New Kentucky whiskey producer makes splash with online auction for its first bottle of bourbon

IndustriesAssociated Press

One of Kentucky's newest whiskey makers is making a big splash with its first batch of bourbon.

An online auction for the first bottle of bourbon by Boundary Oak Distillery fetched $28,050, including an auction fee of $2,550, the craft distillery said Wednesday. All the money will go to a local charity.

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The bottle appeared to rank among the most expensive bottles of bourbon ever sold.

"We don't know of any other bottle that sold for that amount or higher," said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers' Association.

The winning bidder is from Hardin County but asked to remain anonymous, the distillery said. Whoever it is will have to be patient.

Boundary Oak plans to fill its first bourbon barrel in December, and the whiskey will age for two years before bottling, said distillery owner and master distiller Brent Goodin, who is resuming his family's whiskey-making tradition that dates back to the late 1700s in Kentucky.

The high bid entitles the winner to be first in line to purchase the inaugural bottle once the whiskey comes out of the barrel.

Goodin's distillery ends a long bourbon-making dry spell in Hardin County, where Kentucky's signature whiskey hasn't been produced since the 1890s.

"How many times could you have that opportunity to buy that first bottle of Evan Williams or that first bottle of Maker's Mark?" Goodin said. "We gave somebody that opportunity to own that."

The weeklong, online auction drew more than 50 bids.

Auctions for rare, high-end whiskeys easily fetched tens of thousands of dollars and occasionally much more. Those hard-to-find gems can include 40- to 50-year-old Scotch whiskeys presented in hand-made crystal decanters.

For some buyers, they are investments. The long-term value of a brand new product would be much less certain.

The winning bidder for Boundary Oak's first bottle of bourbon designated Helping Hand of Hope, a nonprofit community service organization in Elizabethtown, to receive proceeds from the bottle sale. The organization's efforts include providing food, clothing and furniture to those in need.