Whisky Advocate

New: Dalmore “Sirius” (@£10,000/bottle!)

October 5th, 2009

Here’s another ultra-expensive, ultra-rare whisky coming on the market. Let’s see, the list is growing: Gold Bowmore, Glenfiddich 50 year old, Dalmore 50 year old, The Macallan Lalique 57 year old, Highland Park 1964, Highland Park 50 year old (coming next year). Amy I missing any?

The press release is below. Yes, I’m getting a review sample. (I know it’s my job, but I’m actually beginning to feel guilty.) Older Dalmores have the ability to be outstanding. I’ll let you know how this one turned out. 

Dalmore1951Decanter-LOWDalmore Releases £10,000 Malt Whisky

05/10/09: Glasgow, UK: A rare 1951-vintage single malt whisky with a RSP of £10,000 per bottle will be released today (Monday 5 October).

Only 12 decanters of the Sirius expression from premium whisky brand The Dalmore will be produced. Sirius will only be available to private buyers and through a limited network of World Duty Free (WDF) stores.

“The international market for high-end luxury products which have an investment value is buoyant – and the finest whiskies are playing an increasingly dominant role in this sector,” says The Dalmore’s Brand Director, David Robertson.

“Our partnership with World Duty Free allows us to reach an elite group of investors and whisky aficionados across the globe. We will be focusing on key target markets in Taiwan, USA and France.”

Sirius will be launched in the flagship WDF store at Heathrow Terminal 5. Nigel Sandals, Category Buying Manager for Liquor at WDF, adds: “Our customer base contains some of the most knowledgeable investors in spirits in the world.

“Being able to offer the absolute best-quality luxury goods is a very strong incentive for buyers to use travel retail and World Duty Free – as they would a specialist retailer – to get exceptional value and to see a real return on their investment.”

The Dalmore’s 1951 Sirius Vintage is a single-cask, single malt whisky, with a cask strength of 45%.

The Dalmore Master Distiller, Richard Paterson, says: “Distinguished and elegant, age has gracefully finessed this brilliant expression. Sirius is, quite simply, one of the world’s most perfect whiskies.”

For more information about The Dalmore visit www.thedalmore.com

26 Responses to “New: Dalmore “Sirius” (@£10,000/bottle!)”

  1. bgulien says:

    What is it with these distilleries?
    What can be so expensive about a whisky, that maybe taste bad, average or very good, but nobody will ever know, because nobody will ever open that bottle.
    Good PR for Mr. Paterson, but that’s all.

  2. Jeff Frane says:

    That was actually my question: “Will anyone ever drink this?”

    I simply do not understand a market in which the object will be passed from hand to hand, gathering “value” over the years and never be touched. At least artworks can be viewed, but I think anyone will to spend £10,000 for a bottle of whisky is daft.

  3. Bill H. says:

    Why daft? I’ve spent $300 well-spent on a bottle of whisky and most of my friends think I’m daft for it, but that’s a judgment relative to our incomes. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there with incomes that dwarf mine, with a thing for Dalmore, and little concerned for how or whether this will appreciate over time who’d be happy to buy rare and precious 50 yo whisky for consumption.

  4. John Lamond says:

    It all comes down to rarity value. With the Diageo Manager’s Choice range, you are looking at young whisies. With this, it is a 58 years old whisky. Richard paterson would not put out something which was less than absolutely fabulous, so you can be certain that, if you buy this and drink it, you will have a truly memorable experience and, once your bottle is finished, you will have the knowledge that you drank a whisky at the epitome of its maturation. Effectively, you drank heritage.
    The alcoholic content, at 45% abv, shows just how much evapouration the cask has suffered. The cost of laying that spirit down for 50+ years, the loss of about 90% of its liquid content and about 40% of its alcoholic content are expensive cost elements. Thus, any bottling of what remains of this cask is going to be a top end luxury product. Is it worth £10,000 a bottle? As I said, all Richard’s top end bottlings have been pretty marvellous.
    If I had the money, I would buy and – and drink it!

  5. Red_Arremer says:

    The reputed quality of older Dalmores not withstanding, the ultimate fantasy of this marketing strategy would be to price something so high and hype it so much that absolutely nobody will ever ever dare drink it.

    Then fill the bottle with richly caramel coloured water, distribute it to duty free shops and let the money pour in.

  6. I think a lot of these super high-end bottlings are largely marketing gimmicks. Just think of how much press Glenfiddich got for the 50 year.

  7. Rick Duff says:

    John,
    wondering how many drops they’ll put into your sample. Probably using an eye-dropper to fill. The price probably makes it worth about 1 pound per drop.

  8. Bruichladdict says:

    I have two words for you…

    Glen Wonka.

