Below are the auction lots that will be featured at The Art of Bourbon.
CREAM OF KENTUCKY, SIGNED BY JIM RUTLEDGE
Brought to you and signed by Master Distiller Jim Rutledge (former Master Distiller of Four Roses). Jim came out of retirement to revive the historic Cream of Kentucky brand and elevate it to premium whiskey status.
ORPHAN BARREL RHETORIC 23-YEAR-OLD
The 10th release from the Orphan Barrel Whiskey distilling Company and the 4th in the rhetoric series. Bottled from barrels found in the old Stitzel-Weller warehouses, this bourbon’s finish is long with oak and a touch of smoke.
This 3-bottle collection includes Antique 107, Special Reserve, and 12-Year-Old.
KENTUCKY PEERLESS RYE AND BOURBON
KENTUCKY PEERLESS STRAIGHT BOURBON BATCH NO 1: Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co.’s Corky Taylor, 4th generation owner and his son Carson Taylor, 5th generation owner, bring to us this honestly crafted, never sourced, never chill filtered, strictly sour mash barrel proof Kentucky straight bourbon.
KENTUCKY PEERLESS RYE WHISKEY: A well-balanced rye, bolstered by sweet tones of maple, brown sugar and light citrus sweetness. Finished with a hint of oak and no burn on the throat, thanks to its unique distilling process.
BUFFALO TRACE COLLECTION AND EXPERIENCE
A 10 bottle collection of the best of Buffalo Trace. Virtually everything in this collection is on allocation and heavily sought after today. Included are some of the hottest bourbons: Elmer T Lee, Rock Hill Farms, Col EH Taylor (Small Batch and Single Barrel), Eagle Rare, and a collection of WL Weller 12-year-old, Antique, and Special Reserve. There is also a single barrel 8½-year-old Buffalo Trace that was dubbed “The Consensus.” And with your Buffalo Trace collection, you and seven friends are invited to lunch and a behind-the-scenes tour of the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery.
BARDSTOWN BOURBON COMPANY EXPERIENCE
The Bardstown Bourbon Company is proud to present you with a private tasting, tour, and dining experience at the Bottle & Bond Kitchen and Bar at the Bardstown Bourbon Company. Your experience will include a private tour and tasting with Steve Nally, Bardstown Bourbon Company Master Distiller followed by the dining experience for four guests, up to $400.
AL YOUNG 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION BARREL SELECTIONS—FULL RANGE OF FOUR ROSES BOURBON, ALL SIGNED
Not only is Al Young one of the longest standing and most respected brand ambassadors in the bourbon industry, he is also a veteran master distiller himself.
It was a privilege to select a premium and unique barrel from each of the ten recipes with Al Young, in celebration of his 50th Anniversary with the distillery. Each barrel was chosen for a unique character and pronounced flavor. This was a onetime collaborative and celebratory project in recognition of 50 years of work and dedication to Four Roses and the bourbon industry as a whole. This set of five are my personal choices representing each of the proprietary yeast strains used to make Four Roses.
WILLIAM LARUE WELLER BOTTLE AND GIFT BASKET
Buffalo Trace Distillery, the world’s most award winning distillery, shows off its prowess with this highly sought after package. Includes the 2019 World Whiskey of the Year, William Larue Weller, a very exclusive bottling not available at retail. What makes this bottle so extra special is it was released in 2017, in very limited quantities, and was a one-time-only offering that caught world renowned whiskey reviewer Jim Murray’s eye (and taste buds!). Included in this gift basket is Jim Murray’s 2019 Whisky Bible, so you can see for yourself how Mr. Murray describes this whiskey, along with 4,699 others he reviewed. Enjoy this ultra-premium bourbon in branded tasting glasses, while resting them on a set of leather coasters made specifically for Buffalo Trace Distillery by Louisville’s Clayton and Crume. A perfect way to spend an evening!
