Sippin’ For A Cause: Rare $7K whiskey up for auction to benefit St. Louis kids

Beer Of The Week

In an effort to help raise money for causes, Buffalo Trace takes rare bottles from its extensive collection and makes them available only to non-profit organizations.   One of those groups is based here in St. Louis and they are making some rare whiskey available to anyone with a raffle ticket.

On Thursday, November 30, Gamlin Whiskey House is partnering with the St. Louis ProPlayers organization to offer up a chance to win one of the rarest bottles of whiskey ever produced, valued at over $7,000!

O.F.C Bourbon Whiskey 1980 Vintage Bottle 52 of 100 is the big prize.

Sourced from the barrels of yesteryear, each hand-cut crystal bottle of whiskey commemorates the year it was put into a barrel to age. As the first release of its kind, this 1980 limited collection includes only 100 bottles that cannot be bought in stores. This very rare and collectible bourbon honors the O.F.C. Distillery.

During Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr’s tenure, the O.F.C. Distillery was renowned for producing top class whiskey. The first vintages of O.F.C. Bourbon Whiskey coming in November are sure to be collector’s items and will be offered exclusively to non-profit organizations at no charge to raise money for their causes. Although these rare whiskeys will not be available in stores or bars and restaurants, later vintages are already available in overall market.

Straight Bourbon whiskey must be aged in oak for at least two years, but these O.F.C. releases matured much longer. Recipe and age will vary by vintage, but many are expected to mature for twenty years or more. Barrels are evaluated regularly and some whiskey will be removed from the barrels as taste reaches the peak of flavor.

The packaging for O.F.C. matches the splendor of the whiskey itself, in lead-free crystal bottles with detailed fluting engraved into the mold. Glass artisans cut the shoulder facets using equipment created exclusively for Buffalo Trace Distillery. Each bottle then is manually polished to achieve maximum glass brilliance before in-laying cut copper lettering to spell out “O.F.C.” on the front. A paper label is then hand applied below with the vintage prominently noted, along with a label on the back of the bottle noting the milestones for the vintage year of the bottle.

img2For example, the 1980 label memorializes the U.S. Ice Hockey team’s stunning victory over the Soviet Union, along with pop culture happenings and Ronald Reagan’s presidential election. The bottle is then given one last polish for the ultimate premium presentation, while a cork stopper with a copper top adorns the top of the bottle to finish out this stunning bottle.

This bottle is a replica of an O.F.C. decanter dating back to the early 1900s found in the Buffalo Trace Distillery archives. Equally as impressive as the bottle is the display box in which the bourbon is presented. The dark wooden box prominently bears the O.F.C. name in copper, along with a copper plaque depicting the year the bourbon was distilled. Upon opening the revolving door on the wooden case, the bottle is proudly displayed on a small riser, commanding attention as its prized possession is revealed. A provenance card is inside each display box, containing the same information found on the back label. Finally, each box is then packaged in a tasteful cream colored bag to protect it from any damage before placing it into the shipping boxes.

This is the second time Buffalo Trace Distillery has partnered with non-profit organizations to raise money. In 2011, the Distillery gave away 174 bottles of its Millennium Barrel, the last bourbon barrel filled on the last day of the last century. In total more than $150,000 was raised for various charities across the United States, with the top organization raising more than $7,000 for their cause.

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