HOW would you fancy a £20,000 whisky stocking filler from Santa?
Well, that is what one whisky enthusiast has paid in Moray to join an exclusive club.
With just 50 bottles of Balvenie 50-year-old up for grabs worldwide, and only six released in the UK, it is fair to say that the whisky marking the 50th anniversary of Balvenie malt master David Stewart joining the company is a rare commodity.
Gordon and MacPhail’s retail shop in Elgin acquired one of the UK bottles ,and it has already been snapped up by a Grampian-based collector.
It is the most expensive single malt to pass through the specialist whisky and spirit retailer, where the cheapest bottle of whisky is just £20.
Manager, Mark Angus, said: "There is strong demand for rare and exclusive bottlings, and The Balvenie 50-year-old is a welcome addition to our range.
"Stocking more than 1,000 whiskies to suit all tastes and budgets, our Whisky Room is an attraction for customers both locally and throughout the world."
Mr Angus was handling the whisky with care this week before arranging delivery to the mystery customer. It has been kept behind a padlocked display case.
The Whisky Room is home to some of the world’s rarest single malts, including Gordon & MacPhail Generations Glenlivet 70 Years Old – the world’s oldest whisky.
Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 60 Years Old, a single malt released in February, 2012 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of HM the Queen, is another premium single malt.
However, both of those are a snip compared to the Balvenie and will set you back just £13,000 and £8,000 respectively.
The Balvenie 50-year-old comes in a hand-blown glass bottle created by Scottish craftsman Sam Chinnery. The gift box is fashioned from 49 rings of seven beautiful Scottish timbers, including Galloway ash, Borders oak, Lothian walnut, cherry and yew, Fife beech and, fittingly, elm from the Balvenie site. The 50th ring is of brass, reflecting the stills and spirit safe.
Gordon and MacPhail’s retail shop opened in May, 1895, selling luxury grocery items, tea, wine and spirits.
It stocks more than 1,000 bottlings and more than 600 wines from around the world.