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What do you make of this? Fake?

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What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby DukeofSandwich » Mon May 04, 2009 1:04 am

This bottle is currently on US Ebay with only a few hours left.

Full and sealed bottle of "Golf Club" Scotch Whiskey, Bottled in Scotland, Imported by W. A. Tayor & Co. New York. This one is absolutely mint. Contents, one pint and nine ounces, come to the shoulder of the bottle. This is a 1920 prohibition bottle from the estate of Spencer Penrose of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was the builder of the Broadmoor Hotel and owner of several Cripple Creek, Colorado mines. He was adamant about the pending prohibition. He allegedly stashed a large quanity of alcohol at the Broadmoor Hotel during this time. This is one of a few bottles that I will be listing. Please email me if you have any questions. Per Ebay Policy: The value of the item is in the collectible container, not its contents. The container has not been opened and any incidental contents are not intended for consumption. The item is not available at any retail outlet, and the container has a value that substantially exceeds the current retail price of the alcohol in the container. The seller will take appropriate steps to ensure that the buyer is of lawful age in the buyer's and seller's jurisdiction. Both the buyers and the sellers ensure that the sale complies with all applicable laws and shipping regulations.
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby ResIpsa539 » Mon May 04, 2009 1:09 am

Someone else may know the history of this better than myself, but, at least nowadays, its "Scotch Whisky;" not "Scotch Whiskey." Now...whether this was always the case; I don't know...but I haven't read anywhere that it was ever different.
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby adogranonthepitch » Mon May 04, 2009 1:38 pm

Looks OK to me ...
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby Iain » Mon May 04, 2009 5:50 pm

Strange (!) that the word "whiskey" appears on the main label, and "whisky" on the lower one.
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby John Barleycorn » Mon May 04, 2009 7:44 pm

Golf Club Special Whisky (without the e) was blended and bottled by Duncan MacGregor & Co. a subsidiary of Bass Ltd, the brewing company.

It could be that the whisky was shipped in bulk to the US, it was bottled and labeled by the importer and that the spelling change occurred then.

If you are looking for bottle of Golf Club Special Blended Whisky in the UK then goto the Whisky Exchange. They have a 1950's bottle for £84.99.

Cheers John
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby Brgreat5 » Mon May 04, 2009 7:47 pm

If you look at the seal, it is the seal of W.A.Taylor New York, the label states distilled (not bottled) in Scotland. The foil seal and label were probably attached in the US by W.A. Taylor & Co. (Importers established in 1888). It is quite likely that the whisk(e)y would have been imported into the US and bottled there (not unusual back then).

Being bottled in the US, the spelling of whiskey with an 'E' is an oversight that could have easily happened given that 'whiskey' was the local spelling.

The Broadmoor Hotel was a five star resort hotel in the US, and is known to have had stocks of fine wines & premium spirits during prohibition. Indeed it's owner Spencer penrose was an avid anti-prohibitionist.

On balance probably genuine, but would require more research!
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby Iain » Mon May 04, 2009 8:18 pm

Brgreat5 wrote:If you look at the seal, it is the seal of W.A.Taylor New York, the label states distilled (not bottled) in Scotland.


No, the lower label says bottled in Scotland. If Taylor attached the labels, why would they use different spellings?

I'm not saying it's fake - but it looks peculiar. That might discourage serious collectors from bidding.
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby DukeofSandwich » Wed May 06, 2009 1:20 am

My concerns about the bottle, and the reason I didn't bid were:

1. The condition is too good. The label is so white it looks like it was printed yesterday.
2. If this was bought and stashed prior to prohibition, then it should have a US tax stamp on it. If it was a bootleg barrel that was bottled when it arrived in the US during prohibition, then surely the importer would not put their name on the label, right?

I hadn't noticed the spelling of whiskey, nice catch. Thanks for the great responses.
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby Brgreat5 » Sat May 16, 2009 1:46 am

I've seen other items from this seller and apparently they have come straight from crates that were never opened, so that would explain why the label are pristine.

As regards tax stamps I'd have to bow to my american cousins on that one, but I'd pose two questions for research (1) when were tax stamps introduced into Colorado (2) Did wholesale supplies require tax stamps, my understanding is the approximate date on this bottle is circa 1918 based on start dates of prohibition in Colorado.

The bottle shape itself certainly appears early.

