Whisky Wars! $628k The Macallan versus world's cheapest brand

By Ben BOUCKLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

The world's priciest whisky comes in a bottle like any other, apart from Black Booster
The world's priciest whisky comes in a bottle like any other, apart from Black Booster
After a rare bottle of The Macallan sold for $628,000 at a Hong Kong auction last week, we rate it against what seems to be world's cheapest whisky...

Sotheby's January 18 auction for ‘Finest and Rarest Wines and The Macallan pulled in $3.8m in total, and the top lot was The Macallan 6-liter ‘M’ Decanter by Lalique that fetched more than its $500,000 estimate.

The auctioneers said the previous record was achieved by Sotheby’s New York in 2010 when The Macallan 64 year-old in Lalique Cire Perdue was sold at $460,000.

Now clearly we're highly unlikely to ever sample either, but wouldn't it be interesting to compare The Macallan 'M' special edition ($94,200 per 750ml, to use the standard bottle measure) against what - after a cursory Google search, so apologies if I'm overlooking the true holder of this title - appears to be the 'world's cheapest whisky'?

Namely Armaan's Black Booster Whisky from Kadko, a 'premium quality' spirit last seen sloshing around Sierra Leone in circa.2011, resplendent in oversized PET at a competitive 54.7 cents/750ml, clearly something of a bargain if Black Booster didn't appear in a receptacle ominously reminiscent of an anti-freeze container, as the site The Truth About Bartending points out.


There's only one winner here, with Black Booster delivering a (no doubt pretty sizeable) bang for a little over three bucks. Even adjusting for inflation since 2011 we betcha it ain't selling at a comparable price point to The Macallan. Companies like Diageo always talk about consumers 'trading up' to spirits in emerging markets. Clearly they've got a fight on their hands with Black Booster. Ho ho!

Presumably, if you can afford this The Macallan special edition in the first place, you can expect a sizable return on your investment, provided you don't drop the bottle or invite your heavy drinking Uncle Reginald to stay.

Black Booster - 10/10
The Macallan - 5/10


We haven't tasted the drinks, we're not prejudiced, but wild horses wouldn't make me try Black Booster (it has a sportive horse logo so forgive the metaphor), and The Macallan is a little out of our price range.

Black Booster -1/10
The Macallan - 10/10


There's something a little sad in our modern world about buying drinks for investment purposes, as objects to trade, rather than, err..., drinking them. That said, no-one can dispute the cachet of owning The Macallan, given its packaging and the fact it clearly contains a high quality liquid, while Black Booster (even if you might not touch it for wholly different reasons) at least presents a talking point, while you can always treat people you dislike to a glass.

The Macallan - 8/10
Black Booster - 6/10


The Truth About Bartending recommends uses for Black Booster as varied as rust removal, porcelain polish or a temporary blinding agent, that's presuming you can even stomach opening it, I suppose...

The Macallan - 2/10
Black Booster - 8/10

Totting up the points... it's a dead rubber! Although that's allowing for the fact that Black Booster does not even deserve the name whisky. But that's just splitting hairs.

Related news

Follow us

Featured Events

View more


View more