A bottle of a limited commemorative edition George Washington Distillery Vatted American Whiskey, aged, blended and bottled on the Mount Vernon estate of George Washington, is being offered at a Bonhams New York Rare Spirits auction on Monday, April 29, with an estimated value of between $750-$950.
The bottle, #147 of a 250 bottle limited edition, contains an unprecedented blend of bourbons and other whiskeys from barrels of Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Maker’s Mark, George Dickel, Virginia Gentleman, I.W. Harper, Woodford Reserve, Very Old Barton, Rebel Yell and Platte Valley that were aged on the grounds at Mount Vernon beginning in 2001, and vatted and bottled in 2005. The commemorative product was made especially for a private industry gala auction that year supporting Mount Vernon education programs and also victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes, organized by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
The product was vatted and bottled at 60.6% barrel proof by master distillers from the brands, under special licenses from the U.S. Government and the Commonwealth of Virginia, and most of the bottles originally sold on September 28, 2005 for $250. The hand-blown bottles were authentic replicas of 1788 “case” bottles, designed by Owens-Illinois and created by the Jamestown Glasshouse at that historic site also in Virginia.
The April 29 Bonhams Whisky, Cognac and Rare Spirits auction (http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20986/) features many limited edition and commemorative distilled spirits. Bonhams, which first opened in 1793, holds over 700 auctions each year on four continents and has offices in 20 countries.
The Distilled Spirits Council, based in Washington, DC, represents most major producers and marketers of distilled spirits in the United States as well as over 70 small craft distillers. In 2007, the Council secured passage of legislation that once again legalized liquor auctions in New York, making the April 29th event possible. The Council was also responsible for raising the $2.1 million for the reconstruction of the George Washington Distillery at Mount Vernon, which is now open to the public from April to October, and is the only site in North America to demonstrate colonial era whiskey production from field to bottle.