Generally speaking, it's what's inside a bottle that counts. It could come out of a yak udder just as long as it still tastes like a fine, single-malt Scotch. Still, there's nothing wrong with a little creative packaging. And booze bottles come in some of the most creative, decadent, and just plain bizarre designs you can imagine.
It's the weekend, you've made it through the long week, and it's time for Happy Hour, Gizmodo's weekly booze column. A cocktail shaker full of innovation, science, and alcohol. How do you bottle uncomfortable?
What better way to fill your liver full of holes than with a bottle of vodka modelled after an AK-47? Yep, Mikhail Kalashnikov (who just passed away last month) once lent his name to a vodka. In all fairness, machine gun shaped booze is a pretty decent way to sell out. [Wired]
Hijos De Villa Pistol Reposado Tequila
Bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase "tequila shot," Hijos De Villa released this special bottle on the 100th anniversary of the Mexican revolution. A reposado for the eternal repose. [Complex]
Armenian Five Star Brandy Sword
I don't always have those nights where I don't know if I'm going to be casually drinking with my friend or disemboweling an old enemy, but when I do, I reach for Armenian Five Star Brandy Sword. Which apparently only costs about 40 bucks. [Value Spirits]
Tommy Guns Vodka
Oh good, we're back to automatic weaponry-shaped booze. This Chicago-based distillery makes booze in the shape of a prohibition-era tommy gun. This stuff is almost definitely nasty but I'm kind of afraid to say so in case these guys come after me. [Drinking In America]
Bollinger Bond 007 Champagne
Can't have all these booze-guns making a racket, right? Bollinger made these silencer-shaped cases for a limited edition champagne in honour of the 2008 Bond film Quantum of Solace. Each case has a lock and key so you can use it to store valuables once the champagne's gone. Only 207 bottles were made, and they sold for $US5,765 each, though, so they kind of qualify as valuables in their own right. [Trend Hunter]
This 375ml bottle of Nepali rum is absolutely gorgeous. It's just about the only dagger you wouldn't make winding up in your gut, provided it came in through your throat.[Complex]
Herr is a Russian vodka. It's shaped like... well. [Russia Mania]
This 375ml bottle of aged Armenian brandy is unfortunately described as "hand blown." [Liquor Warehouse Wine]
Crystal Head Vodka
If Diddy can have his own vodka, why can't Elwood Blues? Dan Aykroyd's vodka, true to its name, comes in a Crystal Head. People either really like the vodka or hate it with violence, but the skull is undeniably fun to hold. Makes an awesome candle holder, and evidently, can it also be made into a bong if you don't mind drilling. [Crystal Head]
Not only does Milagro make a very tasty tequila, but if you go for one in their "Select" series, you'll be treated to a 750ml bottle with an agave plant hand-blown right into the glass. Gorgeous. Best of all, this one isn't even hard to find. They range between $US45 and $US100 at BevMo.
The Macallan 64 Year Old in Lalique Cire Perdue
Guh. You're looking at the single priciest bottle of whisky ever sold. The bottle of 64 year old Macallan was sold at a charity auction for an astounding $US460,000 USD. The decanter is one of a kind. It's pretty attractive but dang, half a mil? [QLP]
Blanton's Single Barrel Straight Kentucky Bourbon
There are, if memory serves, eight different horses you can get on the cap of a bottle of Blanton's. My friend Eli has collected them all over the years, and having helped him drink the contents of at least a few of those bottles, I can highly recommend the stuff. [Busted Wallet]
Tequila Romance by Milagro
Yeah, another Milagro, but damn, look at it! Three spheres filled with añejo suspended in a bath of reposado. Purty! You can typically pick up a bottle for around $US150. [via Complex]
Bombay Saphire Revelations
Made of Baccarat crystal and designed by Karim Rashid, only five of these gin-filled bottles were ever made. They will run you a paltry $US200,000 each. So maybe get two so you can use 'em as earrings. [Luxist]
Just Plain Weird
Bong water you might actually drink. Apparently there's actually some decent vodka in this bong-shaped bottle from -- you guessed it -- Holland. And yes, evidently it's pretty easy to make an actual bong out of it, so it's kind of a twofer. [Why Don't I Have This]
Absolut Rock Edition
It's supposed to be very rock and roll, but feels a little kinkier than that. [Neat Designs]
Haven't you always wanted to be able to painstaking program an LED display on a vodka bottle to display one of six messages of your choice up to 255 characters? No? Well, here you go anyway. [QLP]
Grazia - Cammello (3L)
Because red wine isn't quite easy enough to spill on your carpet as it is, now there's this, the Stretch Armstrong of wine bottles. It's an Italian Merlot, in case you were wondering what you'd be accidentally breaking. [Aiko Importers]
The End of History by Brew Dog
The End of History marks the end of Scottish brewery Brew Dog's experimentation with high ABV beer. This one hit a whopping 55-per cent. To celebrate, each bottle was taxidermied into the body of a dead stoat or grey squirrel. Thankfully, the dead animals were all roadkill. Only 11 bottles were released (that's 7 stoats and 4 grey squirrels for those of you playing the home game), each of which poured out both beer and nightmares. [Brew Dog]
Truth be told, this list is just barely scratching the surface of the weirdness that's out there. Within the category of Armenian Brandy alone there's a ton of strange stuff, or peep some of these imports. We could have gone on for days, but frankly, we'd rather see what you can find out there in this big, weird world.
Drop a pic in the discussion below and let's see if we can't make this page the best compendium of strange liquor bottles out there.