A Sommelier’s Super Luxe Sip List

We asked Tulalip Resort Casino’s sommelier Tommy Thompson to create his dream list of bottles he’d love to crack open (or just have in his personal collection) if money weren’t a factor. Here are his picks:

old rip van winkle

Old Rip Van Winkle ‘25 Year’

Only 710 bottles were made from 11 barrels of the rarest and most expensive bourbon in the world. I have had the opportunity to taste this at Tulalip Resort Casino. We are one of the very fortunate few that received this precious bottle — stunning in flavor and aroma, especially for a 25-year bourbon. I have seen this on the aftermarket for upwards of $15,000 per bottle. There is a lot to be said of the Van Winkle family. Regarding amazing bourbons, this one is a must try if you find the opportunity.

Billionaire Vodka

Billionaire Vodka

It is a beautiful spirit, of course, and some can speak so eloquently of its complexities. I would love to at least hold the bottle and get that perfect photo where you stand there looking so cool, and one with the bottle on the table where you place water in your glass and act like you are drinking it (with the armed guards, standing just outside of frame). Moreover, answering those cool Instagram inquiries with — “Oh this? Just a bottle of Billionaire Vodka … you know the one that’s $3.75 million per bottle.” Yeah, that’s me. NOT!


The Macallan 64-year-old in Lalique: Cire Perdue

One bottle. One! It is all that they made of this Scotch whiskey. Need we say more? It is pushing $500,000.

Anejo Tequila

Clase Azul Ultra Extra Añejo Tequila

This stuff is fantastic. I have had the opportunity to try it, and it is stunningly rich and complex, spicy, yet slightly sweet. I wish I could buy myself a bottle one day. It’s $2,000 a bottle.

1952 Penfold’s Grange from Australia

I have read about this vintage, and I’ve had the fantastic opportunity to taste newer vintages, but never the chance to taste arguably the most excellent wine from Australia ever produced (from what I read). I can only imagine the amount of time it would take to sit, smell, taste, and discuss just one glass of the wine. One can dream, right?

1992 Screaming Eagle, the first vintage

Of course, this is Napa history and lore. These bottles capture considerable prices in the collectors’ market. I’ve had the opportunity to taste another vintage many years ago, but I would love the chance to sample the wine that was the “gotcha” moment for so many collectors. This wine is hugely rare and highly expensive. I must say, if a guest wishes the experience of Screaming Eagle, they can come to our property, because we have 2001, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012 vintages in our cellar. When in Rome, right? We also offer the second flight by Screaming Eagle, an entirely different wine; this is more Merlot-heavy, and is stunning as well.

Chateau d’Yquem 1787

I mean d’Yquem — over 200 years old — can you imagine?

1796 Lenox Madeira

It’s a famous wine and said to have been purchased to celebrate the election of our second president, John Adams (though no one can confirm this). The thought of it is mind-boggling, because I am a huge fan of politics and history, and I can sit for hours upon hours reading a history book and watching nerdy History Channel documentaries. To hold one of these bottles would be fine with me.

1979 Chateau Le Pin, Bordeaux

This wine has a super-low bottle production of this long-lived Merlot. I have read about it — with its rich character right out of the gate — and the long aging potential it has shown. Petrus produces 20,000 cases, with the Le Pin priced around $700 a bottle.


Tamagawa ‘Time Machine’ 1712

This sake was brewed from a recipe dating back to 1712. I have two left in our cellar.

Zankyo ‘Super 7’ Junmai Super Daiginjo

This is a must-try if you can find it. They polish this rice down to a mere 7 percent, and the presentation is stunning. I can imagine it will be delicate, silky, and ethereal. I’m on the hunt for this one. Last I saw this, a single bottle was pushing $1,300.

Honorable Mention:

Homare Shu ‘Aladdin’ Yuzu Junmai Sake

I added this because it is our top-selling sake here. People love the bright citrus lemon note and the sweet palate-coating texture. I cannot keep this in stock — and although it tastes dreamy, this price tag is not. Cheers!

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