By Richard Thomas
The contents of a single barrel of legendary Stitzel Weller, distilled in 1991, became 34 bottles of Blade & Bow 24 Year Old. This was the same distillery (although not necessarily the same stock) that went so far in establishing the reputation of the dearly sought Pappy Van Winkle bourbons. Now that even the oldest Pappy Van Winkle, the 23 Year Old, probably no longer contains even a drop of Stitzel-Weller whiskey, whenever something made at the long-shuttered distillery becomes available, it immediately commands the interest of bourbon enthusiasts around the world.
Rather than releasing Blade & Bow 24 Year Old into distribution, owners Diageo chose instead to auction the entire lot off and donate the proceeds to the Robin Hood Foundation. The auction was held on December 9, and the 34-bottle lot sold for $78,000, setting a new all-time high for a liquor lot at a Christie’s U.S. auction.