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Issue 110 - Ask the expert

Whisky Magazine Issue 110
March 2013


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Ask the expert

I was given an unopened bottle of 1961 Gooderham's Centennial Whisky. How much is this bottle worth?
C Lacroix, Canada

This is a bottle of blended Canadian whisky 15 Years Old bottled by Gooderham and Worts to commemorate the centenary of Canada's Confederation under the British North America Act 1867.

Although logically it would not be unreasonable to think that the centenary bottles would have been dated 1967, there were bottles dated over a number of years including some earlier than 1961. The Gooderham and Wort's Distillery was named after a Yorkshireman, James Worts and his brother-in-law William Gooderham. It was established in 1837 and rebuilt in 1859, but had to survive a serious fire, the outbreak of war and prohibition. The distillery produced whisky up until 1957 although the company merged with Hiram Walker in the 1920s and diversified into other spirits until its eventual closure in 1990. The Distillery district is now one of Toronto's cultural attractions and has been used as a film location.

Canadian blended whisky does not have a track record of achieving high values at auction, however, the category is receiving more attention, not least with the publication of Davin De Kergommeaux's Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert book last year. There are few tangible records of this bottle at auction to guide a valuation based on previous results. A slightly damaged bottle was included in a sale at McTear's, Glasgow in December 2008 but failed to sell. There is ano...

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