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Drink The Last Bottling Of Glenrothes 50 Year Old Single Malt Sells For £39,000

The Last Bottling Of Glenrothes 50 Year Old Single Malt Sells For £39,000

The Last Bottling Of Glenrothes 50 Year Old Single Malt Sells For £39,000
This historic bottle is one of a kind (Photo: The Glenrothes)
By Tatler Dining
March 18, 2021
Tatler Dining+ The Glenrothes
An anonymous bidder won a piece of the distillery’s history in a virtual auction, with proceeds going to their charity of choice

If you’re looking to buy a bottle of The Glenrothes’ 50-year-old single malt—you’re out of luck. The Speyside distillery recently auctioned off the last bottling of its oldest ever release in a virtual event delivered by Bonhams. The winning bid came in at £39,000—almost HK$422,000—and the anonymous bidder now has the honour of selecting the charity to which The Glenrothes will donate the proceeds. The lucky individual also scored an exclusive invitation to The Glenrothes’ usually private estate and distillery on Speyside, where they’ll get to meet the people who know what it takes to make great whisky.

This once-in-a-generation whisky is the last of a release of 50, bottled in a faceted crystal decanter handcrafted by Edinburgh-based jewellers and Royal Warrant holder Hamilton & Inches. Decanter #50, as it is known, is decorated with 22-carat gold from Scotland’s first and only gold mine and presented in a black lacquer case. An engraved gold collar around the neck of the decanter proudly states ‘The 50th of 50’ and complements the gold frame and hand-cut letters and numbers that declare the whisky’s rare age. This unique collaboration between The Glenrothes and Hamilton & Inches is a testament to Scottish passion and craftsmanship.


Scarcity and longevity often command top dollar, but these qualities make up only part of the story. Distilled in 1968 then matured in sherry and bourbon oak casks from Jerez for half a century, The Glenrothes 50 is a time capsule that reflects a particular harvest from long ago and the legacy of the people who once worked at the distillery.

The oldest whiskies may not always have the richest flavour, but one can’t deny their unique quality. After all, only a small number of special barrels can ride out the full 50 years of maturation to produce a few precious bottles of whisky with flavours that are simply impossible to recreate in a short timeframe. Such whisky is an expression of a bygone era—a piece of history to savour. The only question that remains is whether the bidder will store it or pour it.

At the auction, The Glenrothes’ master whisky maker Laura Rampling discussed their 50-year-old single malt’s distinctive profile. Its nose evokes a cascade of fragrant woody spices that lilt between cedar and cloves, with grounding notes of linseed oil and rich muscovite sugar and just a hint of jasmine. A drama of complexity reveals itself on the tongue: flares of cardamom, fennel seeds and vanilla pods give an intensely sweet and spicy hit, while notes of cedar play throughout. A delicate and refined finish follows, with a gentle lingering of the woody spices.

If you’re feeling pangs of FOMO and aren’t friends with the few people who managed to snag one of The Glenrothes 50, the master whisky maker has some words of comfort for you:

“While this is the last of our 50-year-old, we have more exciting releases coming later this year and during 2022. These include exclusive single casks, a new 40-year-old collection and some very special limited bottlings,” says Rampling.

Don’t say we didn’t give you a heads up. Stay tuned for the next opportunity to own a dram of Glenrothes history.


Drink The Glenrothes whisky single malt auction


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