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What Is The Most Expensive Bourbon In The World? (2022)

Last Updated on November 18, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Some of the best bourbon whiskeys have gone untouched for decades because of their whopping price tags, which get more expensive every day.

The American whiskeys are made with delicate craftsmanship and elegance and aged at a precise temperature. 

But what is the most expensive bourbon on the market today? Check out our list of the most lavish bottles.  

Top 25 Most Expensive Bourbons (With Updated Prices)

25. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 20-Year-Old 

Pappy Van Winkle's 20 Year Bourbon Whiskey bottle

Average Price: Roughly $2,500 (Drizly) 

Alcohol Content: 45.2%

What Makes It Expensive: Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 20-Year-Old is one of the most expensive bourbons from Buffalo Trace Distillery.

While the MSRP of this wheated bourbon is $199.99, the distillery does not have any control of the secondary market. 

Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve is one of the most sought-after whiskeys of bourbon collectors. Find out who makes Pappy Van Winkle bourbons here.

24. John E. Fitzgerald Very Special Reserve 20-Year-Old 

Average Price: Roughly $3,999 (Wooden Cork)

Alcohol Content: 45%

What Makes It Expensive: John E. Fitzgerald Very Special Reserve is a 20-year-old Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey made from a blend of 12 barrels from Stitzel-Weller Distillery. It has a ruddy hue and complex palate profile. 

It is a collector’s item since it was originally distilled in Stitzel-Weller Distillery and was remarkably aged in new oak barrels for a long time. 

23. Michter’s 20 Years Old Limited Release-Single Barrel Bourbon

Michter's 20 Year Bourbon Whiskey bottle on a wooden table

Average Price: Roughly $4,887.99 (Caskers)

Alcohol Content: 57.1%

What Makes It Expensive: Michter’s 20-Year-Old limited-release single barrel bourbon whiskey is the brainchild of Master Distiller Willie Pratt. It is aged for two decades for a dark amber color and rich aroma of vanilla, coffee, and smoked chips. 

Aside from its long aging process, it is expensive because it is a limited edition bourbon, and only a few bottles are left in circulation. 

22. Old Taylor 6-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon 

Average Price: Roughly $4,999.99 (Cask Cartel)

Alcohol Content: 40%

What Makes It Expensive: Bourbon enthusiasts will agree that Old Taylor 6-Year-Old Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey is ‘Of Topmost Class.’ It was crafted to pay homage to one of America’s well-respected whiskey pioneers – Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor Jr. 

Old Taylor is aged six years in new charred oak barrels for a nice aroma, color, and flavor profile. On the nose, it has a teasing complexity and delightful lightness. 

21. Blanton’s Silver Edition Bourbon

bottle of Blanton's Silver

Average Price: Roughly $4,999 (Cask Cartel)

Alcohol Content: 49%

What Makes It Expensive: Blanton’s Silver Edition bourbon was originally crafted for Duty-Free Market. Since they stopped producing this bourbon, it has become one of the rarest and most expensive bourbons in the secondary market today. 

The Japanese exclusive Blanton is known as “liquid gold.” It was first released in 1984 by Master Distiller Elmer Lee. It has high rye content and is aged for eight years. 

20. Willett Family Estate Bottled Single-Barrel 16-Year-Old 

Average Price: Roughly $4999.99 (Flask Wine & Whisky)

Alcohol Content: 60.5%

What Makes It Expensive: Willett Family Estate Bottled Single Barrel is a 16-year-old bourbon whiskey from Willett Distillery. This Willett Family Estate bourbon is barrel-proof, uncut, unfiltered with unusual complexity and depth. 

Willett Family Estate has a great mouthfeel, long and lingering sweetness with hints of spice.  

19. A.H. Hirsch Finest Reserve 20-Year-Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Average Price: Roughly $5,000 (Luxury Whiskies)

Alcohol Content: 45.8%

What Makes It Expensive: A.H Hirsch Finest Reserve is a spectacular 20-year-old straight bourbon distilled in 1974 at Pennco Distillery. It was a commissioned whiskey that was aged until 1989 and was released in late 1994 and early 1995 with an old “red wax” seal. 

