An Astounding Assortment of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons Hits the Public sale Block This Weekend
A new Sotheby’s whiskey auction will take place on Saturday, December 9. But this one is particularly interesting due to the incredibly rare private bottlings of famous names like Pappy Van Winkle that will be available for bidding, as well as some others that are making their debut appearance at auction.
“Whisky & Whiskey – Festive Spirits and American Classics” is the name of the auction, which is said to include expressions from the early 20th century through the mid-2000s. “The collection contains some of America’s rarest whiskeys that only surface once in a blue moon,” said Sotheby’s spirits specialist Zev Glesta in a statement. “This December sale is the ‘blue moon’ and the first time many of these bottles have been publicly offered.” Some of the whiskeys were originally intended for export to Europe and Japan, and others were bottled specifically for private parties, making these truly unique expressions in a very crowded field.
The selection of Pappy Van Winkle bourbons is astounding, with bottles that most people have likely never come across before. Van Winkle Special Reserve 19 Year Old Corti Brothers is a private selection made by a gourmet grocery store in Sacramento in the 1980s that is said to be one of the earliest buyers of Pappy at a time when American whiskey was in decline. According to Sotheby’s, business owner Darrell Corti was the one who convinced Julian Van Winkle III to use the Cognac-style bottle that is still used today. This is expected to sell for $20,000 to $30,000. Another Pappy highlight is the Old Rip Van Winkle 25 Year Old Decanter, one of the most collectible bottles of this wheated bourbon brand ever produced. It was released in a run of 710 bottles in 2014 and contains some of the last Stitzel-Weller bourbon made at that distillery before it shut down. This is also expected to fetch between $20,000 and $30,000.
There are some other big names in vintage whiskey that will go up for auction. D.H. Cromwell 15 Year Black is one you might not be familiar with, but it was produced at the Old Commonwealth Distillery back when Julian Van Winkle was in charge. Just 72 bottles were produced as a tribute to Milwaukee bar owner Helen Cromell (she added a “w” to her name), a friend of Van Winkle’s and a bourbon lover. This 2000 release is expected to sell for $15,000 to $20,000. Red Hook Rye is another vaunted name among whiskey nerds these days, and LeNell’s Red Hook Rye 23 Year Old Barrel #1 is hitting the auction block. LeNell Santa Ana Camacho, who owned a liquor store in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, selected barrels of rye with Willett master distiller Drew Kulsveen produced at Heaven Hill’s Bernheim Distillery in the 1980s. This cask strength whiskey bottle, signed by LeNell, should fetch $20,000 to $30,000.
Lastly, A.H. Hirsch Reserve was resurrected as the Hirsch Whiskey brand in recent years, but the original bottles are true collector’s items. This 15-year-old bourbon was bottled in 1989 at Old Commonwealth by, you guessed it, Julian Van Winkle, and is expected to go for $5,000 to $7,000. And if you’re into scotch whisky, there are are more than 100 bottles from The Macallan available as well. Bidding for this Sotheby’s auction starts tomorrow at 10am Eastern Time, and you can register here if interested. Good luck, and don’t forget to share that rare Pappy with your friends when you open it.
Source: Robb Report