The 'World's Largest' Bottle of Single Malt Scotch Is Up for Auction
The five-foot, nine-inch bottle contains over 5,000 drams.
When assessing Scotch whisky, most people look at things like flavor, age, scarcity, and the overall pedigree of the distillery. That's why some bottles can sell for $1.9 million while others will go for about 30 bucks. But what if all you care about is sheer volume? If so, first, good luck with finals this semester. And second, do I have the opportunity for you: British site Just Whisky is auctioning what's being billed as the "world's largest bottle of single malt whisky" and bidding is open until Sunday.
If you purchase this bottle, hopefully you like 14-year-old Tomintoul Scotch, because you're getting plenty of it—105.3 liters to be exact (nearly 28 gallons). Just Whisky clarifies that's equal to 150 standard-size bottles or 5,250 drams—which should be more than enough for your Christmas party (with hopefully a little something left over for New Year's Eve).
The bottle itself is 4-foot, 9-inches tall and, filled, weighs just under 400 pounds. ("We can provide a shipping quote," Just Whisky's website unironically states.) Even the cork is insanely large: 20 centimeters long. And apparently filling the bottle—which took place at the Tomintoul Distillery, located in the Speyside region, on August 29, 2009—was a 14-person job.
"Every now and then the opportunity to purchase a truly unique bottle of whisky occurs—this is one of those times," Graham Crane, director and co-founder of Just Whisky, stated. "We're delighted to be auctioning this supersized bottle this month and hope that the lucky buyer has either an appropriate sized stocking for Christmas if it's a gift, or is planning a memorable Hogmanay celebration to welcome in 2020. There has already been a lot of interest and we are looking forward to seeing the bids roll in."
Speaking of which, Just Whisky says they expect the bottle to sell for more than £15,000, and with a couple of days to go, the current bid is just £1,000 short of that. Worth noting, bottles of Tomintoul 14 usually sell for around £45, so the buyer is definitely paying a premium here for buying in bulk. Additionally, the expected value of the bottle has varied significantly over the years: In 2012, the BBC pegged its value at "about £5,000," but in 2013, The Spirits Business reported that it didn't sell at auction after bids never reached the reserve price, despite expectations that the bottle would sell for "between £100,000 and £150,000." However, in the past couple of years we've seen the Scotch auction market explode, so it seems almost certain the bottle will find a new owner this time around.
Meanwhile, The Drinks Business points out that the "single malt" qualifier added to the largest bottle claim is also important. Back in 2012, The Famous Grouse produced a 228-liter bottle of blended Scotch, providing at least one example of a larger bottle of non-single malt whisky being available somewhere in the world.
But for (specifically) single malt lovers looking to treat themselves this holiday season, bidding is open until December 15 at 8 p.m. GMT.