Rare pre-Prohibition whiskey to go under the hammer

Christie’s New York is to auction off an “extraordinary” rare collection of pre-Prohibition whiskey as part of its final sale of the year on 7 December.

Christie’s is to auction off an “extraordinary” collection of pre-Prohibition whiskey in New York next month

The auction will include nearly 800 lots of rarities from the wine and spirits world. The sale will close with an “unprecedented” collection of pre-Prohibition whiskey recently discovered on the West Coast.

Hermitage 9 Years Old whiskey from 1914 is part of the sale

Unearthed in 2017, over 40 cases of unopened bonded whiskey, distilled as early as 1914, were found in secret vaults built by banker Jean-Baptiste Leonis in the early 1920s.

The prohibition vault rooms were constructed behind bookcases that open to reveal a bank vault door and combination lock. Leonis added these rooms to property designs ahead of Prohibition.

Featured lots include multiple cases of century-old pint bottles of Hermitage whiskey distilled in 1914, Old Crow distilled in 1912, and Biltmore Rye Maryland Straight Whisky in bottles labelled to order for the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel.

Offeirng a treasure trove of rate spirits, the auction will also see ancient Cognacs and rare single malt whiskies from The Macallan go under the hammer.

The evening session also includes, according to Christie’s, one of the greatest collections of historic Madeira ever to go on sale at auction in the United States.

Among the indestructible liquid treasures up for grabs are 20 single bottle lots of the “mythical” 18th century Lenox Madeira and bottles of Barbeito Terrantez from 1795 and 1834.

On the wine front, lots up for auction include rare Burgundy from Georges Roumier, Emmanuel Rouget, Comte Georges de Vogüé and Laurent Ponsot.

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