Highland Park Unveils 54-Year-Old Scotch That Costs $54,000

Just 225 bottles are being produced—marking the Scottish distillery’s 225th anniversary.

(Photo: Highland Park)

Scottish distillery Highland Park is releasing its oldest bottle to date this month, and collectors of rare, high-end spirits may need to wait to get their hands on one.

Highland Park 54-Year is a stunningly old scotch whisky. Only a minuscule volume is even being bottled in the first place—just 225 bottles worldwide.

The 225 number wasn’t an accident. Highland Park will celebrate its 225th anniversary this year, and this oldest-ever release appears to be the crown jewel of the celebration.

The Orkney-based distillery—which is both remote and blustery—has been around for more than two centuries, though the whisky in these casks “only” dates back to 1968. Four refill butts and 6 refill hogsheads survived until 2008 when they were married together and refilled into first-fill sherry butts for another 14 years of aging in fresh sherry.

“This exceptionally rare 54-Year-Old single malt Scotch Whisky has been nurtured through careful maturation and harmonization,” explained Highland Park Master Whisky Maker Gordon Motion in a press release. ”Representing a quarter of Highland Park’s life, we felt it was a fitting way to mark our 225th anniversary—born and crafted in the heart of Orkney.”

The box (because at 54 years you deserve a gorgeous presentation box) is sculpted by John Galvin to represent Orkney’s cliffs of Yesnaby. Each box is unique from the hand-blasting process and will have variations in color. 

Highland Park fans have seen a few rough years over the last decade, despite a number of great bottles and a 50-year-old released in 2020. Their portfolio has also been in flux—a number of Highland Park staples including the 15-Year were briefly discontinued, with some seeing re-release in new packaging. Like Macallan, the distillery is known for its sherry-finished single malts, and that’s certainly on show here with 54.

Whisky shops worldwide will share these bottles, but a consideration for those of you with your passport at the ready: it’s often the case that the United States can be a little slow to receive its supply of imports. 

For the US market, Highland Park is projecting “Summer 2023” as an on-sale date, which leaves little in the way of clarity for those who can afford a whisky like this. The 46.9 percent ABV release is also being bottle in 700 ml bottles—an increasingly common trend for imports.

Some international shops may even have Highland Park 54-Year-Old right now since the official release date is “mid-February.”

All that’s left is the price—a startling $54,000—before you can put your hands on one and crack the seal. 

That’s assuming you have the means and skills to track one down. For the rest of us, Highland Park 18 and 15 are both incredible—and incredibly more easy to find.

Maxim contributor Clay Whittaker’s work has also appeared in Cigar Aficionado, Playboy, Esquire, Forbes and Town and Country. You can subscribe to his newsletter here, and follow him on Instagram here.