ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (WJW) — A $43,000 bottle of one of the world’s rarest Irish whiskeys was finally uncorked at a special fundraising event in Rocky River on Tuesday night.
The 46-year-old bottle of Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Chapter 2 arrived at Gormley’s Pub in November with a police escort.
“Literally, every drop is worth hundreds of dollars, so there can be no waste,” said Sean Gormley, owner of Gormley’s Pub, where the event began around 7 p.m.
The bottle alone is handcrafted in Waterford crystal inside a 200 year old cabinet made from a mixture of old elm and rare Japanese Tamo.
The only person allowed to handle it was world renowned expert Barry Chandler, founder of Stories & Sips Irish Whiskey Company.
“It’s monumental. This is the first time a bottle of this nature has been publicly opened in the United States or anywhere in the world for public tasting,” Chandler said.
There are only 70 bottles worldwide and most are in private collections, he said, and will never be opened.
“That’s why I’m thrilled to see the expression on everyone’s faces,” Gormley said.
Only 20 people were able to attend the tasting, each receiving a one-ounce serving.
Tickets were over $2,000, but 200 raffle tickets were also sold at $50 each for one lucky winner.
“I’m really excited to try it out. I’m blown away to be here to do it,” said Ronan McKamey. “I didn’t really think I was going to win. I just thought I’d give the money.
Proceeds from raffle tickets and an additional raffle held on Monday night raised $20,000 for Malachi House in Cleveland, which was actually the inspiration to organize the event.
“We get so much support in the community and it’s just a little way to give back and say thank you, especially at this time of year, to help those less fortunate,” said Gormley, who is from Ireland. .
Malachi House General Manager Judy Ghazoul-Hilow was also present at the tasting and very grateful for the donation.
“It helps us because we serve the terminally ill homeless and we receive no government funding,” Ghazoul-Hilow said. “It’s a wonderful thing they do.”
When it came time to finally pour the whiskey, everyone handled each glass carefully.
Together they toasted the night and slowly savored every drop of history.
Everyone agreed that the whiskey was worth every penny.
“It’s absolutely spectacular,” Gormley said. “To have the chance to taste this incredible whisky, I feel so honoured. I’m so proud that we made it. It’s historic for Gormley’s Pub, Rocky River and Ohio.
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