Midleton Very Rare 40th Ruby Anniversary first bottle sells for $120,000 at auction

A special ruby and gold-laden crystal bottle became one of the most expensive bottles ever sold at auction via BlockBar, reaching double the $60,000 starting bid



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19 March 2024

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To celebrate 40 years of Midleton Very Rare, Irish Distillers released Midleton Very Rare 40th Anniversary Ruby Edition, a 550-bottle limited-edition range complete with a special, one of one first bottle.

Marking the release, the first bottle of the limited-edition range was auctioned off, as an NFT via BlockBar, reaching a spectacular $120,000; double the starting price. This special one of one bottle, featuring hand engraved 18-carat gold and thirty-two hand cut identical rubies encrusting the neck, was immortalised in an NFT and sold in collaboration with global blockchain marketplace BlockBar.

This release has become one of the most expensive whiskeys ever sold on BlockBar, reaching an incredible $120,000 as the auction closed on 7 March, having had a starting bid of $60,000. The bottle’s net proceeds will be going to charity, supporting The Forest Genetic Resources Trust and the conservation, improvement, and use of native and naturalised tree species in Irish forestry.

The remaining 550 bottles, encased in Waterford Crystal and containing identical, exquisite whiskey to the bottle auctioned, have been packaged in a ruby case before being encased in a wooden cabinet. These collectable masterpieces are now on sale at €20,000 via Midleton Very Rare’s website.

Commenting on the sale, Joao Rozario, global marketing director, Irish Distillers, says, “This extraordinary result further reinforces the continued strides Irish whiskey is taking in the luxury space. Progressively, we see Irish whiskey taking its rightful seat at the prestige whiskey table and this latest outcome for Midleton Very Rare, which has long represented the pinnacle of Irish whiskey, further reinforces our luxury credentials.”

Jamie Ritchie, COO, BlockBar, continues, “Midleton Very Rare is all about quality combined with innovation. The Ruby Edition illustrated this perfectly, receiving enormous global interest, resulting in our first bidding war that had four bidding extensions and achieved double the starting price, selling for $120,000. The Ruby Edition joins the Midleton Very Rare The Pinnacle Vintage, which sold for $130,000, as two of the most expensive bottles of whiskey sold on BlockBar. Now, Midleton Very Rare is even more clearly established as the leader of rare and collectable Irish whiskeys. We were delighted to collaborate and use the BlockBar marketplace to showcase the quality and innovation that is embedded in their culture.”

Inspired and crafted by all three Midleton Master Distillers across the four decades, the Midleton Very Rare 40th Anniversary Ruby Edition is an exquisite blend of single pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys finished in a ruby port cask. The result is an ultra-rare whiskey with rich bursts of blackcurrant, raspberry, and plum.

Read more: Irish Distillers announces €250 million investment plan for new distillery in Midleton




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