Have a Sip of Scotch! It’s Just $1,800 a Shot

Talk about racking up bragging rights. New Brunswick’s Stage Left Restaurant is giving 20 lucky (and presumably well-heeled) whisky aficionados the opportunity to hand over $1,800 for a single, one-ounce shot of a rare 50-year-old Scotch.

A bottle of single-malt Balvenie Fifty, aged for 50 years and valued at $38,000.

On January 10, Stage Left will open its $38,000 bottle of single-malt Balvenie Fifty, Cask 4567. Only 131 bottles of the liquid gold— aged 50 years in rare European oak sherry hogshead—are being released worldwide. Just 15 are bound for the United States—and only one for New Jersey.

Casino VIP programs and private investors have been snatching up most of the bottles. Stage Left co-owner Francis Schott, on the other hand, wants to offer his to the public.

“I want to celebrate the people who’ve supported what we’ve done here for 22 years,” he says, alluding to his adventurous wine and craft cocktail program.

Schott is taking pre-orders for $1,800 shots. Buyers can either drink their shot anytime over the next year or reserve a seat at a January 10 dinner with Balvenie Brand ambassador David Laird. Tickets for the dinner cost $2,015 and include a $150 gift certificate that may be used at a later time to purchase a bottle of Balvenie 21-Year Portwood. More frugal diners can also attend, for $299, if they don’t mind skipping the good stuff. But they, too, get to go home with the gift certificate and will partake in the Balvenie 14, 15, 17 and 21 being served with the meal.

The Balvenie Fifty bottle holds 24 ounces. Schott says he has already sold three shots and has commitments for four more. He’ll spring for the bottle if he collects 17 advance payments by December 19. If his Kickstarter-like campaign fails to reach that goal, he’ll pass on the opportunity.

“I can’t sit on $35,000 worth of whisky inventory if I don’t sell all of it,” says Schott. “But I don’t mind sitting on $10,000 worth,” he says.

Schott says his Balvenie sales rep offered him the bottle because Stage Left consistently supports the brand and has made a strong name for itself with high-end tastings every Thursday.

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