The Kentucky Bourbon Benefit, hosted by the Bourbon Distillers Association and the Bourbon Crusaders, ended this past weekend.
Organizers said it’s one way the bourbon industry can do good for Kentuckians. “Kentucky has already been strong together through these travesties,” said Brian Haara, with the Bourbon Crusaders. “People don’t really think of the bourbon community, but we’ve been able to do that time and time again.”
“Once again, we are humbled and honored by the outpouring of support from the Bourbon community to help our fellow Kentuckians,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “As a signature industry, it’s our duty to go above and beyond and give back, especially in times of need.
“It was heartwarming to see our distilleries spring into action when this tragedy occurred,” Gregory said. “We pray that it never happens again, although we are proud and comforted to know that our industry’s centuries-long tradition of caring for Kentuckians continues to this day.”
A total of 3,626 bidders representing all 50 states and Washington D.C. vied for the auction’s 533 lots, placing more than 17,300 bids in total.
Kentucky led the way by far with nearly 775 registered bidders, followed by Ohio (295), Tennessee (203), Florida (198) and Indiana (190).
- A private barrel selection at Four Roses Distillery, aged 13 to 16-years, sold for $157,250. The historic Anderson County distillery then contributed a matching barrel to the second-place bidder for the same price.
- Four Roses donated 15 other lots, including two rare 20-year old bottles that commemorated its new visitors center, a 109th Rose Bowl game package and the first six numbered bottles of its annual small batch limited release, bringing the distillery’s final tally to $357,909 raised.
- In addition, Four Roses is selling a limited number of 16-year-old private selection bottles on Monday, Aug. 29., at its Lawrenceburg and Cox’s Creek distilleries. The cost is $200 each, and all proceeds benefit the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund.
- Private barrel selections donated by Willett Distillery in Nelson County brought both the largest and third-largest bids on single items. Willett’s 10-year Bourbon barrel experience sold for $168,099 and a 10-year rye barrel experience ended at $137,000.
- Winning lots from Angel’s Envy totaled more than $106,000, including a private barrel experience of its cask-strength finished Bourbon that went for $89,402 and two sets of 10 bottles from each year of its barrel proof bottles.
- Other private barrel experiences and their winning bids include: Wild Turkey, $48,000; Maker’s Mark, $46,000; New Riff, $45,000; Elijah Craig, $27,199; Bulleit Bourbon, $24,500 and Wilderness Trail, $20,000.
- Jefferson’s Ocean, which donated 300 bottles, and Smooth Ambler – with 372 bottles donated – helped draw in thousands of “Buy it Now” bidders. In total, the Jefferson’s bottles raised nearly $35,000 and Smooth Ambler’s brought in more than $21,000.
- Longtime Eastern Kentucky resident Barbara Lawwill donated her late husband’s collection of decanters and bottles, which raised $5,529 in total.
The auction raised funds to support recovery and rebuilding efforts from the devastating floods in Eastern Kentucky in July 2022. All proceeds will go directly to the State’s Official Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund.
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