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Overholt Rye from 1909
Overholt Rye from 1909
Overholt Rye from 1909

Overholt Rye from 1909

Lot Closed

Auction by Menish Productions(1)
This item is in Louisville, KY

Overview of Overholt Rye from 1909

Item Details

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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Auction Details

Art of Bourbon2035 S 3rd Street, Louisville, KY, 40208Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 | 7:00 PM CDT

Auction House

Terms Of Sale

Terms: A 15% buyers premium will be added to every purchase. All items is sold “AS IS, WHERE IS” and ALL SALES ARE FINAL! Bill Menish Auctioneers Inc. will attempt to describe the merchandise in advertising, on the Internet auction but makes no representations. In no event shall Bill Menish Auctioneers Inc. be held responsible for having made or implied any warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Bidder shall be the sole judge of value. Bill Menish Auctioneers Inc. will not be responsible for any errors or omissions in the description of the merchandise unless it is a material and intentional misrepresentation of the item itself. Bidder agrees that everything is sold "as is" and that they may not return any item they purchase. We prefer that items be picked up at the Coronado Schools Foundation offices in Coronado, California, but if shipping is required, the winning bidder is responsible for shipping fees. Bill Menish Auctioneers is providing Internet online bidding as a service to Bidder. Bidder acknowledges and understands that this service may or may not function correctly the day of the auction. Under no circumstances shall Bidder have any kind of claim against Bill Menish Auctioneers Inc. or anyone else if the Internet service fails to work correctly before or during the auction. Bill Menish Auctioneers Inc. will not be responsible for any missed bids from any source. Bill Menish Auctioneers Inc. reserves the right to withdraw or re-catalog items in this auction.