A 23-Year-Old Pappy Van Winkle Whiskey Sold For A Record $53,000 At Auction

It’s the most expensive Pappy bottle ever.

A bidding war between top-shelf liquor lovers has resulted in a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle setting a new sales record.

According to Food & Wine, a bottle of 23-Year-Old Family Reserve from the revered Buffalo Trace brand became the object of a battle between two thirsty collectors who ultimately drove the price to $52,500, the highest ever for a Pappy Van Winkle expression.


The coveted spirit—presented in its original black velvet bag—was expected to command a pretty penny…just not 17 times its pre-auction estimate.

“It was exciting to be on the rostrum conducting the sale for this record-breaking bottle, which went far beyond anyone’s expectations,” Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s head of whisky & spirits, North America and EMEA, shared in a statement.

“The auction marked a remarkable end to a year that has seen prices soar for American whiskey at Sotheby’s.”

A total of 14 Pappy Van Winkle bottles were on offer at Sotheby’s Whisky & Whiskey | Seasonal Spirits and The Yamazaki 55 sale, all of which exceeded their pre-auction estimates to sell for a combined $396,250.

“Synonymous with enthusiasts, whiskeys bottled under the Van Winkle brand have gone on to become amongst the most highly rated and sought-after, gathering an almost cult-like following,” Sotheby’s explained.

“Many of those were distilled at the old Stitzel-Weller Distillery, opened on Derby Day in 1935, which went on to create some of the finest and most sought-after bourbons ever produced before its closure in the early 1990s, with production moving to the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort.”

Those looking for a more affordable aged Pappy should consider the $120 Family Reserve 15-Year, included on Maxim.com’s list of winter whiskeys.