If you’re not up on the latest in regards to expensive booze, Louis XIII Cognac is one of the most coveted and priciest — with a 70 cl (700ml) bottle of Louis XIII costing as much as $3,400. At that price you probably don’t want to chuck it in a $5 novelty flask and stash it in your back pocket. No, you would probably want to store it in a fine crystal decanter made by the world-renowned crystal company Baccarat and, in a minute, you’ll understand why.
The Black Crystal Decanter is truly a work of art. Before it has finished being made, it has passed through the hands of no less than 20 people. The liquid going inside that bottle is a Louis XIII Rare Cask 43,8 (denoting the alcohol content of 43.8%), which has a base price of $22,000, making it one of the finest chugs on the planet (no need for a chaser here!). But enough about the cost, let’s look at the video of how Baccarat forged this crystal masterpiece.
The Louis XIII Rare Cask decanter begins life as black crystal (known to be difficult to work with), heated to thousands of degrees in a massive stone kiln, where it is mixed with white crystal, shaped and molded in a delicate process to get the perfect shape and contour. Once the crystal is shaped using precision measuring and glass-shaping tools, it receives the decorative crystal adornments, pressed, stamped and molded to give the iconic look Louis XIII bottles are known for.
Once the top has been molded and shaped to match the body, it then goes on to hand-painted coating of palladium, which is used to dress the neck and adornments, highlighting the Louis XIII label underneath. It’s crazy to see the amount of precision that goes into crafting a bottle without the aid of modern tools (CAD and CNC machinery, is what I was thinking). To get a closer look at the Louis XIII bottle and other spirits most of us will never afford, head here.