10 Most Expensive Bottles of Bourbon Ever Produced

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Bourbon or American Whiskey dates back to the mid-19th century and did not really become popular until the late 1980s and 1990s. Since then, there has been high demand for bourbon, both domestically and internationally. This has made bourbon incredibly expensive in recent years, especially any bottles that were limited releases/vintages. All of the bourbons on this list cost thousands of dollars and are currently only available on the secondary market. Some of the bourbons on this list are so rare and expensive that the average whiskey fan will never ever get to drink them or even lay eyes on a bottle.

  1. Willett Family Estate 24 Year Old
  2. Current Average Price: $9,999
    Distillery: Willett Distillery
    Year Released: Intermittently
    Proof: Varies
    Willett Family Estate 24 Year Old
    photo source: flaskfinewines.com

    Older bourbons from the Willett Family Estate, like this 24 Year Old are fairly rare and pricey. The average price for a bottle of Willett Family Estate 24 Year Old bourbon is around $10,000. The Willett Distillery releases these older bourbons sporadically and they always sell out. Each release varies because Willett uses different barrels each time. This makes any bottle of Willett Family Estate 24 Year Old bourbon truly unique.

    Did you know?

    Releases of Willet Family Estate 24 Year Old bourbon are so limited that typically very few bottles are made. For example, in 2015, they released only 95 bottles at the Willet distillery gift shop, specially for the Kentucky Bourbon Festival of that year.


  3. Colonel EH Taylor Jr. Warehouse C Tornado Surviving
  4. Current Average Price: $13,918
    Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery
    Year Released: 2011
    Proof: 100 Proof (50% ABV)
    Colonel EH Taylor Jr. Warehouse C Tornado Surviving
    photo source: The Bourbon Concierge

    Colonel EH Taylor Jr. Warehouse C Tornado Surviving might sound like a weird name for a bourbon, but this now legendary bourbon has an interesting backstory. According to Buffalo Trace Distillery, in April 2006, a tornado tore through Central Kentucky and significantly damaged the roof and north brick wall of Warehouse C. This left a number of barrels exposed to the elements throughout the summer as the warehouse was being repaired.

    A few years later, when these surviving barrels were tasted a few years later, the distillers discovered that the bourbon had developed rich and unique flavors due to the exposure to the sun and natural elements. Instead of going to waste, this bourbon was bottled and the Colonel EH Taylor Jr. Warehouse C Tornado Surviving bourbon was released in 2011.

    Did you know?

    Warehouse C is a well-known landmark at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. It was built in 1881 and stores over 24,000 barrels.


  5. Michter’s 25 Years Old
  6. Current Average Price: $14,170
    Distillery: Michter’s Distillery
    Year Released: 2008
    Proof: 116.2 Proof (58.1% ABV)
    Michter's 25 Years Old
    photo source: The Bourbon Concierge

    This is Michter’s Distillery’s second appearance on this list and for good reason. Michter’s 25 Years Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon is coveted by bourbon fans for its fine flavor. This bourbon was first released in 2008 and has only sporadically been bottled since by Michter’s. So, the only way to get a bottle of Michter’s 25 Years Old is on the secondary market and pay over $10,000 or wait and hope that Michter’s releases more.

    Did you know?

    According to reviews, Michter’s 25 Years Old has oaky notes that give way to dark fruit, brown sugar, and caramel.


  7. Willett Family Estate 21 Year Old
  8. Current Average Price: $14,198
    Distillery: Willett Distillery
    Year Released: Intermittently
    Proof: Varies
    Willett Family Estate 21 Year Old
    photo source: Whisky Auctioneer

    For whatever reason, bottles of Willett Family Estate 21 Year Old bourbon are more expensive than the distillery’s older bourbons. Currently bottles of Willett Family Estate 21 Year Old bourbon are selling for over $14,000. As with all of Willet’s mature bourbons, 21 Year Old bottles are typically released during special occasions.


  9. Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash 2013
  10. Current Average Price: $15,248
    Distillery: Michter’s Distillery
    Year Released: 2013
    Proof: 112.3 Proof (56.15% ABV)
    Michter's Celebration Sour Mash 2013
    photo source: gobourbon.com


    The Last Drop Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon might be a newer release, but it has already taken the whiskey world by storm. This bourbon was distilled in 1980 at the George T. Stagg Distillery, which changed its name to Buffalo Trace Distillery in 1999. Only 240 bottles of The Last Drop Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon were released worldwide, making it a rare find.

    This bourbon was aged in barrels for 20 years before it was vatted into stainless steel in 2000, to halt the aging effects of the barrel. According to many sources, The Last Drop Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon was made during a time before old whiskies became popular.

    Did You Know?

    The Last Drop Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon was distilled by master distiller Gary Gayheart and left to age in a dark corner of the warehouse. It was later discovered by Buffalo Trace’s current master distiller Harlan Wheatley, who was Gayheart’s apprentice. 


