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  1. #1

    Old McBrayer 17 yr. old

    I have a bottle of Old McBrayer 17 yr. old straight bourbon, bottled by American Medicinal Spirits Co, Inc. in Louisville. This bottle has a 1936 Illinois tax stamp and a National Distillers seal. It has never been opened. Any information about the distillery or the subsequent bottling would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999

    Re: Old McBrayer 17 yr. old

    The McBrayer name is unfamiliar to me, but American Medicinal Spirits certainly is not. AMS was established by the Wathen family, distinguished long-time Kentucky distillers. It was a consolidation warehouse, which was a product of Prohibition. The government's idea was to consolidate all existing stocks of aging whiskey into a few warehouses for ease of control. The whiskey could still be sold under a doctor's prescription "for medicinal purposes," hence the company's name. The Wathen family sold AMS to National Distillers in 1929. In fact, AMS was one of the cornerstones of that company.

    A 17 year old whiskey bottled in 1936 would have to have been distilled before Prohibition took effect and AMS is one of the companies that could, legitimately, have had such stocks when Prohibition ended. This is probably a very fine bottle of whiskey and, as you may know, a well-sealed bottle of whiskey will not change in the bottle, so this whiskey is probably as good as the day it was bottled.

    The obvious next question, of course, is what is it worth. Unfortunately, there is very little market for such things, so value is hard to establish.

    How did this bottle come to be in your possession?

    - chuck

  3. #3

    Re: Old McBrayer 17 yr. old

    Thank you for the reply. I also found (on ebay) a matchbook for Old McBrayer indicating that it was distributed by Sam Cassel & Co. of Chicago. A website on Newmarket, KY indicates that the original McBrayer distillery was here, and that it was never profitable. So understandably it never survived Prohibition. The product made its way to Salt Lake City as the first alcohol induced, prohibition era death was the result of 23 pints of Old McBrayer. The bottle came with inherited collection of odds and ends from Chicago.



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