KNOB CREEK SINGLE BARREL SELECTION EXPERIENCE
Welcome to the Knob Creek Single Barrel Select Experience. This experience will give you the unique opportunity to select a one-of-a-kind barrel. You will be able to visit our famous Warehouse K and have the chance to thieve samples straight from the barrel and decide which barrel is best for you. Pour yourself a glass, savor each sip, and see which bourbon speaks to you.
W.L. WELLER CENTENNIAL 10-YEAR-OLD
This W.L. Weller Centennial 10-year-old is part of the Bourbon Heritage Collection. This bottle comes from Barrel #1, hand-selected by Bottle Barn.
This Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond from was one of the legendary bottles from the Stitzel-Weller distillery. This is one of the last bottles before the brand was temporarily suspended and sold to Heaven Hill. It is prized by collectors the world over.
HARD TRUTH EXPERIENCE
Pull back the curtain on the craft of sweet mash bourbon and rye whiskey through an immersive, exclusive, hands-on encounter with our distillers at Hard Truth Hills in Brown County, Indiana. With the same pioneering spirit and relentless hard work that we use to create our whiskey, we offer you and up to five friends (six total guests) a re-imagined distillery experience complemented by artisan food and handcrafted cocktails. Join us on our 325 acres of native Indiana forest at our distillery’s Hard Truth Hills home for an adventure unlike any other found in the world of bourbon and rye whiskey.
Your day will include:
- Exclusive, behind the scenes access to our bourbon and rye whiskey distillery where you will work along side our distillers—assisting with mash-in and fermentation/yeast pitching, as well as the distillation, proofing, and bottling of spirits
- Immersive experience at our remote Moonshiner’s Camp where guests and distillers will explore the history of Prohibition-era whiskey making in Brown County and distill a brand new batch of that good ol’ Brown County ‘shine.
- Outdoor lunch at the Moonshiner’s Camp
- Off-road, guided ATV tour with spirits and beer tastings on our beautiful, wooded 325 acres
- Barrel warehouse tour featuring an in-depth discussion on aging whiskey and a tasting of select barrels with our master distiller
- Private dinner with cocktails at our on-site Big Woods restaurant
- Local overnight accommodations for your group with shuttle service to and from your lodging destination
This offer includes two bottles (per guest, for up to six total guests) of our Hard Truth Straight Rye Whiskey, available upon its first release in winter 2020.
SIGNED BOTTLE OF JEPTHA CREED, NELSON’S GREENBRIER, AND SIGNED 291 COLORADO WHISKEY
JEPTHA CREED STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY (SIGNED BY JOYCE NETHERY): Jeptha Creed is a revolutionary craft Kentucky distillery that has pioneered the use of Bloody Butcher Corn and is a female ran facility catching interest across the globe. This is their first bourbon release, and it’s signed by the distiller.
NELSON’S GREENBRIER FIRST 108 TENNESSEE WHISKEY: This award-winning 108 (Gold Medal Small Batch Bourbon at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition) is the only preview currently available of The Original Tennessee Whiskey.
SIGNED BOTTLE OF 291 BARREL PROOF COLORADO WHISKEY: 291 Colorado Whiskey’s first ever straight whiskey released. Sweet and spicy, dried, fruits, with a hint of pine forest and cooling menthol.
OLD RIP VAN WINKLE 10 YEAR, VAN WINKLE 12 YEAR, PAPPY VAN WINKLE 15, 20, AND 23 YEAR, ALL SIGNED
The Van Winkle name became famous after Prohibition, when the iconic Pappy Van Winkle opened the famous Stitzel-Weller Distillery on Derby Day 1935. Pappy was the backbone of Kentucky bourbon among the independent distillers. When he died in 1963, the New York Times ran his obituary for his incredible contributions to the bourbon industry. When his former partners decided to sell in 1972, the Van Winkle name meant little. But Pappy’s son and grandson still had the bourbon fight in their blood. They brought back an old family label—Old Rip Van Winkle--and sourced whiskey from distillers, including the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. Julian Van Winkle’s palate, the grandson, proved to be what the public wanted. He bottled a bourbon that received a perfect score and Pappy Van Winkle became one of the most iconic comeback stories in whiskey history. Today, Pappy sells for the tens of thousands. But in auctions like this, it’s authenticity is often questioned. But let it be known: These are without a doubt the real deal. Their provenance cannot be denied, as they came directly from the man himself—Julian Van Winkle III.
