Anyone for Vintage Booze?

As just about everyone knows, Prohibition didn’t deter bootleggers. Just the opposite. The production of spirits soared. Prohibition has also had a modern, unintended consequence. The vintage booze market is now booming. Pre-Prohibition whiskey has become one of the most sought-after spirits for collectors. While bottles of century-old wine can turn to vinegar, whiskey’s flavors are more enduring over time. As long as it remains sealed, whiskey will largely taste the same as when it was bottled. That makes it a safe bet for whiskey lovers who are showing up at auction houses to buy whiskies that were bottled between the turn of the century and the 1920s. Some pre-Prohibition American liquor is selling for close to $20,000 a case, according to Christie’s auction house. And recently a single bottle of 1926 Macallan Scotch (hand-painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon) sold at auction in London for $1.5 million. We hope the buyer plans to drink it straight.

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