Bourbon from Stitzel-Weller Distillery and labels carrying the Van Winkle name were the leading bottles at Whisky Auctioneer’s Century of American Whiskey auction. The auction topped $1 million, galloping past the total from Sotheby’s Thoroughbred Collection, and more than doubling the total from Pat’s Whiskey Collection Heart & Soul sale. A bidder based in the U.S. placed the highest bid at nearly $30,000 to win the Corti Brothers Van Winkle 19 year old Special Reserve 1975. It’s a substantial increase in the record price: this rarity has never previously sold for more than $10,000.
“We were confident that this curation of America’s most historic and important whiskeys would elicit a lot of interest, but the appetite for these bottles far surpassed our expectations,” said Joe Wilson, head of auction content at Whisky Auctioneer, in a statement which confirmed the auction raised £768,462, equivalent to $1,054,089. “The combination of historic significance and incredible rarity has commanded some incredible prices.” The highest placed Prohibition-era bottle was a Kentucky straight bourbon produced in 1916, the 20th most expensive bottle in the auction: $6,653 bought the pint of O.F.C. bottled in bond by The Geo. T. Stagg Company.
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