FOUR GATE WHISKEY COMPANY: THE KELVIN COLLABORATION
Four Gate Whiskey Company is based in Louisville and has just released its first batch. The Small Batch is a Special 11-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Finished in Sherry-Rum Casks released at Barrel Proof. The casks were provided by Kelvin Cooperage and Four Gate named the release “The Kelvin Collaboration.” 1,732 bottles available at 123.4 Proof. Bottle includes two Glencairn glasses.
T.W. SAMUELS KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY, 1942
American whiskey tells the story of its time when bottled. At the time of this T.W. Samuels bottling, in early 1942, Maker’s Mark didn’t exist and the distillers could freely make whiskey. But some months after, the government would order all distilleries to shut down, so grains could be used to feed the country and soldiers during World War II. The government allowed distillers to opt-in to make industrial alcohol for the war effort, but for purposes of this auction and all collectors 1942 is a very important year, because it represents our country’s determination to defeat the perils of evil. Distillers helped win World War II. From a whiskey perspective, the T.W. Samuels brand, at the time, belonged to the iconic Samuels family, who would later start the iconic Maker’s Mark. Bill Samuels, Sr. sold the brand in 1943, making this bottle one of the last T.W. Samuels ever made by the hands of a Samuels. The modern Samuels family often tells the stories of the T.W. Samuels brand and how Bill Samuels, Sr. burned the original recipe. If this legend is true, then, this 1942 bottle contains extinct liquid that can never be duplicated. It’s quite possibly one of the rarest American whiskeys remaining in the world.
MAKER’S MARK PRIVATE SELECT BARREL AND EXPERIENCE
Painstaking attention to detail and passion for doing things the right way are the shared values that initially connected internationally renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly with the handmade essence of Maker’s Mark. And now you have an opportunity, never offered before, to own both an entire barrel of Maker’s Mark bourbon that you have designed to your own unique taste preference, as well as a stunning piece of Chihuly glass art.
This unforgettable experience for you and nine friends begins with a personal tour of the National Historic Landmark distillery in Loretto by Rob Samuels, Chief Distillery Officer, eighth-generation distiller and grandson of the founders of Maker’s Mark. After Rob walks you through the bucolic, pristine campus and provides personal insights into his grandparents’ vision, you’ll enter the bourbon industry’s only limestone whisky Cellar where you will go through the entire Private Select process, reserved for only the most special customers of the brand. You will learn about—and taste for yourselves—the specific flavors created by different types of staves, and ultimately your group will create an entire barrel of your very own expression of Maker’s Mark, with a finish unique to your tastes. When the barrel matures nine weeks later, the bottle labels will feature your name and stave selection recipe, and you will receive the entire bottling run for you and your friends to enjoy.
Your day also will include lunch at Star Hill Provisions, featuring a farm-to-table menu created especially for you by Chef Newman Miller, who served as a guest judge on last season’s TV series, Bravo’s Top Chef. And in a breathtaking finale to your extraordinary day, the winning bidder will leave with yet another one-of-a-kind, priceless memento: a piece of Chihuly art glass from the distillery’s exclusive collection.
Transportation for this memorable day will be provided by Mint Julep Tours.
MICHTER’S BOURBON COLLECTION
This is a 5-bottle collection of Michter’s bourbons, including Bombergers, Shenk’s, Bourbon Whiskey, Barrel Strength, and 10-Year.
This is a 4-bottle collection of Michter’s, including Small Batch Sour Mash, Barrel Strength Rye, 10-Year Rye, and Single Barrel Rye.
