People love rare whiskies, but what makes a whisky rare? An expert reveals

Thanks to the whisky boom, the past decade has seen a series of rare whiskies breaking auction records and headlining whisky events. Whisky producers are poring over their stocks, trying to trace cobwebbed old casks from which they could bottle. People love rare whiskies; let’s give them that, seems to be the mantra. But what makes a whisky rare? Its price tag certainly isn’t a dependable criterion. Its age alone is hardly a reliable clue, too – you can easily find old spirits from independent bottlers like Gordon & McPhail these days. James Walker, Private Client Manager at Diageo Rare and Exceptional, tells us what exactly makes a whisky rare.

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