Food & Drink

A Century of American Whiskey

This New Auction Features 500+ Bottles, Some Dating Back to Pre-Prohibition


If you didn't excel in history class as a kid, or you just can't make it through thick tomes on the subject today, don't feel bad.

It's not your fault.

See, some people thrive inside classrooms and by reading textbooks, while others require a different kind of motivation.

Like whiskey.

A Century of American Whiskey: Pre-Prohibition to Modern Day is a new auction that offers a snapshot of American history through the lens of whiskey. It's live now, and you can place online bids through August 23.

whisky auctioneer A Century of American Whiskey
Whisky Auctioneer

The collection of bottles, which has been curated from several private collectors, traces the rise, fall and revival of American whiskey over the last century. The lots include coveted bottles from Pappy Van Winkle, Willett, Michter's, A.H. Hirsch and more, but not the same bottles you'll find on store shelves.

The auction highlights old and hard-to-find releases, like the 19-year-old Van Winkle 1975 Special Reserve and the eight-year-old Very Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond bourbon from 1961. These and others provide a glimpse into how whiskey was made decades ago.

The lineup even includes a handful of pre-Prohibition vintages, like 1908 Old Overholt rye, plus several more spirits distilled between 1908 and 1920. Then you've got certain bottles that were distilled during Prohibition, like Old Mock bourbon, which says "medicinal use only" on the label. 

You don't have to abide by that directive, but you may want to keep a bottle in your desk drawer in case you get the sniffles.

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