Glenfiddich is the number 1 selling single malt Scotch whisky in the world (#2 in the United States), and their most luxurious marque is the extremely rare Glenfiddich 50-year-old. The last sold bottle of this Scotch went to a retired Salem businessman, Lyle Shellenberg who made a special trip to Hillsdale Liquor in Portland, Oregon to make one extravagant purchase. He dropped a cool $27,000 on a 50-year-old bottle of Glenfiddich Scotch whisky and become one of six proud people in the United States to have bought one of the 50 bottles released globally each year.
No one has ever paid more for a bottle of alcohol sold in Oregon, confirms the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. “I could have spent money on a sports car or something else. I just happened to choose that I like Glenfiddich Scotch and this was interesting to me, it was different, it’s not something somebody down the street or someone else in Oregon has.”
He’s not a collector, he says, “but I’ve always liked whisky. My Grandfather was from Scotland. He introduced me to Scotch. I traveled to the Glenfiddich distillery with him 40 years ago.”
His grandfather would have asked for a “wee dram” of his grandson’s latest acquisition, says Schellenberg with a laugh.
The 50-year-old Glenfiddich single malt Scotch comes in a bottle of hand blown glass. Its sterling silver collar is engraved with a picture of Queen Elizabeth II wearing an oversized crown. It has a wax stamp bearing the number 183. It is part of a batch of 450 bottles released in groups of 50 between 2009 and 2017. The 2012 release commemorates the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The bottle arrived at the liquor store in a locked leather case, and Shellenberg plans to open it within the year in company of a small group of family and friends. “It wouldn’t be worth buying if you aren’t going to taste it,” he says.