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Beverages/Sour Mash Whiskey from Dowling


Hello there!

As a fine beverage retailer, I often have customers ask me about old bottles of XYZ they "found in a basement or inherited" and want to know more info about them. I can usually dig up a thing or two, but felt better about reaching out to you for a more accurate report on this one. The following is a cut-and-paste from their message to me. Can you help?

"Aged 16 Years Very Rare Since 1889  Dowling, Bottled In Bond, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Genuine Ole Style Sour Mash.  Bottled in Kentucky by Dowling Distillers, Tyrone, Anderson County, Kentucky. DSP KY 27. Distilled by Old Poindexter Dist. Co. Lexington, KY Reg. Dist.  No. 5  Dist. of KY."
The bottle is in a mesh bag and was given to our friend about 40 years ago. It is 100 proof. The label on the lid has a lot of numbers on it and is unbroken.


HI Lauren

I have a standard reponse to questions about any kind of distilled spirits---because the answer is always the same.  Please feel free to use this whenever and wherever it will be helpful:

Distilled spirits like this are so high in alcohol that they don't change much, for better or for worse, once they are bottled.  The good news is that this is fine to drink.  The bad news is that it hasn't appreciated in value the way some fine wines do.  This is worth what a current bottling would be worth--not more than about $___ max.

The bottle itself might be worth more than the liquid inaide though--check with the guys at about that.  They are the experts in collectible bottles.

Hope that helps. I wish I had better news for you.

And that should pretty much do the job!   

Keep in touch!

Paul Wagner  


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Paul Wagner


I have spent most of my adult life eating and drinking throughout the world, and can usually remember some of it! With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, I host a radio show and podcast called Bottletalk at, where I answer questions about food and drink on the air.


30 years in the business.

I have taught at Napa Valley College for the past 20 years.

Past/Present Clients
Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines Company, The Court of Master Sommeliers, Constellation Wines, The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, Vinitaly, Napa County Agricultural Commissioner.

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