Bottles of fine Japanese whisky from Yamazaki
Photo: Bonhams

The ultra-rare Yamazaki 50-Year-Old First Release is now valued at about USD500,000

Only 50 bottles of the Japanese whisky were released in 2005 – it’s now worth half a million US dollars a bottle at auction

Lim Chee Wah
Written by
Lim Chee Wah

In 2005, the famed Yamazaki distillery, now considered one of the top Japanese whisky makers, released its oldest expression then – the 50-Year-Old First Release. It was a hit, widely touted as the king of Japanese whisky.

The limited release of only 50 bottles largely went to local bars. Today, it is believed that there are no more than a dozen bottles left. Even with subsequent releases of Yamazaki 50-Year-Old – in 2007 and again in 2011 – the 2005 edition has become the rarest of fine Japanese whisky.

Yamazaki 50-Year Old Japanese whisky
Photo: Bonhams

Auction house Bonhams is offering a bottle up for auction on May 20 in Hong Kong. The bottle is estimated to fetch somewhere between HKD3,500,000 and HKD 4,500,000 (about USD446,000 and USD574,000).

Yamazaki 55-Year Old Japanese whisky
Photo: Bonhams

Another fine Japanese whisky will also be made available at the same auction. The Yamazaki 55-Year-Old, the distillery’s oldest expression to date, has an estimated value of HKD4,000,000-5,000,000, which is about USD510,000-638,000.

More news

Survey: tell us what living in Tokyo is really like for you

JR Kyushu now has three rail passes available to foreign residents

Survey ranks the 10 best outdoor museums in Japan

This Starbucks in Ginza has an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet

Shibuya Sky is opening its rooftop bar for limited time from April 28

Want to be the first to know what’s cool in Tokyo? Sign up to our newsletter for the latest updates from Tokyo and Japan.

Latest news