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Whisky Wars! $628k The Macallan versus world's cheapest brand

21-Jan-2014
Last updated on 25-Jan-2014 at 09:41 GMT - By Ben Bouckley+
The world's priciest whisky comes in a bottle like any other, apart from Black Booster
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After a rare bottle of The Macallan sold for $628,000 at a Hong Kong auction last week, we rate it against what seems to be world's cheapest whisky...

Sotheby's January 18 auction for ‘Finest and Rarest Wines and The Macallan pulled in $3.8m in total, and the top lot was The Macallan 6-liter ‘M’ Decanter by Lalique that fetched more than its $500,000 estimate.

The auctioneers said the previous record was achieved by Sotheby’s New York in 2010 when The Macallan 64 year-old in Lalique Cire Perdue was sold at $460,000.

Now clearly we're highly unlikely to ever sample either, but wouldn't it be interesting to compare The Macallan 'M' special edition ($94,200 per 750ml, to use the standard bottle measure) against what - after a cursory Google search, so apologies if I'm overlooking the true holder of this title - appears to be the 'world's cheapest whisky'?

Namely Armaan's Black Booster Whisky from Kadko, a 'premium quality' spirit last seen sloshing around Sierra Leone in circa.2011, resplendent in oversized PET at a competitive 54.7 cents/750ml, clearly something of a bargain if Black Booster didn't appear in a receptacle ominously reminiscent of an anti-freeze container, as the site The Truth About Bartending points out.

VALUE:

There's only one winner here, with Black Booster delivering a (no doubt pretty sizeable) bang for a little over three bucks. Even adjusting for inflation since 2011 we betcha it ain't selling at a comparable price point to The Macallan. Companies like Diageo always talk about consumers 'trading up' to spirits in emerging markets. Clearly they've got a fight on their hands with Black Booster. Ho ho!

Presumably, if you can afford this The Macallan special edition in the first place, you can expect a sizable return on your investment, provided you don't drop the bottle or invite your heavy drinking Uncle Reginald to stay.

Black Booster - 10/10
The Macallan - 5/10

TASTE:

We haven't tasted the drinks, we're not prejudiced, but wild horses wouldn't make me try Black Booster (it has a sportive horse logo so forgive the metaphor), and The Macallan is a little out of our price range.

Black Booster -1/10
The Macallan - 10/10

IMAGE:

There's something a little sad in our modern world about buying drinks for investment purposes, as objects to trade, rather than, err..., drinking them. That said, no-one can dispute the cachet of owning The Macallan, given its packaging and the fact it clearly contains a high quality liquid, while Black Booster (even if you might not touch it for wholly different reasons) at least presents a talking point, while you can always treat people you dislike to a glass.

The Macallan - 8/10
Black Booster - 6/10

UTILITY:

The Truth About Bartending recommends uses for Black Booster as varied as rust removal, porcelain polish or a temporary blinding agent, that's presuming you can even stomach opening it, I suppose...

The Macallan - 2/10
Black Booster - 8/10

Totting up the points... it's a dead rubber! Although that's allowing for the fact that Black Booster does not even deserve the name whisky. But that's just splitting hairs.

Related topics: Premium Indulgence, Markets, Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cider