Lawmakers Change Booze Law for Capitol Raffle

Oregon legislators changed a law forbidding liquor raffles—after they were handed a bottle of rare bourbon to raise money for the Oregon State Capitol Foundation.

To be fair, it's really good bourbon. 

In 2011, Buffalo Trace Distillery gave one of just 174 bottles of its Millennium Barrel batch to the nonprofit, dedicated to preserving and enhancing the Salem building.

The bourbon was made on the last day of 1999, and aged for 11 years in the Frankfort, Ken., distillery's Warehouse V, the only bonded single-barrel aging house in the world, according to a release sent by the foundation.

After board members found out the capitol foundation got the booze, board member Virginia Lang says, "when we looked into the specifics of raffling the bottle off, it turned out that raffling liquor for charity was against the law, though raffling beer or wine was legal."

State Rep. Vicki Berger (R-Salem), also a member of the foundation board, sponsored House Bill 4047 in the 2012 legislative session allowing charitable organizations to auction or raffle small amounts of distilled liquor. It passed.

Oregon State Capitol Foundation will sell 400 tickets for the raffle for $25 each. The drawing for the special bottle will be Feb. 5 at the Hello Again Social hosted by the foundation in the Capitol Rotunda. Want to taste the last century yourself? Tickets are available by calling Lang at 503-421-6667.