Collector’s Edition

Whether it’s a memento from a trip to Scotland or a generous gift, you no doubt have a prized bottle safely tucked away in the back of your liquor cabinet. The good news is that while you work up the nerve to drink it, the liquor, if stored properly, can last for decades or longer. (For more info on this, check out our guide to storing spirits.) It may also be quite valuable, but up until recently it was relatively hard to resell. Unlike wine, only a few states allow the auction of vintage spirits. That’s slowly changing. Bonhams, which is holding a liquor auction in Edinburgh tomorrow, had its first US sale this past December and will hold one in New York later this year. According to Martin Green, Bonhams’ spirits specialist, the hottest categories are whiskey (single malt, Irish, bourbon) and cognac.

To get you started, here are three rare bottles that may already be in your home bar or local liquor store. Happy hunting!

Black Bowmore:

Between 1993 and 1995, Bowmore released almost 6,000 bottles of a 1964 Scotch. The so called Black Bowmore sold for between $130 and $250. The current auction estimate for the whisky is $2,250, but bottles still occasionally turn up on liquor store shelves with the original price tag.

Johnnie Walker Red Label:

There’s a market for early Johnnie Walker whiskies, and included in Bonhams’ auction is a bottle of Red Label from the early 20th century. It’s so old that the worn label reads “Old Highland Whisky” instead of Red Label. The auction estimate is $375 to $525.

Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve 10-Year-Old:

Wild Turkey introduced a 10-year-old, 101-proof bourbon in 2000 to honor master distiller Jimmy Russell. It sold for $26. Seven years later the distillery lowered the spirit’s proof to 90. Bottles of the 101 now sell for as much as $140 on eBay.

Locations: Edinburgh Scotland
Series & Type: History Products

From our Friends



  • Joe Opus One posted 2 years ago

    Oh.. that is to say it's 6 years old Whiskey - and I could not find any images that matched on-line... and very little info. about the distiller before it was changed to Barton in the 40's. Thanks.

  • Joe Opus One posted 2 years ago guy - I almost broke the seal on a bottle of Tom Moore Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey - produced by "Tom Moore, Distiller." I decided to take a quick look on-line as I knew the bottle was likely from the 60's or 70's having been stored in it's original gift box at my great aunt's house until recently. But research suggests that it is from the 30's or 40's?? It is a square bottle, 6 years old, with a green liquor tax stamp in the shape of her home state, Arkansas. Any thoughts?

  • mozart posted 2 years ago

    I have an unopened bottle of at least 63 year old Chateau Paulett Cognac, same with Dewars White Label, Schenelys and several others

  • dap1designs posted 2 years ago

    I have a 125th anniversary bottle (New) of Jack Daniels. Unopened in box. (The box is a little
    beat up, but in tact). My father purchased it in 1987. Looking to sell and not sure how to do that. If anyone is interested, please contact me. Thank you

  • gyager88gmailcom224405731 posted 2 years ago

    I have a bottle of Macallan 1979 unopened excellent kept make offer 970-697-8071

  • posted 2 years ago

    I have an unopened bottle of 1969 Chartreuse for sale. Pictures available. Make offer.

  • Southern Liquorman posted 2 years ago

    I have two (2) unopened Very Clean bottles of Hiram Walker "Imperial" whiskey, bottled in the early 1960's and one MINT Four Roses Unopened Bottle bottled in the early 70's. All are for sale please contact me and we can use PayPal to complete the transaction. I will send photos and we can skype so you know this is the genuine article. Thanks,

  • rbrandon89hotmailcom941255966 posted 3 years ago

    I have a sealed and unopened bottle of Old Grand Dad Whiskey bottled in 1954 and looking to sell. Please let me know if you are interested.

  • jan.a.ricker.1 posted 3 years ago

    We got a botte of Pappy Van Winkle year 1923. Worth? Looking to sell it.

  • posted 4 years ago

    It might be a good thing your parents forgot to open the bottle at your wedding—mid-century bourbons are definitely a collector's item! We suggest you contact Edgar Harden of Old Spirits Company, He specializes in buying and selling vintage bottles.

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