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Bottle of scotch nets $33,500 0

Cameron MacLeod, 24 hours

BC Liquor Stores unveils a bottle of Balvenie Fifty, a 50-year-old single malt scotch whisky from Balvenie Distillery during a media event in Vancouver, Monday Nov. 19.One of only 88 worldwide and the first and only one available in Canada. One of the rarest whiskies to be produced by the distillery, it comes with an equally rare price of $33,500 a bottle. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)

BC Liquor Stores unveils a bottle of Balvenie Fifty, a 50-year-old single malt scotch whisky from Balvenie Distillery during a media event in Vancouver, Monday Nov. 19.One of only 88 worldwide and the first and only one available in Canada. One of the rarest whiskies to be produced by the distillery, it comes with an equally rare price of $33,500 a bottle. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)

Happy hour stepped into rarified air Monday as one mystery buyer from the Lower Mainland coughed up $33,500 for a rare 50-year-old single malt scotch whisky, the only bottle in Canada.

Amid much pomp and circumstance, the bottle of Balvenie Fifty was piped in amid a flurry of kilts and sporrans. Glass-encased, the swanky spirit was the main hands-off attraction at a sampling event at BC Liquor's 39th and Cambie location — where scotch aficionados jostled for a free taste of The Balvenie's more affordable line-up of 12-, 15- and 21-year-old bottles.

In celebration of the industry's longest-serving Malt Master, Balvenie Fifty was publicly released 50 years to the day that 17-year-old apprentice David Stewart began working at the distillery. Stewart reminisced, “Cask 5576 and I have shared the last five decades together at The Balvenie Distillery. It's true to say I have a dream job and I've been privileged to taste a lot of wonderful whisky in my time, but it’s a great delight to discover how after half a century, this unique cask has turned out a truly special single malt.”

The Balvenie's Brand Ambassador Lorne Cousin, one of the lucky few to sample a wee dram of the “liquid gold,” said the unique taste results from the rare wood cask in which it matured for the past 50 years — a European oak sherry hogshead of undetermined age.

“I think all scotch tastings are a wonderful idea,” local resident Kora Sevier opined between rounds. “We should have far more since we live in the rainforest and scotch is perfect because it keeps us warm.”

Those interested in future events can register to receive notices from BC Liquor by sending an email with “Subscribe” in the subject line to events@bcliquorstores.com.

 

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