Courtesy of James Adams & Sons
Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017

One of the oldest known bottles of unopened whiskey is set to go up for auction later this month, and if you have an extra seventeen grand lying around, you can consider replacing the Jack Daniel’s in your liquor cabinet with something that’s a little harder to come by. Though, anyone who remembers whether this 100-year-old bottle will make a decent whiskey and Coke is long gone.

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Described by auction house Adam’s as possibly “the oldest unopened expression of Irish single pot still whiskey sold in modern times,” the bottle of Allman’s Pure was produced at the Bandon distillery, founded in 1826, which at one point was the second largest malting facility in Ireland, second only to a little beer brand called Guinness. Bandon is also credited with being one of the first distilleries to age their whiskey in sherry-seasoned casks imported from Cadiz, Spain – a practice that “is now common.” Sadly, the distillery shut in 1925, just months shy of its 100-year anniversary – done in by Prohibition, war and growing competition.

But, unlike the company who made it, this bottle of Allman’s has reached its 100th birthday and is going to command a premium price for doing so. Though Adam’s pegs the value of the whiskey, which will be auctioned off on April 19, at between $6,800 to $11,400, the Irish Times said last week that the bottle is expected to sell for more than $17,000.

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Though both estimates are high, neither sounds completely ridiculous, especially taking into account the premium price old whiskeys often command. For instance, last year, Glenmorangie was selling off five-bottle sets of their rare 1970s Collection for a total of $50,000, putting each bottle’s value at about $10,000. One major difference, however, is that Glenmorangie was able to taste those whiskeys before bottling. Allman’s tasting notes have seemingly long been forgotten and the quality of the actual whiskey inside is unknown.

So, for the rich and curious, the real question becomes: How much is the bottle worth when its empty? That’s gotta still be a collector’s item, right?

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