The Best Drink Investments of 2021

The Last Drop 1959 Vintage Grande Champagne Cognac

The Last Drop 1959 Vintage Grande Champagne Cognac

This incredibly rare cognac was distilled in 1959 and has rested and matured for 60 years in its original barrel. Given the length of time (and due to the angel’s share) there was only enough for 21 bottles. This is without question one of the  most beautiful cognacs to have ever graced my palate. As per usual with all The Last Drop releases, this piece of history arrives in a beautifully crafted leather bound case, with an assortment of reading materials and a  miniature sample. This is a time capsule of pure beauty. Fresh and vibrant with a tangy acidity. There’s a surge of fruit, finesse and a creaminess unmatched by anything I have previously tasted. This is a true treasure.

£4,800, available at Hedonism.

The Dalmore 2006 Harrods Exclusive Whisky

The Dalmore 2006 Harrods Exclusive

Every now and again The Dalmore releases something special and it doesn’t sit around for long. One of their latest is the sumptuously expressive 2006 release for Harrods in London. The distiller group Whyte & Mackay needs no introduction – awarded the title of ‘best Scottish distiller in 2021’, Whyte & Mackay’s The Dalmore has been producing exceptional liquid for as long as I can remember. The 2006 Exclusive was matured in American white oak ex bourbon casks and finished in Marsala casks. The nose bursts with aged clementine, Christmas cake and cotton candy with the palate offering vanilla, creamy fudge, ginger and sticky toffee pudding. Pure indulgence.

£240, available at Harrods.

Royal Salute Snow Polo Edition 21 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky

Royal Salute The Snow Polo Edition 21 Year

Allow me to introduce you to the first blended grain whisky from the Royal salute portfolio. Royal Salute has long been one of my absolutely top choices. I find myself buying all of their special releases because so much love, care and dedication goes into each bottle. This edition is no exception to that. At 46.5% ABV, it matches the exact latitude of St Moritz, the Swiss resort where snow polo was first played. So let’s delve in. The nose brings forward toffee and butterscotch with caramel apples, malted barley and vanilla. On the palate, you can expect smooth toffee and apple pie with a generous splash of Madagascan vanilla custard and a soothing luxurious finish. Very few bottles of this remain on the market, so you’re best acting now if you want one.

£249, available at The Wine Cellar.

The Devil’s Keep Craft Irish Whiskey

The Devil’s Keep Craft Irish Whiskey

This is the oldest triple-distilled Irish single malt in existence. Incredibly rare, with only 333 bottles released, the remaining 666 go to market this year. Just a few months ago, this whiskey set a world-record, being the most expensive first-release, hitting an auction price of $60,000. The 29-year-old wonder continues to build the reputation of a luxury Irish Whiskey scene we are only just beginning to see emerge. The whiskey itself is aged in 200-litre first fill American oak casks (which previously held Kentucky bourbon). They are then finished in both French oak barrels that once held tawny port and rare virgin Hungarian oak. The palate offers rich Madacasgan vanilla, caramelized sugar and toast maple syrup. A world first.

€1,000 EUR, available at Craft Irish Whiskey.

Cask Trade Whisky Cask Investment

Cask Trade Whisky Cask Investment

Whisky Investment is at an all-time high. But you need to trust who you’re buying your casks from as more and more companies begin to jump on the fad. As far as what is out there, Cask Trade has the best reputation. It’s a company I’ve followed since day 1 and have continued to see grow exponentially. Having recently sat down with MD Simon Aron and looked through the casks available to purchase, all I can say is, they don’t stay in inventory long. So, if you want to up the game and invest in a cask instead of a bottle – this should be your go-to. Whether you’re wanting to invest for the future or purchase a cask to bottle and enjoy now – the liquid will speak for itself.

Available at Cask Trade.

Hibiki 21 Year Old Whisky

Hibiki 21 Year Old

This is arguably one of the most famous Japanese whiskies in the world. Launched in 1989 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Suntory, Hibiki has won countless awards and continues to every year – making it the most awarded Japanese whisky on the planet. A selection of malt and grain whiskies, harmoniously blend to create perfection in the bottle. Orange peel, dried nectarine and strawberry jam roll across the palate. Insanely smooth, extremely moreish and with a finish that strikes every chord.

£780, available at Dekanta.

Cardinale 2014 Red Wine

Cardinale 2014

The Jackson Family have been making wine for as long as we can remember and the beautiful thing about each and every one of their estates is that quality is never compromised for scale. This hefty Bordeaux blend (largely Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot) is produced in limited quantities and is well worth the money. Showcasing rich flavours of cassis, mint and raspberry with a moreish earthiness thanks to its incredible terroir, this wonder adds an extra layer of comfort to the cold winter air. This is another highlight and a testament to the stunning wine that calls Napa Valley its home.

£336, available at Hedonism.