The bourbon is a limited release making it one of the unicorns of the bourbon world. Because of its rarity, a single bottle can cost up to $15,000 in the secondary market.

18. Parker’s Heritage 11-Year-Old Cask Strength Bourbon

bottle of Parker's Heritage 11-Year-Old Cask Strength Bourbon with plant on the side

Average Price: Roughly $5,619.99 (Cask Cartel)

Alcohol Content: 61.3%

What Makes It Expensive: Parker’s Heritage 11-year-old is another collection of Heaven Hill Distillery. It was the first edition release for the Parker’s Heritage Collection. 

There are only a few remaining bourbon bottles of the first edition release, and what makes it more special is Master Distiller Parker Beam hand-selected the first release. 

17. Collection 2nd Ed 27-Year-Old Small Batch Bourbon 

Average Price: Roughly $5,999 (Cask Cartel) 

Alcohol Content: 48%

What Makes It Expensive: Parker’s Heritage Collection is a 27-year-old small batch Kentucky straight bourbon aged in new charred oak barrels since 1981. The special bourbon has unique flavors, a rich aroma, and a complex finish. 

The second edition of this rich bourbon is one of the expensive bottles of Parker’s Heritage that Heaven Hill released in the ongoing series of barrel-proof whiskies. 

16. A.H. Hirsch Reserve 16-Year-Old Straight Bourbon 

Average Price: Roughly $5,999.99 (Continental Wine & Spirits)

Alcohol Content: 45.8%

What Makes It Expensive: A.H Hirsch Reserve 16-year-old straight bourbon whiskey gets its name from the former executive of Schenley Co, Adolf Hirsch. He bought some barrels from the famed Michter’s Distillery in 1988. 

The Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey was distilled in 1974, and the single 400-barrel batch was commissioned by AH Hirsch, making it an extremely rare bourbon whiskey. 

15. Parker’s Heritage Collection 3rd Edition Golden Anniversary Bourbon

Average Price: Roughly $6,499.99 (Cask Cartel)

Alcohol Content: 50%

What Makes It Expensive: Parker’s Heritage Collection is the 3rd edition of the Parker’s Heritage Collection. There are only 4,500 limited bottlings for this release, so it’s not surprising that this particular bourbon costs this much.

In addition, the third edition of Parker’s Heritage Collection was released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Parker Beam in the bourbon business. 

14. W. L. Weller 19-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon 

Average Price: Roughly $6,699.99 (Continental Wine & Spirits)

Alcohol Content: 64%

What Makes It Expensive: WL Weller Kentucky straight bourbon is a 19-year-old hand-bottled bourbon produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

It is uncut, unfiltered, and uses wheat instead of the traditional rye grain on its mash bill. 

W.L. Weller has fragrant scents of new leather, caramel, corn, brown sugar, light toffee, dark fruit, and chocolate truffles.

It is smooth and flavorfully sweet, with a salted almonds taste. But who makes Weller bourbon?

13. Old Rip Van Winkle ‘Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve

close up shot of Old Rip Van Winkle Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 23-year-old

Average Price: Roughly $6,994.99 (Continental Wine & Spirits)

Alcohol Content: 47.8%

What Makes It Expensive: Old Rip Van Winkle Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23-year-old is one of the most expensive bourbons on the secondary market. 

Old Rip Van Winkle bourbon is a rare and hard-to-find bourbon. So even when the Buffalo Trace Distillery released the $299.99 MSRP, many liquor shops still sold it at a very high price.

The complex bourbon is best enjoyed neat because it has various hints of apples, dark chocolate, caramel, cherries, and tobacco.

