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Overholt Rye from 1909

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  Lot #41  (Sale Order: 10 of 11)  
Sold for: $14,000.00 to onsite
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There is history we know almost everything about, and there is history we know almost nothing about. This falls somewhere in between. Here is what we do know. Andrew Mellon purchased 1/3 of the Overholt distillery from Henry Clay Frick, the grandson of the founder. Frick and Mellon were lifelong friends, and both were incredibly wealthy industrialists. Upon his passing in 1919, Frick left his shares to Mellon who became the majority owner of the distillery. In 1920, Prohibition passed, and in advance both Andrew and his brother Richard B. stored the best barrels of rye the distillery had produced from the preceding 15 years. Andrew was forced to sell his share in the distillery after becoming Secretary of the Treasury in 1921. Some of this was actually covered in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, in which Mellon was played by James Cromwell. As prohibition proceeded, the brothers would bottle what they needed for their personal consumption, bottling all the remaining barrels at the end of prohibition in the mid- to late-1930s. The actual glass bottle for auction today has been dated to sometime in the early 1930s, so it is assumed that it was part of the end of Prohibition, which would put the 1909 Rye at approximately a 24–28-year-old rye. Richard B. Mellon passed away in 1933, and it is assumed that he left a great deal of the rye to his children Sarah Mellon and Richard K. Mellon. Sarah, in turn, left her inheritance to her son Richard Mellon Scaife, one of the wealthiest men in the country and the publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. In 2014, Scaife passed away, and the purchasers of his estate discovered a wine cellar that still contained approximately 60 cases of the Overholt Rye from 1904 to 1912. Christie’s of New York was contracted to auction off the cases and we purchased six cases. It remains today one of the best reviewed, most sought after, and rarest old whiskies known. The best way I can describe it is that it tastes like Thanksgiving in a bottle. Vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and caramelized apples are some of the predominant notes.

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This item is part of Art of Bourbon
 Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 | 8:00 PM  Eastern
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Overholt Rye from 1909
Overholt Rye from 1909
Lot number: 41
Seller: Menish Auctions
Event: Art of Bourbon
Ends: Thursday, September 19 | 8:00 PM  Eastern

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