Last priced at $140,000, the Nun’s Island Distillery Pure Pot Still Whiskey is the most expensive Irish whiskey ever created. What makes this whiskey unique is not only its price tag – there’s has an interesting story behind the beverage to match.
The story as told by the owner of Arkwrights Whisky and Wines, Ken Thomas, begins with the opening of the Nun’s Island Distillery around 1815 on Nun’s Island in Galway, Ireland. Owned by the Persse family, the distillery grew and prospered; it thrived for more than half a century before closing over one hundred years ago in 1908.
At its peak in the late 1800s, the distillery produced more than 400,000 gallons a year, employed over 100 people, and was the largest employer in the area. It housed three pot stills which could hold 16,000, 6,000, and 10,000 gallons of whiskey respectively.
Off to the races
When the heir of the Persse family estate and founder of the distillery, Burton Persse, decided to leave the business for the excitement of training racehorses, little did he know his departure would result in the world’s most expensive Irish whiskey!
The Nun’s Island Distillery closed up shop, and the final few bottles produced instantly became rare dinosaurs. They became even more sensationalized, however, when one of those last bottles was put on the market for over $100,000 dollars. By shutting down the business, the rarity of the whisky meant fabulous prices… that Persse would never be able to capitalize on.
Back in 2002, Thomas says a lady came to his store with one of the bottles in her bag. She explained she inherited it from a friend of the Persse heir and hoped that it would be worth some money. As it turned out, it was worth a lot more than she thought. It went up for sale for $140,000 at Arkwrights Whisky and Wines.