Macallan has an ample portfolio of quinquagenarian and sexagenarian spirits, but it's the release of one that's "old enough to collect Social Security benefits," as Eater puts it, that's got booze buffs abuzz. "Peerless Spirit" Scotch whisky, which comes in a decanter inspired by Lalique perfume bottles, is the sixth and final entry in the Macallan in Lalique "Six Pillars Collection," per a press release, which also announces the jaw-dropping price for this single-malt "masterpiece," of which only 450 decanters have been made: $35,000. With notes of cracked black pepper, dark chocolate, cloves, cinnamon, and honey, the whisky is said to be one of the oldest ever released by the Macallan estate. And the story behind the decanter's design shows a bottle just as exquisitely crafted: Lalique's creative director created the bottle to resemble a "single peerless drop" of the high-end liquor, influenced by Rene Lalique's mold-blown, pinched glass method.
It's no easy task to bring whisky into its golden years. As Maxim explains, depending on the barrel and the climate, oxidation and exposure to wood can ruin a perfect batch before it even hits 50—making this 65-year-old version "a unicorn that's been perfected by time." "This ... final release continues to showcase the unwavering commitment of both the masters of Lalique and the Macallan to create beautiful and desirable objets d'art," Macallan's brand director says. It's not the first time the distillery has made big-bucks news: In 2014, a 6-liter Macallan M Imperiale Lalique decanter (one of only four made) sold at auction for a record $628,000, per Forbes. (Suntory is trying to age whisky in outer space.)