An Auction That May Have Just Set An American Craft Whiskey Record - The Whiskey Wash

An Auction That May Have Just Set An American Craft Whiskey Record

By Nino Marchetti / April 16, 2014

59022-zoomIn the world of whiskey auctions certain items, such as rare Scotch, can fetch high premiums. What about whiskey from craft distilleries? It is a largely untested market I imagine, but a recently completed auction of a single bottle of Balcones 5th Anniversary Single Barrel Bourbon may have just set a record for offerings of its type.

Now it is hard to say at this point what value this bottling, only one of 10 released in the United Kingdom and one of 176 worldwide, should truly command. Balcones is certainly a cult distillery in the United States, but should this limited edition bourbon have commanded a winning bid of £920, or over $1,500 USD? All I can say at this point is wow, wow, wow.

The auction, which ended earlier this month, passed to an unnamed bidder a bottle that not only celebrated Balcones’ fifth anniversary but also marked “the first ‘full sized’ barrel of bourbon they’ve ever produced” as well as “the first single barrel release in Texan history.” It was signed by founder and distiller Chip Tate himself.

So the question I pose to you, the reader, is this: is American craft whiskey, regardless of distillery of origin or limited edition status, ready to price at auction in the range of Scotch or rare Kentucky bourbons? Leave me your thoughts in the comments below.