In celebration of its 20th anniversary, a leading online retailer of whiskies and spirits is offering whisky fans the chance to buy an exceptionally rare bottle of whisky, worth £7,500, for just £99. 

The Whisky Exchange is offering the bottle of Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky for just £99 – its original selling price when released exclusively at the distillery on Islay in 1999.

Illustrating the meteoric rise in the value of rare and collectable whisky, this is a unique opportunity for one whisky lover to purchase a rare bottle released 20 years ago, to much acclaim at the time, for a fraction of its current value.

The bottle will be sold via ballot on The Whisky Exchange website in September. Members of the public can register their interest now at www.thewhiskyexchange.com and will be able to enter the ballot between Monday 16 and Sunday 22 September.

The Ardbeg Manager’s Choice bottling was drawn from single sherry cask of 1976 vintage whisky. It was selected by then distillery manager Stuart Thomson for sale at the distillery in 1999, the same year that The Whisky Exchange started life as an online retailer. An enormous hit at the time, it was one of the key early single cask bottlings that kickstarted Ardbeg’s stratospheric rise.

Sukhinder Singh, co-founder and owner of The Whisky Exchange, believes this is a very special bottle for the lucky owner, he said:  “Obviously this bottling means a lot to me given the time of its release at the very beginning of The Whisky Exchange, but it’s also now a very rare bottle indeed and an absolute must for any Ardbeg collection.

“Islay single malts aged in sherry casks are rare because very often it simply does not work, but when it does the result is magical – and believe me this one works. It’s a whole different dimension of whisky experience, the buyer is in for a treat.”

Singh, who is a collector himself, also believes this bottle is a prime example of the incredible rise in interest and demand for old and rare whisky, he added:  “Over the 20 years we’ve been in business, we have seen demand for old and rare whisky continue to grow year on year and we don’t anticipate this changing.

“The market for collecting and investing in whisky is ever-increasing, taking prices up, and for the extra special bottles like this one, it’s just the beginning. This ballot is our way of thanking everyone who’s supported us over the past 20 years, by giving them the chance to own and enjoy something they may have missed out on the first time.”

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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