MICHTER’S PRIVATE DINNER, TOUR, AND SPECIAL TASTING
Treat your friends, family, and fellow Kentucky bourbon lovers to a private tour, special tasting, and dinner for ten people at the Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery featuring the legendary pot still and cypress wood fermenter system from Michter’s Pennsylvania, which traces its history back to 1753. Among the seven spirits you will taste will be:
- Michter’s US*1 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon
- Michter’s 10-Year Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon
- Michter’s 10-Year Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Rye
- Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye
- Bomberger’s Declaration
- Michter’s 20 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon
- The extremely rare Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash Whiskey
Upon completion of the tour and tasting, you and your guests will visit The Bar at Fort Nelson and enjoy a world class cocktail experience with great classic cocktails made with recipes created by David Wondrich, renowned cocktail historian and author, with dinner and dessert to follow. The evening will be hosted by Michter’s Master Distiller Dan McKee and/or the Master of Maturation Andrea Wilson depending on the date scheduled. Transportation within Louisville provided to and from event. The date must be mutually agreeable to the winning bidder and Michter’s.
BARRELL BOURBON COLLECTION
DOVETAIL: Dovetail is bended to highlight some of our favorite flavors. Woody Bourbon; terroir driven Dunn Cabernet; toasted French Oak; late bottled vintage port piped; black strap molasses cakes; all working in tandem to create a buttery and deep whiskey as unique as it is delicious. Dovetail took almost a year to get right, from blending to labeling, all coming together in a seemingly perfect point.
019: Batch 019 is a study in complexity. We sorted a careful selection of 9.5- to 14-year-old barrels from Kentucky and Tennessee into 5 groups. We then blended portions of those 5 groups together to maximize the unique qualities of each. The sweet opening notes give way to a nutty and herbaceous nuance, all overlaid by a lattice of barrel spice. Double Gold winner and Best of Class Winner of the World Spirits Competition, 2019 Ultimate Spirits Challenge finalist, 2019 Ultimate Spirits Challenge 94 points.
016: Barrell Bourbon 016 is a blend of barrels, set aside over the past year for a distinct toasted orange note. The age ranges from 9 years 9 months, deeply concentrated but not too oaky, this bourbon is a unique held of different aged barrels from different distilleries. Gold winner of the World Spirits Competition, San Francisco.
017: Batch 017 is an homage to a style of bourbon we love, which has become increasingly hard to find. It’s the classic 10-year-old: high proof and balanced, oak driven but complex. This batch is Barrell Bourbon’s tribute to the elegant bourbon’s with the past. Double Gold winner of the World Spirits Competition, San Francisco.
018: Batch 018 is a cinnamon bomb of a bourbon. We began with a juicy and topical 11-year-old blend and layered in more structured, spice driven 14- and 15-year-old barrels to give this batch a serious amount of character and bite. It’s a bit of a blend of straight bourbons with all the comfort of your favorite old Fashioned—sweet and rich with notes of honey, orange and cherry. Coffee and tropical fruit on the palate lead to an earthy finish that invites thoughtful contemplation as the whacky continues to evolve. Double Gold winner and Best of Class Winner of the World Spirits Competition, San Francisco
BARRELL BOURBON 015
Barrell Craft Spirits 15-year-old Cask Strength Bourbon was Fred Minnick’s 2018 American Whiskey of the Year, which was highlighted in Forbes Magazine. He wrote of his blind tasting competition: “My 2018 Best American Whiskey went to Glass No. 10, Barrell Bourbon 15-year-old, a blend of straight bourbons from Tennessee, Indiana and Kentucky. This is a stunning upset, as Barrell, a small company, is a blender and not a distiller. They acquire barrels from other distilleries and blended them to create my American Whiskey of the Year. Furthermore, they defeated American whiskey juggernauts to take this.”
BOOKER’S RYE, 2015, SIGNED BY MASTER DISTILLER FRED NOE
Voted World Whiskey of the year in 2017, by Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible. This Booker’s offers a complex aroma with spicy notes from the rye in the mash bill. Inspired by a 200-year-old tradition, Booker’s is bottled uncut and unfiltered.
