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Happy Repeal Day!

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Okay, I’m a day late, but I hope everyone celebrated their Constitutional right to drink. And come Saturday, booze enthusiasts will have another lifting-of-bans to celebrate: New York State's first live spirits auction since Prohibition will be held at Christie’s (though anyone can bid online).

Last August, the N.Y. state legislature approved the auction of spirits; since then, Christie’s has been consigning vast amounts of booze, much of it very old whisk(e)y, with some rare bottles of Cognac, Armagnac, Chartreuse and Calvados in the mix. I attended a preview of the sale this morning—here are some highlights, with their estimated sale prices:

•A bottle of 1926 Macallan ($20,000-30,000), one of the world’s most sought-after single-malts.
•A superlot of 729 bottles of Scotch whisky ($70,000-100,000), which comes from one solitary (unnamed) collector.
•A bottle of rye whiskey made (in 2003) according George Washington’s own recipe ($10,000-20,000). Proceeds benefit Mount Vernon.
•A selection of custom Michter’s decanters, ranging thematically from King Tut to an ice wagon ($1,200-1,800 each).
•A gorgeous selection of Cognac bottles created by the famous art deco designer Erté ($8,000-12,000 each).

I’ll check in Monday with the results. I myself don’t plan on bidding—I’m up to my ears in Erté and brush my teeth with ’26 Macallan—but I’m curious to find out if the super-rare spirits market is a viable one.

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