The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. has seen a record-breaking start to 2024, selling a bottle of whiskey to American collector Mike Daley, for $2.8 million.

This world-first sale makes The Emerald Isle, already the rarest triple-distilled single malt in existence, the most expensive bottle of whiskey, or whisky, ever sold.

According to The Craft Irish Whiskey Co., The Emerald Isle is "a liquid which three decades of maturation in a variety of casks, have imbued with an unrivaled intensity of flavor."

One of only seven sets in existence, The Emerald Isle is housed in a walnut case with a single decanter, a bespoke Fabergé egg — containing an actual emerald gem — a custom timepiece, and a pair of Cohiba cigars.

Historically, Scotch whiskies have been the most sought-after bottles of the spirit. Last November, a bottle of The Macallan 1926 fetched $2.7 million. However, the recent sale of The Emerald Isle indicates a shift in luxury collectors' interests.

"Irish is the future of whiskey. I'm excited to be part of it, as a collector, but most importantly as a drinker," said Daley, who boasts a vast collection of several thousand bottles of Irish, American, and Scotch whiskeys/whiskies.

He added: "The rebirth of Irish whiskey is relatively new, so I feel like I'm getting in on the ground floor. Luxury scotch, to me, is already a crowded type of market.

"But we're only just starting to see luxury Irish make a name for itself. I guarantee you that in the years to come, it will get to where scotch is today."

The Emerald Isle. Credit: The Craft Irish Whiskey Co.

The Emerald Isle. Credit: The Craft Irish Whiskey Co.

Indeed, data from the Distilled Spirits Council shows that the price of some super-premium Irish whiskeys has soared nearly 2,800% over the last 20 years.

Jay Bradley, founder and CEO of The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. said: "A bottle of The Emerald Isle becoming the most expensive whiskey or whisky ever sold is a monumental achievement for my business, and an incredibly proud moment for me.

"I started The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. with the goal of making Irish whiskey the most coveted luxury spirit and restoring Ireland's reputation for crafting the finest whiskeys in the world, this brings us several steps closer to achieving that, and we're only six years into the journey.

"There's a lot more to come from us, and I'm excited for our customers and competitors to see what we have in store."