Jack Daniel’s collection raises spirits

A collection of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey sold for a total of £6,250 in a recent auction at Midlands-based auction house Gildings Auctioneers.

The collection was acquired by a Northamptonshire-based collector on trips abroad between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s. Featuring many limited edition bottlings, it formed 18 lots in an online auction of Wines, Spirits, Whisky & Miniatures at the Market Harborough auctioneers.

The standout lot in the sale was a set of three ‘Scenes from Lynchburg’ bottlings, which sold for £1,488 after being estimated at £500-£800. Three identical ‘Master Distiller Collection’ bottles in individual presentation tins also exceeded expectations by selling for £806 against an estimate of £150-£200.

Jack Daniel's collection of 'Scenes from Lynchburg'

Other highlights included a ‘Ghent Belgium’ replica bottle commemorating a gold medal awarded to the distillery in 1913 which sold for £570, and a 150th birthday bottling from 2000, which attracted a top bid of £545. Other items in the collection included an optics bottle, presentation sets and an advent calendar.

One of the most recognisable brand names in the world, as familiar on t-shirts and baseball caps as on its trademark square, black-labelled bottles, Jack Daniel’s built its reputation on the smooth taste that results from a unique charcoal mellowing process at America’s oldest distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

“This fantastic collection presented a great opportunity for Jack Daniel’s aficionados to get their hands on rare bottles of America’s most iconic spirit,” commented Gildings’ director and wine, whisky and spirits specialist, Will Gilding. “However, the prices collectors are willing to pay are even more striking considering that the contents of most of these limited edition bottlings are the standard Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7, which you can pick up for under £30 in any UK supermarket.”

Collection of Jack Daniel's whisky

Lynchburg is in Moore County, which has been a dry county since prohibition in the 1920s. Thanks to a loophole, Jack Daniel’s can legally be sold in special commemorative bottles in the distillery gift shop, but the alcohol itself cannot be charged for, which could explain why many limited edition bottles contain the standard Old No.7 Jack Daniel’s.

“Jack Daniel’s cult-like following among its most diehard fans means limited edition bottles will always cost more in the first place and attract great interest when they come up at auction. This means that buying a special bottle should always prove to be a good 10-year investment,” added Will Gilding. “However, more generally, this goes to show that the biggest and most common brands of whiskies can pay dividends as well as lesser-known and rarer examples in this extremely buoyant area of collecting.”

A bottle of 1976 Bollinger champagne

The specialist auction also featured a wide range of Scotch whisky and vintage wine, champagne and port. “A 250th anniversary bottling of Remy Martin cognac sold for £620 and a 1976 bottle of Bollinger vintage champagne realised £260,” sayid Will Gilding. “This auction was typical in that as well as the collectable Jack Daniel’s and other whiskies, it featured wine, champagne and port dating from the mid-1940s through to the 2000s, at a variety of price points. This means auctions are a great place to find a special bottle to mark a milestone birthday or anniversary.”