Whiskey Auctioneer Sees Record Breaking American Whiskey Bottle Prices

Whisky Auctioneer is known for putting rare bottles back into circulation, spirits ranging from the pre-prohibition era to the present day American whiskey and bourbon. One of their more recent auctions came to a close with “unprecedented and record breaking results.”

Joe Wilson, head of Whisky Auctioneer content, said going in they were confident 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.”

The combination of historic significance and extreme rarity commanded what he called historic numbers.

American Whiskey Auction

Highlights from the Exclusive Auction ft. 1948 Four Roses, the first legendary A.H. Hirsch 1974 Reserve, Pre-Prohibition Old Overholt, 1975 Van Winkle for Corti Brothers and the very rare Van Winkle Twisted Spoke bottling (image via Whisky Auctioneer)

“The record prices are testament to the current interest in bourbon and American whiskey,” Wilson said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to see how our future plans can help to nurture and grow what is fast becoming one of the hottest segments in the secondary market.”

The total hammer price on this recent auction was $1,053,824.30 (or £768,472). This figure is more than double the total of Whisky Auctioneer’s last American Whiskey and Bourbon auction … Heart & Soul. And it surpassed Sotheby’s Thoroughbred sale.

Wilson noted that this final Whiskey Auctioneer hammer price reflects the true market value of the bottle, no fees or commissions.

The top grossing lot of the auction was a Corti Brothers Van Winkle, won by somebody based in the United States.

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The top hammer prices of the auction were:

Van Winkle 1975 Special Reserve 19 Year Old for Corti Brothers / Stitzel-Weller: £21,500 ($29,482.88) – To Whiskey Auctioneer’s knowledge, this is potentially the highest price for a Van Winkle bottling at auction.

Twisted Spoke 16 Year Old 105 Proof 1999 / Stitzel-Weller: £13,500 ($18,512.50) – (A 50% increase from last appearing at auction with Whisky Hammer – https://www.whiskyhammer.com/item/66668/Buffalo-Trace/Old-Rip-Van-Winkle—16-Year-Old–Twisted-Spoke-75cl.html)

Very Old Fitzgerald 1960 Bottled in Bond 6 Year Old 100 Proof Gallon with Cradle / Stitzel-Weller: £11,500 ($15,768.14)

Most expensive Prohibition era bottle from the auction: 

OFC 1916 Bottled in Bond Bourbon / Prohibition Era Bottling: £4,850 Hammer Price ($6,649.85)

Most expensive Pre-Prohibition era from the auction: 

Overholt 1908 Rye Whiskey Quart / Pre-Prohibition: £4,600 Hammer Price ($6,306.28)

Other lots of notable interest:

Black Maple Hill 23 Year Old Single Barrel Rye / KBD: £7,200 Hammer Price ($9,864.47)

Michter’s 25 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon 2020 70cl: £6,100 Hammer Price ($8,356.49)

A.H. Hirsch Reserve 1974 15 Year Old / 1st Release: £5,700 Hammer Price ($7,809.37)

Rittenhouse 20 Year Old Straight Rye 1974: £4,700 Hammer Price ($6,440.76)

Old Heaven Hill 28 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon 1991: £4,200 Hammer Price ($5,755.49)