Another Balcones Limited Bourbon At Auction Seeks A Lofty Price - The Whiskey Wash

Another Balcones Limited Bourbon At Auction Seeks A Lofty Price

By Nino Marchetti / April 30, 2014

66206-zoomThe recent record sale of a very rare Balcones Distilling single barrel bourbon at auction in Scotland caught many off guard, including apparently the auctioneers themselves, who said in a recent blog post that for the auction cycle it was part of it “was our biggest auction after all.” When the virtual hammer finally dropped, it had sold for £920, or around $1,500 USD. Certainly a record for craft whiskey of any stripe, and now lightning is trying to strike twice with another of the same bottling up for auction again.

Lot #370246 for Scotch Whisky Auctions’ 37th auction, which ends on May 4, is a bourbon that, like the last one that sold so high, marks the 5th anniversary of the creation of Balcones Distilling. There were only 10 bottles of this release ever sent to the United Kingdom after it quickly disappeared here in the United States, and when they went online for sale at Master of Malt they were scooped up in seconds. Trust me, I know, as I tried to buy on myself at a much more reasonable price then the recent closed auction.

As of the time of this blog post, the current Balcones bourbon on the auction block is pricing at £95, or around $160 USD. Seems a little more down to earth, right? Well, here’s the catch – the auction has a reserve of £800, or around $1,350 USD. With only a few days to go before the auction close, it looks to have a ways to go before it meets that lofty number.

Now it isn’t to say someone won’t swoop in at the last moment and try to buy the bottle. Perhaps even a bidding war will start, which certainly would make the current anonymous owner of this bourbon happy. As we watch the hours tick down on this, it once again raises this question: is American craft whiskey, regardless of distillery of origin or limited edition status, ready to price at auction in the range of high end Scotch or rare Kentucky bourbons?

Alongside this bourbon, I should also point out some other, more recent, very limited Balcones’ bottlings seem to be commanding at least $500 on the secondary market.