Huge amounts of time and money are spent curating each one, however, Nguyen Dinh Tuan Viet owns two collections which are more valuable than any we’ve ever seen.
The Vietnamese businessman was awarded the title for the most valuable whisky/whiskey collection in 2019. It was valued at £13,032,468 ($16.7m; €15m) and consists of 535 bottles of rare Scotch and Japanese whisky.
Viet has now earned another record for the world’s most valuable cognac collection. Comprising 574 of the world’s rarest, oldest and finest bottles, its total value is £19,175,971 ($22.7m; €22.6m).
The rarest cognac bottle in Viet’s collection is the 9-litre Louis XIII Le Salamanazar, a one-of-a-kind bottle which cost £1.3 million ($1.5m; €1.5m).
Viet also owns what is presumed to be the world’s only complete Louis XIII L’Odyssée d’un Roi collection, comprised of three bottles which represent three continents; North America, Europe and Asia.
Viet acquired all three variations after diligently pursuing and purchasing them at auctions in each of the continents.
These three bottles are valued at £7.6 million ($9m; €9.1m) altogether, which is a significant chunk of the entire value of Viet’s record-breaking cognac collection.
Other notable bottles include the Gautier Cognac 1762, the oldest cognac sold at auction. Although Viet doesn’t own the specific bottle which achieved this record in 2014, he does own one of only two others which exist.
The Vieux Cognac 1734 Caves Gilot is also present in the collection. It is "almost certainly the oldest vintage-dated cognac in existence," according to Jörg Matzdorf, Director of Antique Wines & Spirits, who provided valuations for each cognac bottle.
"There are certainly reasonably well-known cognac collections around the world which contain far more bottles from a volume perspective; however, from a pure value perspective, we’re confident this collection is class leading." - Jörg Matzdorf
Viet began collecting rare bottles over 25 years ago, in 1996. He doesn’t just collect them though - he also enjoys drinking them.
The most expensive bottle he has opened and drunk is a whisky; the Karuizawa 1960 52 Year Old, which can sell for up to £363,000 ($435k; €430k).
However, the eye-watering price paid for this mouth-watering drink pales in comparison to Viet’s rarest whisky bottle; the Macallan Fine & Rare 1926 60 Year Old, which set him back £1,452,000 ($1.7m; €1.7m). It is the world’s most expensive whisky/whiskey sold at auction.
Only 40 bottles of the Macallan 1926 were ever released and Viet owns three of them. He is believed to be one of three collectors in the world to own all three variants (the Fine & Rare label, the Peter Blake label and the Valerio Adami label).
Another superlative Scotch in his collection is the oldest Bowmore bottle, of which only 12 were ever released. According to Andy Simpson, Director of Rare Whisky 101, it’s "the most expensive bottle of 'Islay' malt Scotch whisky in the world."
Viet’s collections were valued at their expected open market price; in effect what the collection could realistically be expected to fetch if sold at auction within the UK in the current market. The vast majority of the same variants of these bottles were sold at auction over the 12 months preceding each collection’s appraisal, so a very accurate estimate is possible.
Furthermore, the buyer’s premium is generally added on and quoted by auction houses when records are cited, such as the world’s most expensive car or most expensive 20th century painting sold at auction. Thus, the valuations of Viet’s collections include a 21% buyer’s premium.
"I’m really happy and feel honoured to be recognised by Guinness World Records as the owner of the two Guinness World Records titles," Viet said.
"It feels like an acknowledgement of all my hard work and dedication over the past 25 years. And surely I will always try for new steps in the future, to own more unique bottles and break my own records."