A Whopping $54,000 Will Score You Highland Park's Oldest Whisky

A camera pans over the moss-covered metamorphic rocks that flank the lapping waters of a beach on the sweeping archipelago of the Scottish Highlands. Strings swell in the background while sea birds soar low over the tide. No, it's not a trailer for another period film about Mary, Queen of Scots. 

It's a promo video for what Highland Whisky bills as its "oldest and rarest whisky to date," aged for an impressive 54 years. (By comparison, a whisky aficionado in Kentucky might call a bottle vintage after a single decade.)

The sophisticated-looking single-malt Scotch, which is poured into a vessel by glass designer Michael Rudak and set into a polished wooden box by artist John Galvin, comes courtesy of "Master Whisky Maker" Gordon Motion, who's been aging it since 2008. What's the occasion, you ask? The Orkney-based heritage distillery is celebrating its 225th anniversary this year. 

If you're interested, you better have deep pockets. For whisky lovers to get their hands on the limited-edition liquor, they'll have to pony up $1,000 for each year it was aged. That's right — a single bottle of the birthday hooch costs $54,000, or around £45,200.

Liquid gold

When we say "limited-edition," we're not kidding. In light of its birthday year, Highland Whisky only produced 225 bottles of the 54-year Scotch. The whisky's lead creator, Gordon Motion, explains that the libation's deep "autumnal russet" color and "wonderful intensity of flavor" is thanks in part to its 10 specially chosen casks, which have been in production since the late 1960s. 

Motion describes the taste as "intensely sweet, rich, and complex," dropping notes of warm spices such as cumin, coriander, rose, jasmine, and "a hint" of kiwi and pistachio. We're sad to admit that we haven't visited Scotland enough times to parse every word Motion says in his hypnotizing accent, but he lists lychee and "a delicate peat character" as standouts.

Those interested in purchasing the bottle can register their interest online by March 3. Due to the bottle's limited run, registrants shouldn't be too disappointed if it's out of stock.