OKI SINGLE BARREL
OKI was the forebearer of Covington’s New Riff distillery, one of the premier new distilleries in the industry. They were experts at sourcing barrels from MGP in Indiana, and curated some of the finest sourced bourbons around. This bottle is from the last 12 year old barrels that OKI released and is a single barrel selection from Gordo Jackson at Old Town Liquor.
PAPPY VAN WINKLE 23 YEAR, SIGNED BY JULIAN VAN WINKLE
JOHN POINDEXTER OLD BOURBON 1928
This special bottle is a rare, pre-prohibition era “dusty.” One pint of Kentucky Bourbon (100 proof) aged 12 years, bottled in bond, distilled in the spring of 1916 and bottled for “medicinal purposes.”
JEFFERSON RESERVE OCEAN BARREL SELECTION AND SHARK TAGGING EXPERIENCE
In 2012, Jefferson’s Bourbon founder and master blender Trey Zoeller partnered with OCEARCH founder, Chris Fischer. OCEARCH, a globally recognized nonprofit dedicated to the study and tracking of keystone marine species such as great white sharks and tiger sharks, to test out a theory. With the idea that constant movement of the liquid in the barrels ages the whiskey faster because more of the liquid is in contact with the wood more often, Zoeller strapped five barrels of Jefferson’s bourbon to the MV OCEARCH, a 126’ Cat-powered vessel that serves as OCEARCH’s mothership and at-sea laboratory.
The barrels stayed onboard for more than three years crossing through the Panama Canal six times. “I had no idea what it would taste like,” Zoeller said. “When we tapped into the barrels, it completely exceeded my expectations. The liquid was black, almost syrupy. The sugars had caramelized. It was fantastic.”
Currently, the MV OCEARCH is carrying four barrels of Jefferson’s bourbon and embarks on seasonal expeditions, to gather data on the ecology, physiology, and behavior of sharks in the North Atlantic Ocean, and to increase the sample size of the Great White Shark research. The winning bidder will travel out to the MV OCEARCH for a shark tagging experience and your own selection of one of the four barrels.
ANGEL’S ENVY: FIRST BARREL BOTTLE
This isn’t simply one of the rarest bottles of whiskey on earth; it’s a time machine back to the beginning of Angel’s Envy. The spirit in this bottle comes from the first barrel Lincoln, Wes, and Kyle Henderson filled for their fledgling brand. We had been saving our first whiskey for a special occasion, and this excellent charitable event is a cause that we believe Lincoln would’ve approved. He also believed, as do we, that the best whiskeys shouldn’t be hidden away in dark rickhouses or on dusty top shelves. That above all, they should be shared and enjoyed with the friends and guests who matter the most. Note: Subtle vanilla, raisins, maple syrup and toasted nuts. Palate: Vanilla, ripe fruit, maple syrup, toast and bitter chocolate. Finish: Clean and lingering sweetness with a hint of Madeira that slowly fades. Proof: 86.6
ANGEL’S ENVY CASK STRENGTH VERTICAL, 2013 – 2018
Ranked the “Best Spirit in the World” by F. Paul Pacult’s 2013 Spirit Journal, Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon Finished in Port Barrels is unlike any bourbon you’ve ever tasted. Each year, we judge only a handful of our barrels exceptional enough for our lengthy Cask Strength finishing process. The result? Every sip is rare and worth savoring. Each year’s release is unique in its flavor profile, and we suggest that you enjoy this spirit with a few friends who appreciate outstanding whiskey. Angel’s Envy Cask Strength was worth waiting for, and now it’s worth sharing. This vertical includes six bottles, 2013 – 2018.
WOODFORD RESERVE BACCARAT
History and heritage meet innovation and sophistication. Woodford Reserve is known for being full of flavors from our masterful combination of wood, water, grain, and time. For centuries, Baccarat’s award-winning artisans have forged crystal objects of timeless elegance from a combination of matter and fire, expertise and inspiration. Now these two icons of craftsmanship have come together to create Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon finished in the finest XO Cognac barrels, bottled in handmade decanters from the artists at Baccarat—the first and only American whiskey ever bottled in the precious crystal.
