By Hollie Bone
The UK’s most expensive shot comes with a price tag of £995 – from a whisky so exclusive that there is only ONE bottle in the whole country available for public consumption.
The 35-year-old Japanese Karuizawa 1981 Noh Whisky has sold for up to £10,000 on auction to private customers but a single 25ml measure will set you back nearly £1,000 if you want to try it in a bar.
You’ll have to travel to Merseyside to taste it as well, as the sole supplier in the UK for bar-goers is the Liverpool Gin Distillery, where their Dark Spirits Lounge boasts some of the most expensive and exclusive whiskies from around the world.
So far only one customer has ever forked out to wet their lips with it, but as Hasan Sadrhashemi, General Manager of Liverpool Gin Distillery, explains, the Karuizawa Noh Whisky has good reason to carry such a hefty price tag.
He said: “There’s been a lot of enquiries about it, people are very curious but it has only been sold to one person since we got it in December last year.
“The price comes from the history of the brewery that made it – Karuizawa – which was the first world famous Japanese distillery, opening in the second half of the 20th century.
“When Japan were trying to break into their own whisky, they took inspiration from Scotland.
“At the time there were no exports or imports from Japan to Scotland so they were trying to emulate the style of Scottish whisky, but when the exports and imports opened up a few years later, the industry kind of died and so the brewery went out of business.
“Just like when an artist dies and their work goes up for sale, when the brewery collapsed there were all these bottles of very prestigious, high end whiskies that needed a new home. Because they were all cherished liquids, suddenly everyone went crazy for them and started buying them up.
“Along with this whisky there are a number of other versions, but this is the most prestigious.”
Halewood International which owns the Liverpool Gin Distillery imported the only three bottles of Karuizawa Noh Whisky that exist in the UK, stocking one in the bar and selling the other two to private collectors late last year.
Bottled in 2017, the whisky comes from a single sherry cask, where it has been matured for 35 year since 1981.
But lucky bartender Wojtek Kurcharski, 28, has served the only customer who has purchased the drink – and was amazed he even let him try a sip.
He said: “It’s very rounded, rich in body and you can definitely taste the sherry flavour from the cask.
“There’s lots of citrus and vanilla notes, it’s just a beautiful drum. I feel very lucky to have been able to try it.”
The luxurious bar also stocks Dalmore Astrum 40-year-old at £600 a shot, Last Drop 50-year-old (£354 a shot), Crabbie 40-year-old (£200 a shot) and Macallan Reflection (£115 a shot).