Sotheby’s First Auction of American Whiskeys 100% Sold, Soars to Nearly $1M – American Whiskey News

Sotheby’s First Auction of American Whiskeys 100% Sold, Soars to Nearly $1M

Earlier today, Sotheby’s first American Whiskey auction, The Thoroughbred Collection, was 100% sold totaling an impressive $965,813—triple the overall pre-sale low estimate. Featuring over 250 lots of the rarest American Bourbon and Ryes ever produced, the auction also marked the first single-owner spirits sale in the US, which was accrued over decades by a dedicated and knowledgeable anonymous private collector.

Concluding on the eve of the Kentucky Derby horse race, the collection was fittingly led by Kentucky whiskeys; the top lot was a LeNell Red Hook Rye 24 Year Old Barrell, which doubled its pre-sale high estimate, selling for $43,750. Other notable lots included an A.H. Hirsch Reserve 18 Year Old 46.5 abv from 1974 that achieved $40,000, 20x its pre-sale low estimate and the oldest vintage in the sale, an Old Sunny Brook 7 Year Old 100 Proof from 1912, soared to $12,500, over 35x its pre-sale low estimate.

About Sotheby’s

Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury.  Sotheby’s promotes access, connoisseurship and preservation of fine art and rare objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce and retail. Our trusted global marketplace is supported by an industry-leading technology platform and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 50 categories, which include Contemporary Art, Modern and Impressionist Art, Old Masters, Chinese Works of Art, Jewelry, Watches, Wine and Spirits, and Interiors, among many others.

Sotheby’s Wine’s annual worldwide auction sales of wine and spirits totaled an outstanding $92 million in 2020, with over 15,000 lots sold across 41 sales – a nearly 50% increase in the number of auctions held in 2019. Over $60 million of wine and spirits were sold to online bidders in 2020 versus $28 million in 2019, with 85% of all lots offered finding online buyers. Demonstrating continued strength in Asia, Sotheby’s led the market in the region for the third consecutive year, with over 70% of the total bid amount in all Wine and Spirits sales attributed to collectors in Asia.

Sotheby’s Wine’s has had the privilege of auctioning numerous record-breaking wines and spirits in recent years, with 2020 alone witnessing new world auction records for any bottle of Japanese whisky, any bottle of whisky produced by the Dalmore Distillery, as well as any bottle of Cognac. Sotheby’s Wine currently holds the world records for any whisky collection ever sold at auction, any private wine collection ever sold at auction, the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction and the most expensive bottle of spirits ever sold at auction.

In addition to auction, Sotheby’s Wine launched a retail business in 2010. With a retail store located in Sotheby’s New York headquarters and e-commerce at, Sotheby’s Wine offers a carefully curated selection of wines from the world’s most prestigious producers and important regions. Expertly assembled by our experienced specialists, the selection is built upon lasting relationships with winemakers from across the globe, with bottles that are ready for immediate consumption, in addition to investment-worthy wines from highly sought-after vintages. A second retail location opened in Sotheby’s Hong Kong galleries in 2014.

 *Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are net of any fees paid to the purchaser where the purchaser provided an irrevocable bid.

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