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This rare bourbon is expected to sell for $30,000 at auction

The Speed Art Museum unveiled an impressive lineup of "unicorns" set to be auctioned off later this month.
Credit: Art of Bourbon
The bottle of Pappy's bourbon is expected to sell for $30,000 at the Art of Bourbon auction.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A rare bourbon bottled before the millennium could be yours if you've got $30,000 laying around.

The Speed Art Museum in Louisville unveiled its Art of Bourbon auction lineup Monday and there are multiple "unicorns" up for bid. A few are expected to sell for upwards of $30,000.

Among them is a Pappy 23 Year Old from the first batch every produced in 1998 -- the first year Julian Van Winkle III went to market with the 23 Year Old. The bottle features the distinctive green-tinted glass and gold wax top.

Price estimate: $30,000.

Another top item is a rare George T. Stagg distilled prior to 1917 and bottled in 1928. This bourbon was produced at the George T. Stagg Company under the new leadership of Colonel Albert Blanton.

The bottle comes in a rare Four Roses box. The common link? Albert Blanton, whose namesake appears on the famous Blanton's bottle today.

Estimate: $20,000-$30,000.

A 20-year-old A.H. Hirsch will also be up for bid. The bottle was distilled in 1974 and produced at the old Michter's Distillery.

It is considered by many to be one of the best bourbons ever made.

Estimate: $20,000.

The sixth annual auction draws major bourbon enthusiasts and collectors from around the world. Bestselling author and bourbon critic Fred Minnick leads curation of the event.

“Since 2018, I’ve worked closely with the Speed to auction the rarest whiskey bottles and experiences ever, raising more than $1.2 million dollars for this institution,” Minnick said. “These rare whiskeys can make a huge impact on one of our country’s best art museums. We have the vintage and rare, and the new and unique. These sort of in-the-know bourbons don’t come up very often."

All proceeds from the auction benefit education programs and exhibits at the Speed. The auction begins Sept. 26 at 7:15 p.m., both in-person at the museum and online.

For more information and additional bourbons up for auction, click here.


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