Best of luck getting to the bottom of this mystery.
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby Aidan » Sat May 16, 2009 8:00 am

I don't know if this makes the whisky any more genuine, but it would take a bit of extra work to produce this box of damaged bottles...

http://imagehost.vendio.com/bin/viewima ... crate2.jpg

I bought a bottle of old Jameson from this seller, off ebay. I was a bit suspicious when the bottle arrived, because of the condition and the nature of the label, but I just don't know. He seems like a genuine seller.
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby Jhelder » Mon May 18, 2009 9:12 pm

I would expect coloration of the label but it seems like new...even when the bottle is kept in a vault I would expect to see coloration of the label after such a long time (due to oxidation of compounds that are embedded in the paper...especially paper from the early 20th century due to the chemicals/metals that are being used in bleaching of the paper and the used ink).

I have to agree with Dukeofsandwich (point 2.)..it just doesn't seem very logical.
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby vitara7 » Mon May 18, 2009 9:48 pm

the issue i have with this bottle is not the colour of the label, but the corners and the edges are mint and at perfect right angles still on the bottle, i mean, half the bottles done in this day and age with modern bottling halls dont get labels to adhere that well all the way round the label and so perfectly.
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby Aidan » Wed May 20, 2009 10:12 am

A friend of mine is bringing the bottle I have to a printer to examine the label. I'll let you know what he thinks.

Also, on the label it says "45%". I presume that everything from this era would be given as proof rather than %?
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby Aidan » Wed May 20, 2009 10:16 am

PS, I also notice that the Golf Club bottle has abv rather than proof.
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby Iain » Wed May 20, 2009 8:01 pm

Aidan wrote:PS, I also notice that the Golf Club bottle has abv rather than proof.


Oopsadaisy. The bottle(s) story continues to unravel. Well spotted Aidan.
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby Aidan » Tue May 26, 2009 8:33 am

Got info back from the printer. He says that the paper is very old. He also says that to make a block for printing a label like this would not be worth it unless you made a lot of bottles.

And the printing is consistent with printing of the time.

Anyway, the abv things still gets me.
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:41 pm

Well Aidan that is about as much evidence that we need really. If the label and print are consistent to the time then it is a very good indicator.

I was a bit sceptical too at first but the provenance of story seems to fit logically together. Which any antique expert will tell you is half of the verification process and with Aidan's research on the label makes it sound like it is genuine.


Just looking at the pictures of the empty bottles ... most are stained and discoloured but only where they have leaked and yet the bottles are still in very good condition and even one of the half empty one seems very clean. They were sealed in boxes and also wrapped in straw and if kept in a cool dry basement it is not unreasonable to think that they would be fairly pristine.

In relation to the spelling of whiskey I would not overly worry about that either as both were very much inter-changeable back then but the main one used in the US would of been Whiskey. The bottom label could well have been out on by the bottles and the Taylor label put on by Taylor & co. As is today a lot of spelling of whisky is spelt whiskey in the US media by those who are not fully aware of the difference.

In relation to ABV that is a more interesting one. The Proof system was used by both the US and UK but they were not the same proof systems. Further US Regulations states that liquor labels must state the percentage of alcohol by volume while allowing the Proof system also. Now the trick is to figure out when ABV & Proof systems were introduced. It seems the US has always honoured the Proof system and maybe that was simply down to making life easier with imports from the British. With the likes of Gin from England, Whisky from Scotland, Whiskey from Ireland and even Rum from Jamaica. All these popular drinks were under the stewardship of the British Empire. But did it also honour the ABV system???

I bought a very old bottle of Hennessey as a present for a friend once and it was in the metric ABV as one would expect from a French company. So I would not dismiss it totally with out further research.

Proof

It was first measured by the dilution of the spirit in gunpowder.

I wonder what bright spark came up with that (excuse the pun) :wink:

Then from the 1740's till 1816 the UK customs used Clarke's hydrometer to determine the proof of a spirit.

From 1818 till January 1980 the Sikes hydrometer was used and the standard was still measured in Proof.

An easy way to calculateUK proof to ABV was to devide by 1.75 that is why you often see bottles at 70 proof but are actually 40% ABV

However the US system was slightly different. The proof system was simply double the ABV which means that they could very well have been using the Metric ABV as a base to proof readings.

Now it is universal and the IOLM scale or the Gay-Lussac scale is used measuring ABV (alcohol by volume) and is expressed in degrees not proof.

Food for thought :wink:
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby Iain » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:04 pm

British legal change (following the EC) required switch to percent abv statement in 1980. What's the situation in US?
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby Aidan » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:06 pm

The abv still gets me. If there was an answer on this I'd be more confident.
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Re: What do you make of this? Fake?

Postby Brgreat5 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:42 pm

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0237791151

I remembered this thread from a while back when I stumbled across this ebay pre-prohibition trade card, seems to back up the authenticity of the original bottling, if someone bought a bottle of the 'Golf Club' whiskey they might be interested in this to prove the provenance.
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