The Rare Bourbon That Skyrocketed In Value Over Just 5 Years

Bourbon is categorically American, as the distinctive label only applies to whiskeys made in the United States — and ones that have been brewed specifically from mash made up of at least 51% corn, then distilled at 160 proof or less, and stored in charred new oak barrels without any additives, notes World Whisky Day. While you can find perfectly acceptable bottles of bourbon for under $50 – useful to add to batches of Kentucky Bourbon Balls or when making recipes like our Bourbon-Soaked Cherries – you can just as easily splurge on limited edition and aged blends to enjoy straight or serve up in cocktails like our favorite Bourbon-Blackberry Cocktail Recipe

Sometimes, luck works in your favor and you happen to purchase a bottle that increases in value. A worthy investment in bourbon can pay back severalfold if you're able to withstand temptation and keep the bottle unopened on the shelf.

A tasty investment

Take Michter's 20 Bourbon, for example. If you were lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle when it first sold for $750, you'd be holding onto bourbon that sells for $7,000, notes Food & Wine. Michter's gives extra attention to whiskey barrels over 17 years old, aging batches to meet high levels of quality and limiting release, as is the case of Michter's 20-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Michter's describes this punchy booze — which clocks in at 57.1% ABC — as an expression reflecting "the exceptional results of uncompromising craftsmanship and Kentucky's unrivaled climate for aging outstanding whiskey."

The Whiskey Wash acknowledges the difficulty in aging bourbon beyond 20 years because the flavor of the corn base can go awry unless it's under the watchful eye of a talented distiller. The Michter's 20 is just that, a dark amber bourbon that has been carefully aged by Michter's master distiller to deliver a rich nose of fruit and chocolate-hazelnuts with a creamy, warm palate of butter, butterscotch, and leathered honey – tasting notes that any bourbon aficionado can appreciate.

"It's remarkable that a 20-year bourbon can have so many wonderful qualities without being overly woody," remarked Michter's president Joseph J. Magliocco, describing the 114.2 proof bottle (via Robb Report). If a friend starts pouring drams of this, belly up — unless, of course, you can shell out the cash to buy a bottle of your own.