Last of Nun's Island whiskey for €146,000


A rare bottle of Irish whiskey is up for sale for a record €146,000, making it the world's most expensive single malt.

The whiskey dates from the late 1800s and is believed to be the last surviving bottle from the Nun's Island distillery in Galway city, which ceased production in the early 19th century.

"It is a lot of money, but it's like looking for the last dinosaur really," Ken Thomas, an internet drinks seller based in southwest England said yesterday. "This is surely one of the rarest bottles in the world."

Thomas is selling the bottle on behalf of the owner, who inherited it. "This woman walked in with the bottle in an old carrier bag and said she thought it might be worth money, and the more I looked into it the more exciting it became," Thomas said.

He said he believed the whiskey would be in good condition should its eventual buyer actually pull the cork.

However, Ally Alpine of the Celtic Whiskey shop in Dublin described the price as "ridiculous".

"It sounds like a rare find, but I wouldn't think such a bottle is worth more than €5,000," he said.

Mr Alpine pointed out that whiskey doesn't age in the same way as many wines do. "Whiskey ages in the barrel; once it goes into the bottle the ageing stops."

The Nun's Island distillery founded by Burton Persse thrived for more than 60 years and eventually closed down in 1908. At its peak it had an output of 10,000 gallons a week and employed well over 100 people.

The previous record price paid for a bottle of "the water of life" was £47,000 (€67,000) forked out by a businessman in a hotel in southern England two months ago. The man and his friends reportedly polished off most of the 1943 vintage Dalmore 62 single Highland malt in an evening.

Earlier this year, a Hong Kong dealer bought six bottles of 1937 Glenfiddich rare collection for €40,400 each.