The Largest Collection of Pre-Prohibition Whiskey Is Going Up For Auction

Would you pay $28K for a nice rye?

By Kirk Miller

 
Christies
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03 December 2018

Why should Scotch lovers have all the fun?

It’s no million-plus dollar buy, but the largest-ever collection of bourbon and rye distilled before Prohibition is going up for auction at Christie’s early this month. The lot contains hooch from the private vault rooms of early 20th century entrepreneur Jean-Baptiste Elonis, who hid his spirits behind bookcases that disguised bank vault doors with combo locks only known to its owner.

Hermitage

This collection, recently discovered upon the death of Elonis’s grandson in 2017, includes multiple cases of (long defunct) Hermitage whiskey from 1914, bottles of Old Crow (distilled in 1912) and Old Overholt Rye, all untouched for over a century. Most prices are in the high four figures, but 12 bottles of 1905 Old Overholt could fetch up to $28,000.

And yes, Scotch lovers can join in the fun: A few bottles from The Macallan distillery will be represented, including a 65-year old expression (bids for that lot start around $45,000).

The Finest Wines and Spirits sale also includes a “remarkable” collection of rare wines from Burgundy and Rhone, what’s being dubbed as the greatest collection of historic Madeira from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and rare cognac from three different collections. The auction takes place in person and online starting December 7th.

Photos: Christie's

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