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My friend at work asked me to help him do some research on the estimated value of a 1956 Grand Award Bourbon. Still in excellent condition. It was recently left to him by his father's passing. He's been told values that are all over the place. I have a picture if you would like. Thank you

ANSWER: Hi Scott

I have good news and bad. 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 perfectly 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 $40 max.

You might check with the guys at  The bottle might be worth more than the liquid inside.  

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

Paul Wagner

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thanks for your reply, but since I got involved yesterday, someone from Sothebys was contacted & an offer for the purchase of this bottle came out of Ireland for $18,500, then another offer from Belize a little later in the evening for 25K. It has a serial number on the label & we've been told it is rare & valuable. How much really? We don't know

Hi Scott

Wow.  Clearly this is something beyond my realm...and I can only say that while Belize has never been known as a hotbed of fine spirits collectors, Sotheby's knows its business.  Since it is illegal for private individuals to sell alcoholic beverages in the USA, you will have to work with an auction house or retailer to sell this anyway.  Sotheby's reputation is quite good, and I would certainly suggest that you consult with them about the offer.  After all, they are an auction house, and would offer this for sale to the highest bidder.  And their list of top collectors is excellent!

Part of their auction services includes estimates of potential items for sale.

Don't fell that you have to sign anything, but check it out!  

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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