$43K Irish whiskey bottle uncorked during fundraiser at Rocky River pub


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 Tuesday night.

The 46-year-old bottle of Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Chapter 2 arrived at Gormley’s Pub back in November with a police escort.

“Literally every drop is worth hundreds of dollars so there can be no wasting,” said Sean Gormley, owner of Gormley’s Pub where the event got underway at about 7 p.m.

The bottle alone is handcrafted Waterford Crystal inside of a 200-year-old cabinet made from a mixture of ancient elm and rare Japanese Tamo.

The only person permitted to handle it was world-renowned expert Barry Chandler, founder of Stories & Sips Irish Whiskey Company.

“It’s monumental. It’s the first time a bottle of this nature has ever been opened publicly in the United States or anywhere in the world for public tasting,” Chandler said.

There are only 70 bottles in the entire world and most are in private collections, he said, and will never be opened.

“That’s what I’m excited about seeing the expression on everybody’s faces,” Gormley said.

Only 20 people could attend the tasting — each receiving a one ounce pour.

Tickets cost over $2,000, but 200 raffle tickets were also sold at $50 a piece for one lucky winner. 

“I’m definitely excited to try it. It just blows me away I get to be here to do it,” said Ronan McKamey. “I didn’t really think I was going to win. I just figured I’d donate the money.”

Proceeds from the raffle tickets and an additional raffle held Monday night raised $20,000 for Malachi House in Cleveland, which was actually the inspiration for holding the event.

“We get so much support in the community and it’s just a wee way to give back and say thank you, especially this time of year, to help those less fortunate,” said Gormley, who is originally from Ireland.

Malachi House Executive Director Judy Ghazoul-Hilow was also at the tasting and very grateful for the donation.

“It helps us because we serve the homeless who are terminally ill and we receive no government funds,” said Ghazoul-Hilow. “It’s a wonderful thing that they’re doing.”

When the time came to finally pour the whiskey, everyone carefully handled each glass.

Together they toasted the night and slowly savored each drop of history.

Everyone agreed that the whiskey was worth every penny.

“It is absolutely spectacular,” said Gormley. “To have the chance to taste this amazing whiskey, I feel so honored. I’m so proud we pulled this off. It’s historic for Gormley’s Pub, Rocky River and Ohio.

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