After being discovered wrapped in a 19th-century newspaper and tucked away in the pocket of an old Gladstone doctor’s bag inside a wardrobe, a rare 142-year-old bottle of Irish whiskey has gone on auction.
The original purpose of this particular bottle may have been medicinal – the “Supplement of the Tablet” newspaper in which it was found dated from 1899, a time when whiskey would still have held medicinal value.
Whatever its original use, the bottle of original Cassidy's Whiskey from Monasterevin in Co Kildare is likely to attract some interest among connoisseurs. A similar bottle sold for €23,000 a number of years ago, although the estimate on the current item goes to just €14,000.
It is being sold complete with leather bag and its newspaper wrapping. "They've been together for over 120 years, it would be a shame for them to part company now," the vendor whiskeybidders.com said.
John Cassidy originally opened the Monasterevin Distillery in 1784, according to notes accompanying the sale, and 100 years later it was producing 250,000 gallons of the drink annually.
It was often exported to London, transported to Dublin initially by canal and then shipped from Dublin Port. Cassidy's Distillery and Brewery closed in 1934.
“Now, another 140 years later, a bottle of this extremely rare and special whiskey has survived and is available at auction on the current Whiskey Bidders online auction which finishes on Sunday, April 9th,” the vendor said.
"The Cassidy name is probably the start of a long history of distilling in Monasterevin. Another rare and special whiskey, Ballyhooly Blue Ribbon Twin Cask Single Malt also has links to the town."
Valuable Irish whiskeys are often sold at auction, attracting bidders for both its quality and romanticism.
In 2020, a bottle of Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Chapter One sold at auction for €42,000, at that time reported to be the most expensive bottle.