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Sotheby’s is hosting the world’s most valuable whiskey auction

By The Bourbon Flight

March 2022 marks a milestone for the American Whiskey secondary market as Sotheby’s will be offering two of the most significant collections ever to come to market in a single sale. The estimates for this sale make it the most valuable American Whiskey auction in history.

The auction is led by the American Muscle Collection, which takes its name not only from its unparalleled range of rich and robust US Bourbons and Rye Whiskeys but also from the collector who build this significant catalog of bottles. Rich “RJ” Gottlieb is the owner of one of the most legendary Chevrolets in existence, the 1969 “Big Red” Camaro, referred to by many as “the baddest muscle car ever”. The collection is defined by its extensive selection of Willett Family Estate barrel picks.

The second significant collection in this whiskey auction is The Three Continents Collection Part III. These whiskeys were part of a 5,000 bottle strong collection of Scotch and Japanese whisky as well as Bourbon and Rye from the USA that has been allocated across five Sotheby’s auctions in 2021 and 2022. It first hit the market in November 2021 as a single-owner sale, doubling its estimate to achieve $2m just for Part I. This auction exclusively contains American whiskeys from this collection.

These two collections are supported by a number of other classic bottles such as Lanell’s Red Hook Rye, Pappy Van Winkle, Four Roses and Old Weller.

Highlights of the sale include:

  • LeNell Red Hook Rye 23 Year Old Barrel #3 (est. $20,000-30,000)
  • Pappy Van Winkle Double Vertical 2020 & 2021, (est, $16,000-24,000)
  • Willett Family Estate Single Barrel Bourbon 21-Year-Old “The Wheated Patriot” (est, $8,000-12,000)
  • Michter’s Single Barrel Rye 25-Year-Old  (est. $5,000-6,000)
  • Colonel E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Tornado Surviving (est. $4,500-6,000)
  • Black Maple Hill Single Barrel Rye 15-Year-Old (est. $4,000-7,000)
  • Heaven Hill William Heavenhill Signature Anniversary (est. $4,000-4,800)
  • Four Roses Single Barrel 17-Year-Old 2012 Release (est. $3,000-5,000)

To preview the lots for sale click here.

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