12. Old Fitzgerald Bonded Very Very Old 12-Year-Old 

Average Price: Roughly $6,999.99 (Continental Wine & Spirits)

Alcohol Content: 50%

What Makes It Expensive: Old Fitzgerald Bonded Very Very Old 12-year-old is an extremely rare bottle of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. It was distilled in 1967, aged until 1979 inside new oak barrels (charred), and bottled at 100 proof. 

Only a few Very Old Fitzgerald bonded bottles are left in circulation. It is highly sought-after by many bourbon lovers, making it one of the most expensive bourbons today.

11. Colonel E.H. Taylor’ Cured Oak’ Straight Kentucky Bourbon 

close up shot of Colonel E.H. Taylor' Cured Oak' Straight Kentucky Bourbon bottle label

Average Price: Roughly $7,999.99 (Cask Cartel)

Alcohol Content: 50%

What Makes It Expensive: Col. Edmund Haynes Taylor Jr. established a good reputation for making whiskey that exceeds the standards of the whiskey industry. 

The OId Fashioned Copper bourbon whiskey is aged inside the Colonel EH Taylor Warehouse under government supervision. 

10. Buffalo Trace Distillery O.F.C. Old Fashioned Copper

Average Price: Roughly $8,999.99 (Cask Cartel)

Alcohol Content: 45%

What Makes It Expensive: O.F.C. Old Fashioned Copper is a rare, collectible bourbon that honors the O.F.C. Distillery. It is a vintage offering of the distillery, and each hand-cut crystal bottle is vintage-dated based on the distillation year of the bourbon whiskey. 

O.F.C. Distillery is a National Historic Landmark known as Buffalo Trace Distillery today.

The distillery it came from is historically known as Old Fire Copper Distillery and George T. Stagg Distillery. 

Read: Does Costco Sell Buffalo Trace Bourbon?

9. Michter’s 25-Year-Old Single Barrel Bourbon 

Michter's 25 year Bourbon bottle

Average Price: Roughly $13,036.03 (Continental Wine & Spirits)

Alcohol Content: 58.1%

What Makes It Expensive: Michter’s 25-year-old single barrel bourbon is another unicorn bourbon and an American whiskey collector’s bottle. It is one of the Kentucky straight bourbons on our list, with the oldest bourbon whiskey inside the bottle. 

It is an exceptionally flavorful bourbon distilled using a premium mash bill and matured to perfection. 

8. Colonel E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Tornado Surviving 

Average Price: Roughly $16,999.99 (Cask Cartel)

Alcohol Content: 50%

What Makes It Expensive: Colonel EH Taylor Warehouse C Tornado Surviving bottled-in-bond bourbon is made to celebrate the stunning story of one of the most expensive bourbon whiskey in the world. 

Two distillery warehouses of Buffalo Trace were damaged when the tornado ripped through Central Kentucky in 2006 [1]. 

The damage left the barrels exposed to open climate. Years later, the surviving barrels had unique and rich flavors. The tornado-surviving bourbon is now exclusively owned by Buffalo Trace Distillery. 

7.  The Last Drops 1980 Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Average Price: Roughly $16,999 (The Bourbon Concierge) 

Alcohol Content: 45%

What Makes It Expensive: The Last Drop Buffalo Trace Kentucky straight bourbon was distilled in 1980 by Gary Gayheart and left to age in the corner of the warehouse. Harlan Whealthley then discovered it in 2000. 

The Last Drop Buffalo Trace Kentucky straight bourbon is a rare collection. Only 240 bottles of Last Drop Buffalo Trace Kentucky straight bourbon are released. 

6. Eagle Rare Double Eagle Very Rare 20-Year-Old 

Eagle Rare Double Eagle Very Rare 20-Year-Old bottle with box

Average Price: Roughly $21,999.99 (Cask Cartel)

Alcohol Content: 45%

What Makes It Expensive: Eagle Rare Double Eagle Very Rare is a very limited 20-year-old bourbon that lives up to its name. It is matured twice as the standard Eagle Rare bourbon and features two beautifully sculpted crystal glass eagles. 

