Mallya cheers as a bottle of Dalmore Scotch fetches $200,000

Santanu Sanyal | | Updated on: Sep 20, 2011

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya could not be happier. A bottle of 62-year old Dalmore Scotch, the product of a distillery belonging to Whyte & Mackay bought by Mallya's United Distillers in May 2007, recently fetched a record $200,000, making it the most expensive whisky ever sold. The buyer was an unknown Chinese businessman. The bottle was languishing in a glass case for six months in Singapore's Changi airport.

The price has risen $100,000 in 10 years, says Financial Times quoting Mallya as wondering. “How much will it be worth in another 10 years”. Mallya feels that the buyer has landed “ an absolute bargain.”

But when this pricey whisky was produced decades ago, Mallya was nowhere near the scene nor was Whyte & Mackay, which acquired the distillery only in 1960. The distillary then was run by the Mackenzies.

The Dalmore Scotch story indicates yet another interesting trend: the growing demand in Asia for anything costly. As the FT report points out, last year more than £700 million worth of Scotch was shipped from the UK to Asia. Also, in the first half of this year, Singapore unseated Spain as the third biggest market.

The weakness of the Indians for anything passing for Scotch too is well-known . As it is said, more Scotch is consumed in India than perhaps produced in Scotland. Whether rich Indian Scotch-lovers will be ready to pay that kind of price for a bottle of his choice is of course another matter.

The anonymous Chinese buyer of the Dalmore Scotch may never really discover the “ cornucopia of flavours and aromas” of the pricey tipple because, as the past experiences show, such buyers are more likely to do so to collect rather than to savour the drink.

Published on September 20, 2011
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