Some 105 years ago, a terrible fire destroyed the Aisla T’Orten distillery in the Highlands, after only one day of operation. Just one ceremonial cask survived the catastrophe and this is how the fascinating story of the oldest and most expensive whisky begins. The sherry butt spent most of the past hundred years in Aberdeen, in the basement of Allie Sisell, a Scottish historian. In 2010, Mr. Sisell contacted Master of Malt and sold the cask for what we can only guess to have been an enormous amount of money.
On March 8, 2011, the 105 years old spirit (it was distilled on February 17, 1906) was finally bottled by Master of Malt. After exhuming the contents, they were left with only 762 ml of whisky: twelve milliliters were tasted, 50 ml were kept for future generations and 700 ml were bottled into a single bottle.
According to the company’s sales director, Ben Ellefsen, the steep price – £870,000 or approximately $1.4 million – reflects only the special provenance of the spirit: “we’ve left out the extra cost incurred by fancy packaging”. Ellefsen also sais that the company hopes the buyer will enjoy the unique savor of the Aisla T’Orten 105 Years Old 1906 Liquid History and not just keep the bottle in a presentation case.
It’s amusing how a single bottle of whisky could cost more than what you could spend at an addiction recovery center for a year.