Fans of Bourbon and American whiskey will want to check out Whisky Auctioneer’s latest online auction. That’s because the platform will be showcasing an exclusive bottled timeline of American whiskey history.

The 10-day sale running from 13-23 August and will feature some of the most sought after American and bourbon whiskeys ever produced. The oldest bottle to feature in the auction will be an Old Overholt expression, distilled in 1908 in the years before prohibition.

American whiskey
Rare expressions of American whiskey

For many the auction will help reveal some of the interesting backstory of these unique bottles. America has had a storied history of distilling since the 18th century. From thrifty farmers that turned their hands to distilling alcohol with surplus crop, to settlers from Scotland and Ireland who set up stills on arrival to the ‘new world’, the early days of whiskey production would go on to shape what is now a thriving industry synonymous with American culture.

However in 1920, America saw its (legal) production of whiskey ground to a halt with the introduction of strict Prohibition laws. It marked an era that would become one of the most historically significant moments in American history.

american whiskey pre-prohibition
Pre-Prohibition bottles of Old Overholt distilled in 1908

Now almost a century later, an extraordinary collection of over 500 whiskey expressions ranging from the pre-prohibition era to the present day are coming to online auction on Whisky Auctioneer. Spanning over 100 years in total, the auction will represent a timeline of America’s distilling history, journeying through its periods of challenge and triumph.

Exclusive Rare Expressions

Whisky Auctioneer will showcase highly sought after bottles produced during America’s prohibition years. It will feature amongst others bottles such as Old Mock, I.W. Harper, and Harry E. Wilkin whiskeys. Some of the most collectible bourbon in existence will also feature in the sale. This includes expressions bottled under the guidance of Julian Van Winkle Jr. from the legendary Van Winkle family.

These consist of Pappy Van Winkle, Old Rip Van Winkle and Van Winkle Reserve bottlings, and also feature the very rare 1975 Special Reserve bottled exclusively for the Corti Brothers of Sacramento. A variety of expressions from iconic brands such as Four Roses, Wild Turkey, and Maker’s Mark will also be included.

prohibition era american whiskey
Prohibition Era whiskeys representing a unique time in American history

The auction follows Whisky Auctioneer’s sale of the ‘Heart and Soul’ of Pat’s Whisk(e)y Collection last year, which secured mass interest across the globe and an overall hammer price of US$485,625 (S$659,818). And this interest in American whiskey is showing no sign of slowing down – Whisky Auctioneer has recorded a 600% increase in the volume of whiskeys from the USA featuring in its auctions between 2016 and 2020, with value increasing by over 900% in the same time period.

Joe Wilson, Head of Content at Whisky Auctioneer, said: “We’ve seen interest in Bourbon and American whiskey soar over recent years. Once confined to small, passionate communities of “dusty-hunters” and online forums, the world of collectible bourbon is now a mainstream fascination. This auction celebrates the names that proved so influential in the evolution of this, from A.H. Hirsch and Van Winkle to Buffalo Trace.

“However, through a carefully curated selection of 20th century classics, this auction is also a ground-breaking opportunity to explore, engage with and ultimately own a piece of the story that continues to capture the hearts and minds of whiskey-lovers across the world.”

Check out the auction here.

(Images: Whisky Auctioneer)

written by.
Richard Augustin
Former chef turned writer; Richard has tip-toed around the publishing industry for two decades. When not busy chasing deadlines, you can still find him experimenting with recipes in the kitchen.

Subscribe to the magazine

Subscribe Now