View Full Version : Dowling BIB

11-09-2011, 10:59
I spotted a dusty Dowling BIB yesterday and was tempted to buy it. It looked both interesting and suspicious. Since I had never heard of it, I decided to check it out before purchasing it. From what little I've found on SB and the web, I'm not sure if I should buy it.

It claims to be "Very Rare" and "Truly A Collector's Item." BIB (100 proof, natch), a fifth, aged 16 years, and with a tax stamp that says it was made in 1953 and bottled in 1969. It's in a plastic mesh bag, and the front label has dried and come loose from the bottle. I was able to slip the label out of the bag and photo it. Also took a shot of the bottle from the back (it's kind of Knob Creek shaped).

I'm having trouble uploading the images, so if they don't show or are unreadable, here is some more of the info on the label:
Distilled by Old Poindexter Dist. Co., Lexington, Kentucky.
Bottled by Dowling Distillers, Tyrone, Anderson County, Ky. D.S.P. 27.

The bottle genuinely seems that old. The seal is good and the juice is dark but not cloudy. The liquor store is old enough to have collectible bourbon, but I've never seen any there before. The Dowling was next to another orphan on the shelf, a Pappy 15 priced $91.99, also a rarity for this store, which has a decent bourbon selection, but Baker's and Booker's are about as high-end and unusual as its stock gets.

There is no price on the Dowling, and I didn't want to ask, as I had no idea what it might be worth, and the clerk on duty was clueless. Should I make an offer? In what range? $40? $50? Surely not $100. Help me out, SBers. Thanks.


11-09-2011, 11:19
Dowling did a lot of those "Collector's Item" bottlings over the years. Most had that plastic mesh netting over them. I've seen 15yo, 16yo and 20 yo versions. The whiskey always seemed to come from long closed distilleries. That would be the primary reason to buy one.....a piece of history so-to-speak. Some have reported the whiskey can be good too, but Julian has commented negatively about those bottlings before. I have a 16yo and a 20yo. Here's a pic I snagged from ebay years ago for a 20yo.


11-09-2011, 11:27
I'm trying to upload the images again.

Yea, it seems to have worked this time.


11-09-2011, 16:33
Tell the you'll take the Pappy and Dowling for $150, make it a package deal. I think it'd be worth checking out.

I've tried many pre-pro bourbons, they can be sensational with age.

T Comp
11-09-2011, 20:55
The whiskey stated to be distilled at Reg. Dist No 5, in 1953, would have been made by Schenley at what was the James E Pepper distillery originally known as the Henry Clay distillery in Lexington, Kentucky. Schenley acquired and modernized the distillery after repeal. The distillery operated till 1958. Here is a link to an application for it to be placed on the National Register of historic Places in 2008 http://www.nps.gov/nr/publications/guidance/NR_workshop_3-11-09/context_criterionA_bw.pdf

The whiskey itself is good not great, dry with a lot of pepper and pine resinous flavor from its 16 years in wood. I've had just a few other '50s and early '60s whiskeys with much less age but that pine resin thing is something I seem to pick up about them and as different from any similar taste in today's. Also my bottle came with a neck tag from Ernest Ripy guaranteeing "this is the finest bourbon available in Kentucky today".

11-10-2011, 08:55

Wow, thanks for the link. Great info.