Alcohol has been around for centuries, with beer reportedly as old as civilization itself. In more recent times, bidding wars for bottles of beer, wine and other booze have erupted and pushed prices of certain bottles to all-time highs. Here are some of the most expensive bottles to have ever sold at auction.
Most Expensive Wine
According to the "Guinness Book of Records," the most expensive bottle of wine to ever sell at auction occurred on Nov.16, 2010. The price was 192,000 British pounds, or approximately US$304,375 and the bottle was a 1947 vintage of French winery Cheval Blanc. The auction occurred in Switzerland and the wine was of the Bordeaux variety. According to the wineries website, 1947 is considered Cheval Blanc's most famous vintage of the 20th century, which was characterized by near-perfect growing conditions and highly-concentrated grapes that proved ideal for the wine-making process. To demonstrate the longterm approach the winery takes to create each vintage, it is already preparing for the 2031 vintage, which should be out in April, 2032.
Most Expensive Beer
The most expensive beer also sold at auction. Reported by thisiswiltshire.com, the winning bid was reportedly more than $16,000 for a single bottle. The beer wasn't sold for its taste, but rather because it was famously one of six to be recovered from the wreckage of the crash of the Hindenburg airship, which crashed in May, 1937. The label was listed to be of Deutsche Zeppelin Reedrei, which is the airline that operated the Hindenburg. Beer brand Lowenbrau is said to be in possession of one of the bottles, though it isn't certain if it was this brewer's beer in the famous, expensive bottle.
Most Expensive Drinkable Beer
In the drinkable beer category, the prices appear a bit more reasonable, but are still quite lofty considering the average beer sells for a couple of dollars per bottle. The most expensive bottle of drinkable beer found was sold in 2010 for $800. The sale occurred in Australia and was for a bottle of Antarctic Nail Ale, brewed by Nail Brewing in Perth, Australia. The proceeds went to a good cause as well, benefiting the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Most Expensive Scotch
The most expensive bottle of scotch reportedly sold back in 2007 for $54,000 to fall in between the most expensive wine and beer. The vintage was 1926 and the bottle was distilled by Macallen in 1986 after spending 60 years aging in a wooden barrel. Macallen was established in 1543 in Scotland, which serves as home to some of the most storied and expensive vintages in the industry. Its finest and rare collection starts with the famous 1926 vintage and Cask 263. It continues to 1989, or just 21 years ago. The alcohol strength is 42.6%, which also makes it one of the strongest scotch vintages out there.
Clearly, the winning bidders for the most expensive bottles of alcohol have little intention of ever drinking their purchases. In the case of the beer recovered from the Hindenburg, ingesting it might be downright dangerous. However, the winners have bragging rights for owning the most sought after bottles, until a future auction eclipses these recent prices paid.