Reflection Of Rarity

The Reach, The Macallan At 81 Years Old

It’s the oldest whisky released by The Macallan, a distillery located above the river Spey in north-east Scotland, an extraordinarily rare single malt whisky drawn from a single, oak-sherry seasoned cask. Crafted in the 1940s during the War, The Reach, The Macallan At 81 Years Old is encased in an exquisite decanter created from mouth-blown hot glass, indented with subtle fingerprints that match the three-hand bronze sculpture by Saskia Robinson, which cradles it, and represents the spirit of collaboration. Inside, the whisky’s deep auburn hue tempts one to plunge into its astonishing depth. Notes of dark chocolate, sweet cinnamon, and aromatic peat, leading to toffee, followed by crystallised ginger and charred pineapple, give way to a rich, smoky finish. It is limited to 288 decanters worldwide.

Price: $125,000

Apogée Of Elegance

Hennessy Paradis Imperial

From any given harvest, the average number of eaux-de-vie with the potential to join the blend of the Hennessy Paradis Imperial one day are few and far between — only 10 out of 10,000. Master blender Yann Fillioux chooses several hundreds of these blends (30 to 130 years old) from the largest eaux-de-vie library in the world. On the nose, there’s a whiff of summer flowers (jasmine and orange); on the palate, there is return to floral notes, revealing a spicy smokiness. It comes in a crystal glass decanter designed by Stéphanie Balini, with an 18k gold-plated label.

Price: $3,500

Diamonds Are Forever

Billionaire Vodka

It is the world’s most expensive vodka, launched in 2015 by stylish designer Leon Verres. It uses diamonds to encase the Russian spirit. The exterior, the bottle, is a deep black faux fur ‘dress’ with a fitting fur hood or ‘shapka’, as the cap of the bottle. Inside, the connoisseur will find 18 litres of vodka distilled from pure wheat and crystal-clear water. The vodka is filtered using crushed diamonds.

Price: $3,75,000

Wedded Bliss

Balvenie Fifty: Marriage 0614

This single malt is literally the ‘marriage’ of seven 50-year-old American and European oak casks by the legendary David Stewart MBE, and made in The Balvenie distillery in Speyside, Scotland. The Balvenie Fifty: Marriage 0614 is rich and deep on the nose with notes of dark spices and fruit cake, with sweeter aromas of dried fruits throughout, ending with a ginger spiciness. The liquid is rich on the palate, and there are hints of bitter chocolate followed by an intense spiciness, which is balanced with the sweetness of honey, maple syrup and oak tannins. The finish is rich, with sweet oaky spiced notes. It is limited to 148 bottles globally.

Price: $45,000

The Monk With Attitude

Dom Pérignon 2003 Plénitude 2

From the heart of the Champagne region in France comes Dom Pérignon, owned by Moët & Chandon, part of the LVMH Group. It is a vintage wine (it can only be produced from the grapes of a single year). For each vintage, a limited number of bottles is set aside in the cellars for longer maturation (higher than the normal 8 years). After 15 years, the Dom Pérignon reaches a state of Plénitude, its ‘second life’ or P2. The Plénitude of the 2003 vintage expresses the rich and meaty maturity of freshly picked apricot, followed by the fruitiness of raspberry and fig.

Price: $450; The Plénitude 3 vintage 1971 was sold at auction for $47,780

Jay-Z Calling

Armand De Brignac Ace Of Spades Brut Gold Champagne

The Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades Brut Gold is the most iconic cuvée (juice from the first pressing of the grapes) of the maison. This champagne has a rich and flowery nose that highlights the three varieties of grape that compose it — one third chardonnay, one third pinot noir, and one third pinot meunier. It’s an elegant, creamy champagne with brioche, toastiness, and ripe fruit notes. The brand, produced by the Cattier family, was bought by iconic rapper Shawn (Jay-Z) Carter in 2014, after which LVMH Group bought half the stake. It is aged in a special, gated section of cellars, that’s 119 steps underground.

Price: 750 ml for $285; 30 litre Midas for $65,000 (on order)

Deep Forest

Glenmorangie Truffle Oak Reserve, Aged 26 Years

Singularly deep and complex, this rare single malt from the north-east of Scotland is long finished in ‘truffle oak’ casks crafted from the oak trees of Germany’s Black Forest. Their exceptionally porous wood, seldom used at Glenmorangie, brings a distinctive nuttiness to this spirit. The vibrant amber-gold Truffle Oak Reserve by Glenmorangie was released in 2019, in a limited batch of 1,000 bottles.

Price: €2,500

Crafted in India

Sensory Sensation

Born in and named after the village of Indri (Indriya in Sanskrit, which denotes the five senses), in Haryana, Indri-Trini Single Malt is made at the Piccadilly Distillery that stocks 40,000 barrels of spirit and churns out 12,000 liters of malt spirit a day. What’s remarkable about this single malt is that it’s matured in three different kinds of wood — American oak (ex-bourbon), ex-wine casks from Bordeaux, and PX Sherry casks from Portugal or Spain. It was launched on Diwali, in 2021, and since then it’s been going places, literally.

Price: ₹3,150 onwards

Desert Spirit

This single malt is made in the deserts of Rajasthan. This year, Diageo India launched Godawan, also called The Spirit of the Desert. The heat of over 100°F combined with six-row barley that requires less water, helps create a whisky with a depth of flavour, and a rich and complex character. The aridity means the ‘Angel’s share’ is higher than average in Godawan — leaving behind a whisky with stunning taste profiles. ‘Angel’s share’ is the amount of whisky lost during the ageing process.

Price: ₹3,000 onwards

Himalayan High

The Hapusa Special Edition – Distiller’s Cut, is bottled at a high alcohol strength. This just-launched sipping gin can be enjoyed straight from the freezer or as part of a Martini or a Negroni, and has a taste experience that is richer and more complex than the original. At Hapusa’s core is the untamed aroma of the Himalayan Juniper, which is further complemented by the tartness of raw mango, the earthiness of fresh turmeric and the freshness of Gondhoraj lime peels along with other indigenous botanicals.

Price: ₹3,000

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