http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=aYWL4fu2kaAM July 30 (Bloomberg) -- William Grant & Sons Distillers Ltd., the maker of Glenfiddich whisky, today released a 50-year aged version of the liquor that will sell for 10,000 pounds ($16,000), making it the second-most expensive in the world. Glenfiddich 50 Year Old, equally priced to the family- owned company’s most expensive whisky ever, will be released in 500 individually numbered, hand-blown glass bottles adorned with Scottish silver and packaged in leather-bound cases, the Dufftown, Scotland-based distiller said today. Collecting limited-release liquor has proven as profitable as art for some investors. A 60-year-old Macallan, which set the world record in 1991 when it sold for 6,250 pounds, is now worth 23,000 pounds, according to the Forbes list of the priciest drams. The Glenfiddich 50-Year would be its nearest rival available to buy openly. “I’d expect interest from Asia to North America for a 50- year,” said Campbell Evans, director of government and consumer affairs at the Edinburgh-based Scotch Whisky Association, the industry’s lobby group. “A few might drink it, but I suspect most would keep it for the investment.” Aging a whisky for 50 years is not without complications, Evans said. The liquor evaporates at the rate of 2 percent a year, and must sit in its barrel, unmixed with any other malt, for the duration to qualify as a 50-year. 64-Year-Old “Whisky changes as it matures, and the challenge is to make sure the whisky character is what comes through rather than the wood,” he said. Years spent in the bottle are not counted towards a whisky’s age. William Grant had aged just two casks of the single-malt liquor since the 1950s, waiting to make its first 50-year-old in 18 years. None of the original half-century old whisky is known to be in existence, the company said. A 64-year-old Glenfiddich released in 2001 was sold for 10,000 pounds a bottle at the time and was the oldest single malt ever to be produced, according to the company. The 61 bottles produced are rarely seen or valued, it said. Whyte & Mackay, a Scottish distiller owned by India’s United Spirits Ltd., released a 50-year-old Dalmore whisky bottled in crystal decanters in 1978. It can be bought for 7,500 pounds at online retailer The Whisky Exchange. William Grant and larger rival Diageo Plc, the maker of Johnnie Walker whisky, have increased sales by selling more premium-priced products. Scotch whisky exports fell 5 percent in volume last year, though they climbed 8 percent by value to 3.06 billion pounds, a fourth straight annual increase. The Glenfiddich maker now has “ more aged stock than any other distillery,” Peter Gordon, William Grant’s chairman and a fifth-generation family heir, said in the statement. The 50- year will be distributed in 50-bottle lots over 10 years, selling at airports for two months and then at other retailers.