KING OF KENTUCKY, OLD FORESTER OWSLEY’S SELECTION, AND SIGNED OLD FORESTER PRESIDENT’S CHOICE
KING OF KENTUCKY: 2ND LIMITED RELEASE: In 2018, Brown-Forman revived the lapsed label with a 21st century persona, paying homage to the brand’s past. The second-year limited release is of a 15-year-old bourbon, presented non chill filtered at barrel strength. Hand bottled, individually numbered and wax dipped; every bottle will tell the story of its origin through its details on the front and back of the package.
OLD FORESTER OWSLEY SELECTION: A 9-Year-old Orphan Single barrel from the Owsley Brown III collection, only available here at the Speed!
OLD FORESTER: THE PRESIDENT’S CHOICE: The President’s Choice was historically, and is today, driven by the palate of Old Forester’s current President. Each barrel in the modern iteration is hand-selected by Campbell Brown, Old Forester president and fifth generation Brown family member, under the guidance of Master Taster, Jackie Zykan. Because The President’s Choice expressions are hand selected barrels which have showcased exceptional character and represent the foremost quality the Old Forester brand has to offer, they will be released only when such distinct barrels come of maturity and reach exceptional taste profile. This limited release product can be found at Old Forester Distilling Co. and select Kentucky retailers.
BOURBON-CENTRIC STAYCATION AT THE OMNI HOTEL
- 1-night stay in a Suite
- 50 min. Mokara Spa Signature Massage or Facial
- Bourbon Barrel Foods from Falls City Market gift basket
- Mint Julep Experiences Bourbon Cruisers Tour (the new tuk tuks)
- Bourbon tasting in the VIP lounge area of Pin + Proof Speakeasy, then a flight to pair with dinner at Bob’s Steak & Chop House
- Breakfast at Neighborhood Services
SIGNED BOTTLE OF WILD TURKEY KENTUCKY SPIRIT SINGLE BARREL AND DECANTER
Bottle of Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit Single Barrel, signed by Master Distiller Jimmy Russell, paired with a modern take on the classic Wild Turkey decanter.
PAPPY VAN WINKLE 20 YEAR, SIGNED BY JULIAN VAN WINKLE
SIGNED BOTTLES OF 2018 & 2019 OLD FORESTER BIRTHDAY BOURBON
2018: To commemorate the birthday of The First Bottled Bourbon’s founder, Old Forester annually releases a limited edition, vintage-dated expression: Birthday Bourbon. The September 2nd release marks the 18th limited edition expression. Selected from a single day of production and handcrafted by Master Distiller Chris Morris and Master Taster Jackie Zykan, this small batch bourbon offers a one-of-a-kind character and flavor profile that will never be replicated. The 2018 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon was drawn from 12-year-old barrels from different warehouses and floors. Barreled on June 9, 2006—Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2018 is presented at 101 Proof. This is the first Birthday Bourbon vintage to be bottled at the new Old Forester Distilling Co. on Louisville’s Historic Whiskey Row.
2019: Presented at 105 proof, the highest proof to date for this special expression. After showing exceptionally unique character during a tasting panel, the 11-year-old barrels were chosen specifically for Birthday Bourbon. The 2019 Birthday Bourbon is a one-of-a-kind expression with a truly unique multidimensional profile.
SIGNED 2005 OLD FORESTER BIRTHDAY BOURBON
For this bourbon, we used a different malted barley supplier. The new barley produced a slightly lighter bodied spirit than usual. Barrels were stored on the 7th floor of Warehouse H., where they were exposed to extremely warm temperatures and dry conditions. The lighter bodied spirit and warehouse conditions resulted in a higher than average Angel’s Share loss that concentrated the rich toasted and charred oak notes.
SIGNED 2008 OLD FORESTER BIRTHDAY BOURBON
The highest rated Old Forester in history, 2009 Spirit Journal gave it a Five Star rating “Highest Recommendation.” Barrels were all selected from the 6th floor of Warehouse H., an upper floor where heat builds. This made for a more robust, complex flavor profile. The taste is a combination of caramelized oak, ripe apple; vanilla and toasted coconut grace the palate.
