BELTSVILLE, MD - A Beltsville, MD liquor store is showcasing a bottle of the oldest and most valuable Japanese Whisky in existence. The "Yamazaki 55," can sell for up to a million dollars.
Lax Vinnakota is the owner of LAX Wine & Spirits on Baltimore Ave. in Beltsville and has the rare 55-year old whisky on display for people across the DMV to come see (presumably while they shop for other spirits). 200 bottles of the whisky were released in 2020 and 100 in 2021, with 44 of those bottles being distributed across the USA.
Vinnakota won't say what the bottle will sell for eventually, but average prices with tax range around $1 million dollars. Its exclusivity has led to the price going up dramatically at auction, according to Sotheby's.
According to the Yamazaki website, the whisky features a deep amber color; has an aroma "redolent of sandal wood" and a "sweet, mature bouquet like well-ripened fruit," - and the taste is sweet, slightly bitter - and a bit woody. The finish (or after-taste) is "slightly bitter" and has a "sweet, rich, lingering finish."
Yamazaki 55 on display at LAX Wine & Spirits
Japanese whisky has a particular following by people in Japan and around the world. Yamazaki is the flagship single malt whisky brand for Suntory (which is one of the oldest alcoholic beverage companies in Japan). Vinnakota says that the company offered him a bottle because of his "great partnership with the company."
The Yamazaki 55 however isn't the world's most expensive whisky ever sold. At an auction in 2019, a bottle of Macallan Fine and Rare 60 Year Old whiskey was sold for $1.9 Million. In 2021, a bottle of Irish whiskey was sold for over $2 million however the cost was largely due to it being encased in a fabergé egg.
All of this to say, the Yamazaki 55 nor the other high-end whiskies are the kind you'd put in a Manhattan, mix with soda, or drink in excess. If you consider the bottle is 750ml, and the average shot is 44ml, that's where a single shot of it could cost $58,000 - that is if any bar would dare to offer it - and if your palate is rich enough to afford it.