    …come to think of it, I think Gene Wilder would be the perfect casting for Mel Brooks’ film tribute to Richard Paterson.

  9. John Hansell says:

    Rick, let’s put it this way. I don’t think I’ll be chugging the stuff. :)

  10. patrick says:

    it was already released before Monday 5th, since the bottle was on display already at Heathrow on Sunday…

  11. John Hansell says:

    Patrick, I’m sure they wanted to have it in stock and ready to go before the press release came out.

  12. Sku says:

    Only 12 bottles? So it will be tasted by about the same number of people who listen to Sirius radio then? It is purty though. I don’t mind this as much as the Diageo thing. As others have said, this actually appears to be a valuable whiskey. Sure, I’ll never taste it, but neither will 99.999% of whiskey fans in the world. And this level of pricing and quantity is such that I doubt it will affect prices across the market; it’s more of a vanity product, like the places that make $10,000 cheese burgers with gilded lettuce and foie gras served on a one-of-a-kind plate designed by a famous artist, etc., etc.

    I wonder if they will even sell all 12 bottles.

  13. John Hansell says:

    My friend Kevin over that The Scotch Blog also has some more refreshing news of a new Dalmore 18 year old: something to take a little less Sirius-ly. :)

    Serge, over at WhiskyFun already has a review of it.

  14. bgulien says:

    Another question:
    What with the rest of the cask?
    Probably sold to the blenders.
    And I don’t mean this as a negative, I tasted some very good, old blends.
    But somehow I remember the fact that whisky will peak at 30-40 years and then steadily degenerate.
    John, can you enlighten us, because I think you tasted more “old” whiskies then I have.
    I too had Glen Wonka on my mind when I read this.
    Put the whole thing in perspective.
    BTW. my most expensive bottles where a Bruichladdich Blacker Still and a Port Ellen 7th annual release.
    Both around $300 and that’s the limit for me.

  15. John Hansell says:

    bgulien, at this age, there might be very little in the cask. The rest could have been use for other blends, promotional purposes, etc.

    Yes, most whiskies beyond 30-40 start going downhill. But some distilleries with a good pedigree (Dalmore is one of those), if carefully maintained and aged in a good cask, can still taste great at 50. Dalmore is one of those distilleries.

  16. Bruichladdict says:

    The Balvenie produced a 50 yo cask which yielded 85 bottles. I don’t think any of the Dalmore cask went into a blend…probably being held back to limit supply and generate a buzz. This is part of the Dalmore strategy: to be more like it’s master distiller and HAM it up as much as possible.

  17. Josh says:

    Wow. Yet another astronomically priced whisky that most mortals will never drink. Wonderful.

    I guess Vijay Mallya has to come up with some way to make his acquisition of Whyte & Mackay pay off…

  18. I really hate it that you’re feeling guilty, John.

    I would be remiss if I didn’t offer to relieve you of some of that guilt. You’ve got my address.

    That aside, @Sku … I’m with you on this not being comparable to Diageo.

  19. B.J. Reed says:

    I do hear that Albertson’s Scotch Whisky is talking about moving from plastic to glass and increasing the bottle to $20 :0)

  20. Steffen Bräuner says:

    You can’t compare this to Diageo
    Dalmore don’t have thousands of similar cask (I guess!)
    It aged for longer
    It is therefore rare and hard to reproduce. Apart from the price this is also inaccesible to me due the bottle numbers
    It’s great marketing and I bet quite a few of these will be used at tastings

    Macdeffe

  21. Andy says:

    Mr Lamond is bang on the money – I’ve also been lucky enough to try Mr Patersons top end bottlings and each has been stunning – The Dalmore remains an exceptional malt, especially when aged well.

    I too loath the thought of ‘collecting’ whisky, but don’t forget the last bottle of 62 year old Dalmore was bought for 30 odd grand and drank on the spot by the buyer and his friends – or so the story goes!

  22. My guess would be that Dalmore didn’t bottle all of the cask’s content. Perhaps they felt that the whisky was capable to mature even longer. 17 years to go for a Dalmore 75. And perhaps there will even be a little left for the Dalwonka 100

  23. John Hansell says:

    Good point Oliver. They might still be holding some for a later bottling.

  24. Texas says:

    Considering it’s age, this makes a whole lot more sense than the Diageo Manager’s Series pricing.

  25. […] here in the states.  Anyway, you can read all the uber-expensive details at Whisky for Everyone, What Does John Know, Edinburgh Whisky, and of course Richard Paterson has some […]

  26. […] was recently replaced by the slightly more expensive Gran Reserva and the uber-expensive Dalmore Sirius.  It also doesn’t hurt that Richard Paterson, the Master Blender for Whyte and MacKay, is […]

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