  11. The Last Drop Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  12. Current Average Price: $18,320
    Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery
    Year Released: 2020
    Proof: 90 Proof (45% ABV)
    The Last Drop Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
    photo source: Robb Report

    The Last Drop Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon might be a newer release, but it has already taken the whiskey world by storm. This bourbon was distilled in 1980 at the George T. Stagg Distillery, which changed its name to Buffalo Trace Distillery in 1999. Only 240 bottles of The Last Drop Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon were released worldwide, making it a rare find.

    This bourbon was aged in barrels for 20 years before it was vatted into stainless steel in 2000, to halt the aging effects of the barrel. According to many sources, The Last Drop Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon was made during a time before old whiskies became popular.

    Did You Know?

    The Last Drop Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon was distilled by master distiller Gary Gayheart and left to age in a dark corner of the warehouse. It was later discovered by Buffalo Trace’s current master distiller Harlan Wheatley, who was Gayheart’s apprentice. 


  13. Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Family Reserve 16 Year Old
  14. Current Average Price: $19,856
    Distillery: Old Rip Van Winkle
    Year Released: 1990
    Proof: 101 Proof (50.5% ABV)
    Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Family Reserve 16 Year Old
    photo source: The Bourbon Concierge

    Any remaining bottles of Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Family Reserve 16 Year Old are a unicorn-rarity. This bourbon was bottled in 1990 by Julian Van Winkle III, from the family’s personal reserve and did not have a wide release. Van Winkle III continued to produce limited quantities of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve on an annual basis until it finally ran out in the 2000s.

    Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve is now distilled Buffalo Trace using Pappy’s old recipe. So, any of the older bottles of the Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve, like this 16 Year Old bottle, are increasingly difficult to find.

    Did You Know?

    Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Family Reserve 16 Year Old was initially bottled for the Japanese market, because they were the only people willing to pay premium prices for well-aged bourbon at the time.


  15. Double Eagle Very Rare 20 Year Old
  16. Current Average Price: $16,000 – $20,000
    Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery
    Year Released: 2019
    Proof: 101 Proof (50.5% ABV)
    Double Eagle Very Rare 20 Year Old
    photo source: Distillery Trail

    Buffalo Trace Distillery first released its very popular Double Eagle Very Rare 20 Year Old bourbon in 2019. This bourbon has returned annually since then, but always in very limited runs at about 200 to 400 bottles. Double Eagle Very Rare 20 Year Old is special because it was aged twice as long as the standard 10-year-old Eagle Rare Bourbon.

    Adding to the Double Eagle Very Rare 20 Year Old’s luxury is a pure crystal decanter and beautiful silver box. Each bottle also comes with an individually-numbered letter of authenticity

    Did You Know?

    Double Eagle Very Rare 20 Year Old has a 101 proof, as a nod to the original proof of Eagle Rare Bourbon when it was first released in 1975.


  17. Colonel EH Taylor Jr. Old Fashion Sour Mash
  18. Current Average Price: $24,719 – $26,000
    Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery
    Year Released: 2011
    Proof: 100 Proof (50% ABV)
    Colonel EH Taylor Jr. Old Fashion Sour Mash
    photo source: The Bourbon Concierge

    Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. was known for making a sour mash bourbon in the mid to late 19th century. In 2002, the Buffalo Trace Distillery decided to make a bourbon using Colonel Taylor’s old fashioned sour mash technique. To honor Taylor, Buffalo Trace named this bourbon Colonel EH Taylor Jr. Old Fashion Sour Mash and released it in 2011. This was a very limited release so it has made it incredibly difficult to find a bottle of Colonel EH Taylor Jr. Old Fashion Sour Mash. When a bottle does pop up for sale, it typically goes for around $25,000!

    Did You Know?

    Colonel EH Taylor Jr. was the first distiller to introduce climate controlled aging warehouses and fought for the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897, which is still in effect today and guarantees a bourbon’s authenticity.


  19. Old Rip Van Winkle 25 Years Old
  20. Current Average Price: $33,438 – $35,000
    Distillery: Originally distilled at Stitzel-Weller; moved to and released by Old Rip Van Winkle
    Year Released: 2017
    Proof: 100 Proof (50% ABV)
    Old Rip Van Winkle 25 Years Old
    photo source: The Bourbon Concierge


    With an average price of $33,438 per bottle, Old Rip Van Winkle 25 Years Old is currently the most expensive bottle of bourbon on the market. Old Rip Van Winkle is known for high quality and expensive bourbons and the brand’s 25 Years Old bourbon is no exception. Originally released in 2017, the initial suggested retail price for Old Rip Van Winkle 25 Years Old was only about $1,800. However, only 710 bottles were available, making it pretty rare and highly sought after.

    Each handmade glass decanter of Old Rip Van Winkle 25 Years Old came packaged in a handmade wooden box whose lid is made of staves from the original oak barrels that held the bourbon. The glass decanters were made by the Glencairn Crystal Studio.

    Did You Know?

    Every bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle 25 Years Old also comes with a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by Julian Van Winkle, grandson of founder Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr.

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