Although this year’s Pappy Van Winkle allotment hasn’t even been released yet, Louisvillians have two chances to bid on older bottles of the highly coveted bourbons starting this week.
First up is the Speed Art Museum‘s inaugural “Art of Bourbon” auction, proceeds of which will benefit the museum. There’s a fancy event being held on Friday, Sept. 21, that’ll feature the final live auction, but for now, you can bid online for the rare bourbons featured.
Up for grabs to the highest bidder is the 10th bottle of Pappy 23-Year ever produced, which is valued at $20,000. There’s also an Albert B. Blanton 100-Proof, 7 Year that was bottled in 1952; a rare Stitzel-Weller Original that was bottled around 1965; and a William Larue Weller and George T. Stagg from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, among others.
With such hard-to-find bottles, organizers expect the online bidding to draw interest from serious bourbon enthusiasts and connoisseurs from around the world.
“Collectors have the opportunity to buy and taste history,” said the bourbon author Fred Minnick, who will serve as the auction curator. “We’ve secured an enviable inventory of rare and unique bourbons and bourbon-related experiences. I plan to bid on a few myself.”
As of this writing, the Pappy’s reserve had not yet been met, but it starts out at $18,000. The bottles of William Larue and Stagg are up to $5,250. Other items include several exclusive distillery experiences, like picking your own barrel of Knob Creek.
The Friday night event begins at 6 p.m. and features cocktails, a bourbon-inspired dinner, live music by the bluegrass legend Bobby Osborne and The Rocky Top X-Press, the live auction and much more. Tickets are $250.
And for another chance to score a Pappy, the Cabbage Patch Settlement House is hosting its 15th annual “Lights, Camera, Auction” event on Thursday, Sept. 27, and just like the Speed auction, bidding is currently open online and will be until the night of the event.
Proceeds benefit the Cabbage Patch, which helps equip and empower at-risk children and their families in Louisville.
Auction items include a bottle of Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year bourbon, an Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, an exclusive bourbon selected by Minnick, a ride for two in the Goodyear Blimp, a dinner for two with Master Sommelier Scott Harper at Cuvée, tickets to UK and UofL games, and a variety of vacation experiences, among many others.
As of this writing, the Van Winkle is up to $425, the Birthday Bourbon is $170, and the blimp ride is $500.
The Sept. 27 event will be held at The Olmsted, 3701 Frankfort Ave., starting at 5:30 p.m. and will include cocktails, dinner, the live auction and more. Tickets are $159.