Belfast Telegraph

Rare bottle of Irish whiskey sells for more than double its estimate at auction

The 1880s bottle of Cassidy & Co Monasterevin whiskey fetched 23,000 euro (£20,960).

Victor Mee of Victor Mee Auctions (Eugene T Hamill/Victor Mee Auctions)
Victor Mee of Victor Mee Auctions (Eugene T Hamill/Victor Mee Auctions)

A rare bottle of old Irish whiskey has sold for 23,000 euro (£20,960), more than double its estimate at auction.

The 1880s bottle of Cassidy & Co Monasterevin whiskey was matured by the Cassidy family, who made whiskey at their Co Kildare mill from 1784 until 1921.

In recent years, the Ballykelly Mill has been restored by businessman Paddy McKillen, who plans to open a distillery and visitor centre on the site and revive Monasterevin’s heritage of producing fine whiskey.

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An 1880s bottle of Cassidy and Co Monasterevin whiskey (Eugene T Hamill/Victor Mee Auctions)

U2 frontman Bono is believed to be an investor.

The bottle went under the hammer at Victor Mee Auctions in Cavan on Wednesday, with an estimate of between 5,000 euro (£4,550) and 10,000 euro (£9,110).

But it fetched 23,000 euro when the hammer came down on the final bid, far exceeding the auction house’s expectations.

The hand-blown, unopened bottle is one of only two known such bottles – the other is housed in the Irish Whiskey Museum.

It was described as the star lot of the Clermont Collection Rare Advertising, Pub Memorabilia and Architectural Fittings sale, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Auctioneer Victor Mee said: “We knew this bottle was extremely special, as it is one of the rarest we have come across in many years of dealing in whiskey and pub memorabilia.

“There were many bidders from far and wide interested in the bottle of Cassidy & Co Monasterevin whiskey, however we are delighted to say it will stay in Ireland.”

A number of other pieces from the historic Clermont Arms pub in Co Louth also fetched far more than their estimates.

Two extremely rare James McKendry “Ballymena Importers of” advertising mirrors also sold for more than 4,000 euro (£3,645) each, having been predicted to sell for between 1,200 euro (£1,090) and 1,800 euro (£1,640).

“These high-performing items from our most recent sale are a testament to the wide base of keen collectors and buyers that attend our monthly sales in our Cavan-based auction house, online, and down the phone,” Mr Mee added.

“We enjoyed some tense bidding on key pieces from this legendary pub, with former patrons, avid collectors and local residents alike all keen to get their hands on a piece of Irish hospitality history.”

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