Elite Traveler Winter 2021



When Midleton Very Rare revealed its Silent Distillery collection in 2020, it proved there was an appetite for ultra-premium Irish whiskey. Chapter One, a 45 Year Old, was the oldest and most expensive Irish whiskey at the time. More important, it was a splendid dram. But Midleton Very Rare outdid itself 12 months later with the release of an even better, even older whiskey: a 46 Year Old. Priced at $45,000 ($5,000 more than Chapter One), the Silent Distillery Chapter Two told us what we already knew: Whether it comes from Ireland or Scotland, demand is increasing. The 70cl bottle also came with a small sample of the whiskey, allowing would-be collectors to at least try the whiskey before stashing it away. After all, something this good needs to be drunk. The liquid was first aged in bourbon and sherry casks for 20 years and then remarried in refill bourbon casks. It had a short stint in flavorsome port pipes before finally reaching its peak in a single bourbon cask. The result is a deeply complex whiskey offering spice and sweetness. Notes of oak and hazelnuts combine with apples and lemons before giving way to stronger finish of star anise and ginger. There was just enough whiskey from that single cask to fill 70 bottles, immediately making it one of the rarest releases in the history of Irish whiskey. $45,000, midletonveryrare.com


Industry experts have long speculated that rum would follow Scotch’s lead in the collectability stakes. In 2021, those predictions started to ring true with the release of the ultra-premium Dictador Generations en Lalique. To create it, master blender Hernan Parra used some of the Colombian company’s finest casks from 1976. Successfully nursing rum for over four decades requires dedication and skill. Due to the heat and humidity, the ageing process can be three times faster compared to the Scottish Highlands. But the hard work has paid off in more ways than one. Bottled at 43%, the liquid has a level of complexity on par with any aged Scotch. The rum offers notes of dark chocolate and rich leather before a natural sweetness takes over, with layers of black cherry and orange peel. An exceptional and complex tasting experience is rounded off with a strong toasted-cigar tobacco finish. A special liquid needs a special decanter, so Dictador asked the French artisans of Lalique to create something that would allow the rum’s natural color to reverberate around whatever room it was sitting in. It obviously caught the eye of a few enthusiastic bidders at Sotheby’s. Bottle 0 of 300 (the ‘proof bottle’) sold for $41,950, a record for a rum sale at the auction house. The other 300 were made available through Dictador’s concierge service for just shy of $20,000. $19,500, dictador.com

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