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I recently inherited a bottle of "Collector's Edition 21 Year Old Bourbon". The  label reads:"The World's Finest Old Kentucky Bourbon Made 21 Years ago From an Old Family Formula; Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey: Distilled and Bottled in Kentucky, Bottled By Dowling Distillers. Lawrenceburg, KY: 94.6 proof". The label on the neck reads: " A special bottling from the last of our private stock of very rare old Kentucky Bourbon bottled from the original barrels" "Registered Bottle NO: 141 F". It is in the original box and has another paper label that I believe hung from the neck of the bottle. I was a gift to my now deceased friend in 1984.
Dowling Distillers has been out of business for years and was purchased by Heaven Hill.  I contacted Heaven Hill and the could not help me.  I also contacted The Louisville Bourbon Society,who in turn reached out to a contact at Pappy Van Winkle and said it might be worth $300- $400 at auction but did not provides any info on the bottle itself. Can you help.  I would like to know more before I open the bottle or decide to sell it, and if I sell it where can I sell it. The only place I checked was K& L Wine Auction, they won't accept out of state liqour.  I am located in southern Ohio, but make regular trips to Kentucky.  Thank you  for you time. Dave McKenna

Hi Dave:

These "special edition" bottles are always a dilemma!

As you can see from your responses from the Masters themselves...the market really doesn't know what to do with them.

This may or may not be a good bourbon, but that fact that it is a special edition of something and in tact makes it desirable to some "collectors".

I think you have two avenues here:

One...I sincerely doubt that real history on this will be available it and enjoy. An unopened bottle of bourbon is as good, or as bad, as the day it was bottled and sealed.

Two...Hit Ebay. List is as being worth at least 400.00 as stated by the Bourbon Society and roll the dice.

I know that isn't much help. but it is all anyone can do with these item.

Good Luck!



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Ralph Onesti


Whiskey, or Whisky only please. Any questions regarding the distilling and consuming of Whiskey: rye, bourbon, or scotch. Wines and Brandy are out of my area. I can not value old bottles of whiskey. But generally, if you can find something similar on sale today, and your bottle seal is unbroken, that would be the current value.


Mentor status in the Kentucky bourbon circle

Kentucky bourbon circle, Jack Daniels Tennessee Squire

Engineering studies at Temple University and Drexel U.

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