Havana Club Maximo Extra Anejo Rum

Havana Club Maximo Extra Anejo Rum

Quite possibly one of the most beautiful rums I’ve tasted and I’m not alone on that. Many spirits experts have deemed this as the finest rum ever made. This ultra-premium rum was produced by Maestro Ronero Don José Navarro and arrives in a sensational crystal decanter. Only 1000 bottles are produced each year making it in short supply. The flavour is divinely intense yet refined. Fresh pear, coconut and fried fruit emerge with the palate giving you dark chocolate, dried apricot, vanilla and warm bread and butter pudding with a kick of warm spice that continues into a beautifully long finish. One of the best best rums in existence.

£1,235, available at The Whisky Exchange.

Antica Terra, ‘Antikythera’ Pinot Noir 2017 Red Wine

Antica Terra, ‘Antikythera’ Pinot Noir 2017

While Burgundy may traditionally have the spotlight when it comes to Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley is a region in Oregon that without question needs to be on your radar when it comes to investments. Delve down a little further and you’ll find one of my favourite corners of this wine country. Antica Terra is a vineyard that is quaintly tucked into a 40-acre parcel in the Eola-Amity Hills of the region. The terroir results in a succulently deep Pinot with incredible acidity. What does all of this mean? A wine that will truly stand the test of time crafted to excellence by the hands of winemaker Maggie Harrison. A warm nose of fresh cinnamon stick and rich light red fruits, mineral undertones and Barolo-like tannin. I can’t get enough.

$149.95, available at First Bottle Wines.

Yalumba The Caley Cabernet & Shiraz 2015 Red Wine

Yalumba The Caley Cabernet & Shiraz 2015

Coonawarra is an Australian wine region I fell in love with many years ago. It has continued to gain much deserved recognition due to wines like Yalumba’s “The Caley’’ that place it on the map. The Caley is a prime example of consistent quality year on year. This vintage contains 74% Cabernet Sauvignon from a 2.7-hectare plot, planted in 1992. The 26% Shiraz is sourced from two Barossa blocks planted in 1901 and 1971. Suffice to say there’s some bloody good grapes going into it. Deep and intense, you’ll experience green olives, complex aromatics and a leafy foliage. The palate offers a rich red currant spice, sensational tannins and a sweepingly long dark chocolate and red cherry finish.

£258, available at Hedonism.

Dom Perignon Rosé 2006 Rosé Wine

Dom Perignon Rosé 2006

While many decided to not create a 2006 vintage due to the weather conditions that year, DP dared to be different and my goodness did they prevail. This is one of the most divinely unique champagnes I have ever tasted and for all the right reasons. The difference lies in the savoury nature of these bubbles. Darker floral notes jump out, with savoury bread yeast and a subtle mineral layer. The taste brings forth tangerine, black pepper brioche, strawberries and a dark chocolate bitterness that goes on and on and on…

£270, available at Clos19.

Quintessa 2017 Red Wine

Quintessa 2017

It’s no secret that Napa holds some of the most refined wines for ageing in the world. Not just their 100% Cabs but their Bordeaux blends (for obvious reasons) hold the test of time too. Quintessa is another example of just this. Their 2017 bottling is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 3% Carmenére and 1% Petit Verdot. The four blend in harmony after 22 months in French oak to produce a stunningly graceful wine. Black and red meadow fruits meet tobacco, savoury notes and a pinch of Madagascan vanilla with a great structure, finesse and powerful finish. The critics constantly rave about Quintessa for a reason.

£145 for 1, £870 for a case of 6, available at Uncorked.

Penfolds ST Henri Shiraz 2016 Red Wine

Penfolds ST Henri Shiraz 2016

From the renowned Australian winery and arguably one of the most famous in the world, St Henri is a trophy wine, created by the excellence that is Peter Gago. This man is a vino-genius and one of just 4 chief winemakers to hold the reigns at Penfolds over the past 175 years. This gracious 95% Shiraz (5% Cab) is produced from a variety of some of their best performing vineyards. It’s captivating, enticing and undeniably intriguing. An assortment of blackberries, black cherry and blackcurrant meet a dense red and dark fruit compote, fresh prunes and quince. Bursting with freshness but an equal boldness. This wine will last for a very long time and is an absolute must for your collection.

£95, available at Harvey Nichols.

Cervantes Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Mmxvi 2016 Red Wine

Cervantes Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Mmxvi 2016

Another gem from Napa Valley, hidden within the lesser-known mountainous area of Pope Valley. Andy Erickson, a former winemaker for Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate and Staglin is the creator of this divine Cabernet Sauvignon. Only 5000 cases are produced each year, created in a year that is arguably one of the best to date. Twenty-two months in French barrels give them a divine complexity and smooth tannin, wrapped up in a dense fruit core, orange oil, baking spices and a layer of cocoa. Its journey is only just beginning.

£155, available at Oeno.

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About the author

Aidy Smith

Aidy Smith is a wine and spirits personality and one of the presenter trio behind Amazon Prime TV Series, The Three Drinkers. In better times, he is often found scouring the globe for his next tipple. It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it. You can follow his adventures on Instagram at @sypped.