Michter's bourbon barrel fetches £166,000 ($209,462) at 50 Best charity auction

13 July, 2020

A private barrel selection bottling of Michter’s 10 Year Old bourbon has sold for a record £166,000 ($209,462) at a charity auction in London.

The team behind the World’s 50 Best Bars held the auction to raise money for bars and restaurants impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

Producers, bars, restaurants and individuals donated more than 100 lots to support trade colleagues during these difficult times.

Louisville-based distiller Michter’s offered the first-ever private bottling of its 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon, which received a record-breaking winning bid.

Justin Sloan, co-Founder of Justins’ House of Bourbon and the world’s foremost expert on rare and exclusive Kentucky Bourbon, said: “This is the highest price ever paid at an auction for a single barrel of Bourbon anywhere in the world, far exceeding previous records.”

In total, Michter’s raised £215,450 (US$271,859) for the 50 Best for Recovery auction, hosted by William Reed.

A collection of Michter's rarest special releases, including Michter's 20 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon, 25 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon, 25 Year Kentucky Straight Rye, and Celebration Sour Mash expressions, raised £17,000 (US$21,451), while the first-ever bottle of Michter’s 24 Year Old raised £11,950 (US$15,079).

Matt Magliocco, Michter's executive vice president, said: “Michter's is committed to doing everything possible to support bar and restaurant professionals during this unimaginably difficult time.

“While we do not offer private barrel selections as a standard policy, we made an exception for this immensely important initiative. The results are a testament to the global community of Michter's collectors, who stepped up massively to support the hospitality sector in its period of greatest need.

“We commend the organizers of 50 Best for Recovery for their extraordinary efforts to make this auction so impactful.”

Charles Reed, chief executive at William Reed, said: “We are grateful to be able to work with terrific donors like Michter's and raise funds to benefit the restaurant and bar community in this historically challenging period. The highlight of the auction was the Michter's private barrel bottling.”

You can view all the winning bids at the auction here.

The 50 Best team will distribute all proceeds to restaurants, bars and non-profit organisations supporting the sector. Bars and restaurants can apply for direct grants of up to $5,000.

Charitable organisations primed to receive donations include Lee Initiative’s Restaurant Reboot Relief Program and Black Urban Growers, both in the US; Nosso Prato in Brazil; the Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund in South Africa; the National Restaurant Association of India’s Feed the Needy campaign; Horeca Next in Belgium; Italy’s Ambasciatori del Gusto; the newly founded Singapore Cocktail Bar Association; and Chefs for Spain, the Spanish arm of World Central Kitchen.

50 Best will also join forces with Social Gastronomy Movement, a global network of charitable organisations across 38 different countries, in its campaign to provide 1 million meals to those most in need.

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