OLD FORESTER TASTING EXPERIENCE WITH CAMPBELL BROWN AND JACKIE ZYKAN
You and seven guests will join Old Forester President, Campbell Brown, Old Forester Master Taster, and Jackie Zykan for a special and unique VIP bourbon tasting of truly unique Old Forester expressions, selected by Campbell and Jackie. The winner and each guest will also receive a bottle of Old Forester autographed by Campbell and Jackie. Reservation for this experience will be made in accordance with Campbell Brown, Jackie Zykan, and the winning bidders available schedule.
ELMER T. LEE SINGLE BARREL
Named after Master Distiller Emeritus, Elmer T. Lee, this whiskey is hand-selected and bottled to the taste and standards of Elmer T. Lee himself. Perfectly balanced and rich, as declared by the man who knows how great bourbon should taste.
TWO BOTTLES OF KENTUCKY OWL RYE #2
This is rich, syrupy rye deliciousness. All the good parts of whiskey without any of the bad. It’s like you melted a cinnamon roll and gave it a little kick at the end to remind you it was whiskey. Nose has notes of honey, cinnamon, warm cinnamon rolls straight from the oven, strawberry jam, a combination of rich sweetness and baking spices, as well as honey with a red pepper that lingers.
OVERHOLT RYE FROM 1909
There is history we know almost everything about, and there is history we know almost nothing about. This falls somewhere in between.
Here is what we do know.
Andrew Mellon purchased 1/3 of the Overholt distillery from Henry Clay Frick, the grandson of the founder. Frick and Mellon were lifelong friends, and both were incredibly wealthy industrialists. Upon his passing in 1919, Frick left his shares to Mellon who became the majority owner of the distillery.
In 1920, Prohibition passed, and in advance both Andrew and his brother Richard B. stored the best barrels of rye the distillery had produced from the preceding 15 years. Andrew was forced to sell his share in the distillery after becoming Secretary of the Treasury in 1921. Some of this was actually covered in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, in which Mellon was played by James Cromwell. As prohibition proceeded, the brothers would bottle what they needed for their personal consumption, bottling all the remaining barrels at the end of prohibition in the mid- to late-1930s. The actual glass bottle for auction today has been dated to sometime in the early 1930s, so it is assumed that it was part of the end of Prohibition, which would put the 1909 Rye at approximately a 24–28-year-old rye.
Richard B. Mellon passed away in 1933, and it is assumed that he left a great deal of the rye to his children Sarah Mellon and Richard K. Mellon. Sarah, in turn, left her inheritance to her son Richard Mellon Scaife, one of the wealthiest men in the country and the publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. In 2014, Scaife passed away, and the purchasers of his estate discovered a wine cellar that still contained approximately 60 cases of the Overholt Rye from 1904 to 1912.
Christie’s of New York was contracted to auction off the cases and we purchased six cases. It remains today one of the best reviewed, most sought after, and rarest old whiskies known. The best way I can describe it is that it tastes like Thanksgiving in a bottle.Vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and caramelized apples are some of the predominant notes.
WILLIAM LARUE WELLER & THOMAS H. HANDY SAZERAC RYE
These two bottles from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection are some of the finest examples of their premium whisky abilities. It is only introduced once a year, and lines will be around the block for people hoping to get one of these trophies. The first is William Larue Weller. This Bourbon is a 12-year-old, and is bottled at barrel strength, a full 125.7 proof. It is the smoothest wheated whiskey you are likely to taste, especially at this high octane. This is one of the most prized bottles produced today. The Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye is another barrel-strength treasure from this group. It is dark and rich, but it is still very smooth for a 128.8 expression. This 6-year-old rye will be the perfect beginning for any of your best cocktail recipes.
PAPPY VAN WINKLE 15 YEAR, SIGNED BY JULIAN VAN WINKLE