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Beverages/Another Dowling Distillers question


100 Proof, "Very Rare", Collector's Item, 16 yr. Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Distilled at Old Poindexter Dist. 1953, Bottled Dowling Distillers 1969.  Bottle 38 out of "about 128" bottles.  Saw some comment about a similar but not quite the same bottle. Also read about Dowling being owned by Shenley at the time.  Found it unopened in an Uncle's place.  Is it anything of worth or distinction or just a basically old curiosity that we could drink on our own?

HI Jared

I am not an expert on this stuff, but here is what I have found out:

"This is probably  a product of the D.L. Moore Distillery, RD#23, in Mercer County. The Dowling family owned that distillery from 1889 until Prohibition and operated it as Dowling Brothers. After Prohibition it apparently changed hands several times between the Schenley company and an individual named Bob Gould. I can't tell from my source (Sam Cecil's book) who owned it in 1959 or 1980, but apparently it operated as the Dowling Distillery until it closed and, again, I'm not sure when that was. It seems likely that this was some of the last whiskey from that distillery. The Dowling family was involved in other distilleries, but not that late. This distillery, however, seems to have owned the Dowling name and used it well into your period. This seems like the best candidate for your whiskey."

Distilled spirits like this are so high in alcohol that they don't change much over time.  SO the good news is that yours is pretty safe to drink.  The bad news is that it hasn't appreciated in value the way some fine wines do--this one is probably worth about what a current bottling of similar bourbon would sell for---maybe about $35.

I have seen a couple of tasting notes for Dowling Bourbon that were not anything special.  But having said that, K&L Wines in California has a few bottles of an older Dowling Bourbon that they are selling for nearly $3,000 a bottle!

It would be worth dropping them a note to see if they are interested in your bottle...they are very nice people.  You can find them on the web pretty easily:

Hope that helps

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.


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

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