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Harry E Wilken 1917 AMS Co Special Old Reserve Bourbon Pint / Prohibition Era Bottling

Lot: 5009641
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Harry E Wilken 1917 AMS Co Special Old Reserve Bourbon Pint / Prohibition Era Bottling

Winning Bid: £632

Currency Estimate

Important: Currency exchange rates are constantly changing; this feature is to be used as a guide price only. All final transactions occur in British Pounds (£).
Harry E. Wilken
Kentucky, USA
American Medicinal Spirits Co
Cask Type: 
Bottled Strength: 
100 US Proof
Bottle Size: 
1 Pint
Distillery Status: 
product Details

Harry E Wilken 1917 AMS Co Special Old Reserve Bourbon Pint / Prohibition Era Bottling

Distilled in 1917, this bourbon was protected in bond by the American Medicinal Spirits Company from the Prohibition Act of 1920, which made alcohol production and consumption illegal.

This was bottled in 1932, a year before the Prohibition was repealed. The whiskey was produced by Harry E. Wilken, distillery no. 368 in the 5th district of Kentucky.

The American Medicinal Spirits Company was one of only six distilling companies to survive Prohibition of the 434 that existed prior. Exploiting the medicinal loophole was the brainchild of Otto Wathen, then president of his father's R.E. Wathen distillery and it was an idea that continues to prove its value today in the persisting image of his still ever-popular portfolio, which included the bourbon classic, Old Grand-dad. The AMS Co was eventually taken over by National Distillers who reorganised it in 1927, incorporating their Kentucky Distilleries & Warehouse Co, R.E. Wathen & Co, Hill & Hill, and E.H. Taylor & Sons. National Distillers then went on to become one of the "Big Four" post-Prohibition whiskey companies in the US, along with Schenley, Hiram Walker and Seagram. The Harry E. Wilken distillery did not survive.

This 1 pint bottle was filled by the AMS Co at distillery bonded warehouse no. 19, also in the 5th district of Kentucky, permit no. Ky P-19.

Unusually, these were created as gifts for the shareholders at National Distillers, although presumably they were required to obtain a prescription for them first!

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