Double Eagle Very Rare is a true collector’s item; only a few bottles were produced. It is individually numbered for authenticity. 

5. ‘Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 17-Year-Old

Average Price: Roughly $29,999.99 (The Bourbon Concierge) 

Alcohol Content: 50.5%

What Makes It Expensive: Pappy Van Winkle’s wheated bourbon is rumored to be sourced from Boone Distillery and matured for 17 years. 

It was intended for the Japanese market, willing to pay high prices for well-aged bourbons. The Buffalo Trace distillery now produces it. 

4. Colonel E.H. Taylor Old Fashioned Sour Mash 

Average Price: Roughly $29,999 (Cask Cartel)

Alcohol Content: 50%

What Makes It Expensive: Colonel EH Taylor Old Fashioned Sour Mash whiskey pays tribute to the lasting legacy of EH Taylor. The price of the sour mash bourbon reflects the bottled bourbon’s unparalleled complexity and historical significance. 

3. Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash Whiskey

Michter's Celebration Sour Mash Whiskey bottle and a glass

Average Price: Roughly $32,999 (Cask Cartel)

Alcohol Content: 57.8%

What Makes It Expensive: Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash whiskey is a limited edition release from Michter’s Distillery. 

There were only 277 bottles released. The sour mash whiskey is a blend of four Kentucky straight rye whiskies and two Kentucky straight bourbons. 

2. Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Family Reserve 16-Year-Old

Average Price: Roughly $39,999 (Cask Cartel)

Alcohol Content: 45%

What Makes It Expensive: Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Family Reserve 16-Year-Old is intended for Japanese markets, so it is an extremely rare edition by Julian Van Winkle III. 

Old Rip Van Winkle is ultra-rare and highly collectible because it was part of the Reserve series bottled in 1990.

1. Old Rip Van Winkle 25-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon 

Old Rip Van Winkle 25-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon with liqour bottles on the background

Average Price: Roughly $64,999.99 (Cask Cartel)

Alcohol Content: 50%

What Makes It Expensive: Old Rip Van Winkle 25-Year-Old is the most expensive bourbon in the world. Its limited supply and increased value since 2017 made it the highly-valued bottle today. 

The bourbon comes with a wooden box made from barrels where it was aged and a beautiful decanter. 

FAQs 

What is the most expensive brand of bourbon?

Old Rip Van Winkle is currently the most expensive brand of bourbon. It produced the most expensive bourbon bottle, housed in a wooden box made from the barrel where the whiskey is aged, with only 710 decanters released [2].  

What is a good expensive bourbon?

Pappy Van Winkle’s 20-Year-Old is a good expensive bourbon. It is a popular and most-after sought bourbon because of its flavor profile. The MSRP is only $199.99, but because of its rarity, the secondary market is taking advantage, making it a good expensive whiskey [3]. 

What’s the most expensive bourbon ever sold at auction?

Michter’s 10-Year Kentucky Straight bourbon is the most expensive bourbon ever sold at auction. Someone sold it for $209,462, and the proceeds will benefit the hospital industry [4]. 

Final Say 

Old Rip Van Winkle 25-Year-Old currently holds the crown for being the most expensive bourbon.

It was released in 2017, and only 710 bottles are circulating in the market. It is extremely rare, so it is not surprising that it costs roughly $64,999 in the secondary market. 

Aside from Old Rip Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace, Willett Distillery, Michter’s, and many other bourbon brands have produced expensive bourbons. 

Do you think these bourbons are worth their price? Tell us in the comment section below.

References:

  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/11/the-new-science-of-old-whiskey/309522/ 
  2. https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/pappy-van-winkle-releasing-a-super-limited-25-year-old-bourbon-w468025/ 
  3. https://robbreport.com/food-drink/spirits/2022-pappy-van-winkle-bourbon-bufflo-trace-1234756300/ 
  4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradjaphe/2020/07/19/michters-whiskey-smashes-record-for-most-expensive-bourbon-ever-sold-at-auction/