The 58-Bottle Japanese Whiskey Collection That Earned a $500K Price Tag

How well do you know whiskey? Are you an expert, or did you just learn the differences between scotch and bourbon? Trust us, we're not experts on the stuff. Put a glass of whiskey in front of us, and we'll finish it. As far as the details go, though, we're more of an Evan Williams than a Glenlivet XXV in terms of knowledge. All that said, we do know of Hanyu. It is, well, was a tiny Japanese distillery. Hanyu's entire 58-bottle whiskey collection is now on sale for $500K.

The Hanyu distillery shut down in 2000 due to a national financial crisis, as Pamela Ambler of Forbes reported.. Its original steward sold all of the aging casks to one Ichiro Akuto. Akuto's approach to the whiskey was one that caught nearly cult-like adoration from whiskey fans worldwide.

He would bottle each single malt and name it after a playing card. At first, they weren't sure how people would take the project. They wanted people to enjoy the whiskey, but they didn't expect booze collectors to have such heightened interest on the card series of whiskey as an anthology of sorts.

That being said, they intended to release 54 cards at first. There are two versions of the first four Hanyu whiskies; these are the jack of clubs, the queen of hearts, the king of diamonds, and the ace of spades. The result? There are 58 bottles, or cards, up for grabs.

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Sotheby's Hong Kong branch is auctioning off the first-ever complete collection. A 54-card set was sold back in 2015 for $480K. This included 13 clubs, 13 diamonds, 13 hearts, 13 spades, and two jokers.

The new, improved 58-card collection is estimated to rack in about $8,620 per bottle. We don't know about you, but that's crazy money to us. How much is Wild Turkey again? That's right; not eight grand.

That said, though, the buyer could potentially be someone seeing this as an investment. There's no doubt in our minds that the purchaser will not be someone interested in downing all 58 bottles over the next few months.

The mystery man or woman who amassed this collection did so bottle-by-bottle, and we'd hate to see his or her hard work go down in 58 (big) gulps. Stay tuned to see the outcome of this one, folks. Oh, and if you're interested in searching for your own Hanyu cards, beware. Apparently there are many fakes on the market.

Watch: The Difference Between Spirits

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