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Found an empty bottle, suspected to be from about 1915; HBC

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Found an empty bottle, suspected to be from about 1915; HBC

Postby rye_n » Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:55 am

I'm renovating my house that was built in 1915. When I removed the 2nd storey bathroom floor I found an empty bottle of whiskey. I'm curious to know more about it. I'd like to confirm the date etc... If anyone can help, or point me in the direction of someone who may I would be very appreciative. I found it next to a local newspaper dated from 1912, so I suspect the house may have taken 3 years to build back then. So the bottle will likely be from that time frame too (1912-1915). The seal is foil, with a cork underneath. The red part at the bottom of the bottle is metal and is able to slide off the bottom.

Here's the text on the bottle:

The Governor and Company of
Adventurers of England
Trading into Hudson's Bay
Incorporated - A.D. 1670
Finest Old Highland Whiskey
Bottled and guaranteed by
Hudson's Bay Company

Here's are some pictures.
Image
Image
Image
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Thanks in advance for any help,
Ryan
Last edited by rye_n on Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:48 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Matt2 » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:30 pm

The HBC web site has some info at http://www.hbc.com/hbcheritage/faq/default.asp and I have seen references to the label as a registered mark circa 1900-1925

If you Google The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Whisky there are a few sites coming up

Shame it isn't still full of whisky.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:39 pm

That's a marvelous bit of Canadian history you have there, rye_n, and in remarkably good condition. I suppose that whisky was bottled for the HBC to sell at their northern trading posts, which they maintained late into the 20th century. Given their historical links to Orkney, one could guess that the whisky was Highland Park, but that is only surmise, and I suppose it could as well be a blend bottled for them.

The folks at Canada's National History Society, publishers of The Beaver (historical magazine), would probably like to see that--The Beaver's roots are as a house organ for the HBC. A museum like the McCord Museum in Montreal might be interested in it, as well. Heck, if you can establish a value for it, I'd be interested in buying it myself. Where are you?

I think you have the same carpet we do....

http://www.historysociety.ca
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Postby Iain » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:57 pm

I believe that Hill, Thomson (of Queen Anne, St Ledger etc blended Scotch fame) blended and bottled Scotch whisky for the Hudson's Bay Co. As far as I'm aware, it sent only blended Scotch to the HBC.

HT's strongest historic links were with Longmorn Distillery, almost from the beginning of the latter's history, although it was one of the companies that subsequently merged (in 1970) to form The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd.
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Postby rye_n » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:04 am

Thanks for all the info and links everyone; I've got off to a good start in my research. I have contacted the HBC archives, Canada's National History Society, and the McCord Museum. When and if I hear back I will post any findings.

Matt Page wrote:Shame it isn't still full of whisky.

It’s definitely a real shame it is not full. That's the first thing I thought when I found it. I called my father after I and jokingly asked him if he wanted to stop by on his way home from work for a drink of 1915 whiskey!

MrTattieHeid wrote:That's a marvelous bit of Canadian history you have there, rye_n, and in remarkably good condition.

Heck, if you can establish a value for it, I'd be interested in buying it myself. Where are you?

I think you have the same carpet we do....


Thanks! I'm excited about it. I doubt that I would sell it, but if I do I'll let you know. I'd be curious to know of an approximate value myself, that way I'll know how good to take care of it and store it appropriately. It has already found it's way into my display case with my other collectables. I’m from Edmonton, Alberta. The gold carpet in the basement is my favorite for background for photos; its beside the computer and always right there when you need it!

-Ryan
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Postby Bullie » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:38 am

It's a beautiful bottle. One starts to wonder what distillery made the whisky. :)
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:48 pm

Is it possible that this bottle has never been opened?

If the seal is intact it is possible it may have evapourated over the years due to lying on it's side all this time.

If seal is intact do not tamper with it any further as it may decrease the value of the bottle if you do.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:46 pm

Thanks, rye_n. Whilst wandering the streets of Edmonton, beware of badmonkeys.
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Postby rye_n » Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:44 am

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:Is it possible that this bottle has never been opened?

If the seal is intact it is possible it may have evapourated over the years due to lying on it's side all this time.

If seal is intact do not tamper with it any further as it may decrease the value of the bottle if you do.

It is possible I suppose, but I suspect it has been opened before since it is a little loose. The foil is able to spin around, but is unable to be pulled up with out damaging it. I would think it would be hard for a full bottle to evaporate with the cork still in, but over 91 years maybe it is possible. Has anyone seen or heard of this happening before?
-Ryan
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:05 am

If it had evaporated, I would expect to find a fairly heavy residue on whatever side was down.
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Postby rye_n » Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:06 am

There is only a little residue inside the bottle so I don't think anything evaporated.
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Postby rye_n » Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:39 am

I was working on the house again today and found another bottle on the other side of the floor joist from where the HBC bottle was found. This one is a bottle called Regalia. I will make a new post about it soon with some picture. The guys that originally built my house really must have liked their whiskey back in the 1910's!
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