The other bottle of 1880s Cassidy & Co Monasterevan Irish Whiskey is in a museum.

By Mike Pomranz
July 24, 2019

The whiskey auction market has been one of the hottest in the world. For a while, it felt like million-dollar bottles were selling on the regular. Heck, even mini bottles were being bid up to exorbitant prices. But typically, the most noteworthy auctions have been Scotch or Japanese whiskies. This month, a rare bottle going up for auction is your chance to own a piece of Irish whiskey history.

On July 30 and 31, the Irish auction house Victor Mee will be auctioning off a wide array of items — over 1,000 lots — formerly from the Clermont Pub in Blackrock. Though that includes plenty of standard memorabilia like old Guinness advertisements and ceramic ashtrays, the star of the show is Lot 907. Expected to sell for upwards of $12,500, this lot is an extremely rare, unopened bottle of Cassidy & Co Monasterevan Whiskey from the 1880s packaged in its original hand-blown bottle.

Eugene T. Hamill Photography

Adding to this lot’s intrigue: Apparently, only one other bottle exists — and it’s housed at the Irish Whiskey Museum in Dublin. So though whether you’d want to drink the whiskey inside isn’t clear, at least you don’t have to rob a museum to give it a try.

According to the auction house, the Cassidy family made whiskey from 1784 until 1921 at the Ballykelly Mill in the Irish county of Kildare before shuttering. The brand is generating renewed interest, however, after businessman Paddy McKillen planned to restore the mill, reportedly with the support of one of the most famous investors you can get in Ireland, U2’s Bono. According to the Press Association, the hope is to eventually open a new distillery and visitors’ center at the location.

But that’s the future. At present, if you have an extra ten grand to toss around, maybe consider getting a 130-year-old bottle of Irish whiskey. Or if that’s too rich for your blood, you can also get a Harp ashtray for $40. Going once, going twice…

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