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Fancy a bottle of whisky... for R650K

| Wine and liquor

Fancy paying the price of a luxury car for a bottle of whisky? This year's Makro Christmas brochure got tongues wagging, with the store offering a bottle of Glenlivet 50-year-old Speyside single malt for R650,000.

But, if you don't feel like paying that much for a bottle of whisky, you can make your way down to the Bascule Whisky Bar at Cape Grace in the V&A Waterfront, where a single tot of Glenfiddich 50-year-old will cost just R18,000.

A whole bottle will set you back R600,000 at Makro.

Bascule's bar manager, Victor Kirkbridge, explained the attraction of such an expensive drink and what type of person buys it.

"It varies. Sometimes travellers who are familiar with the products and their rarity, or locals who decide to go for the opportunity to have a unique opportunity of tasting rare whisky which is only available at a handful of venues around the world."

Kirkbridge said that a group of men visited the bar for a few evenings recently and they polished off some very rare whiskies from distilleries that are no longer producing whisky.

"We have also had people buy expensive vintages which are sometimes the year of their birth, such as recently the 1953 54-year-old Glenfarclas, which costs R12,500 per tot.

"The type of clientele who go for the rare and expensive whisky normally are on the lookout for whisky from a certain distillery.

"The thing to remember is, for many of these whiskies, there will only ever be less of it."

Makro liquor director Jonathan Koff said they had sold a number of pricey bottles this year, but none of the six-figure stuff.

"We have sold one bottle of Hennessy Richard cognac and nine bottles of Remy Martin Louis XIII at R55,000 a bottle."

These are now on promotion for R50,000, and come in a collectable gift box and bottle.

"The whiskies are bought at stores across the country and demand increases in peak season, October to December each year.

"We do, however, get requests throughout the year; some customers ask for special bottles for their birthdays, for example," Koff said.

Some buy the whisky to drink while others build a collection.

Neil Paterson, co-owner of WhiskyBrother in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, said that while whisky could be an investment, buying a premier bottle might not be the best option.

"You are far better off buying a limited release, something single cask, for around R3,000 and selling it again two or three years later for R15,000."

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