV, its volume also lowers, making the liquid even rarer and consequently, more valuable, just like The Reach.

The Scotch is worth a modest $340,000

Unveiled to the public earlier this year, The Macallan stated that The Reach single malt Scotch was distilled at the estate in 1940 and had been maturing in a single sherry-seasoned oak cask ever since — even as the distillery had to temporarily close its doors during WWII. To commemorate its launch, the distillery decided to pour the smooth and sweet smoky liquid into mouth-blown glass decanters, each cradled by three bronze hands meant to represent those who helped craft the Scotch.

Making history as the longest-ever cask-aged whisky, many were quick to guess what the spirit would be worth, as some whiskies have previously sold for millions. Despite producing only 288 of the ultra-rare spirit, Sotheby's estimated that The Macallan's The Reach 81 Years Old would sell more modestly, between £110,000 and £200,000. Though Food & Wine reports that the spirit sold well beyond the estimated amount, reaching £300,000 (roughly $340,000) and beating the previous record held by Decanter #1 of Gordon & Macphail, one can't help but wonder why this new record-breaking Scotch didn't sell for an equally record-breaking amount. Blame it on age, rarity, or origin, it's still worth more than many of us can imagine.