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Issue 112 - Ask the Expert

Whisky Magazine Issue 112
June 2013


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Ask the Expert

Send your questions to or by post to: Q&A, Whisky Magazine, St Faiths House, Mountergate, Norwich, England, NR1 1PY

I have an unopened bottle of Haig's Gold Label 70 proof with a springcap and a Royal Crest stating “By appointment to the late King George VI” on the front. What looks like the letters “HGL” are interwoven on the top of the cap foil. Do you have any suggestion on the year and value please?
This is a well preserved example of a 1950s bottling of Haig Gold Label Blended Scotch Whisky. The paper of the label has a little toning, some tiny nicks and patches of foxing affecting part of the front label but given its age, this is a fine example. The embossed interwoven letters on the cap actually say “JH Co L” standing for John Haig & Co Ltd. The diamond shaped rear label states “Good Whisky should be old and thoroughly matured in wood. This is guaranteed by the undersigned, who are the Oldest Distillers of Scotch Whisky in the World. Whisky has been a study with us, not only for a lifetime, but for generation upon generation.” John Haig was born in 1802 in the village of Kincaple, near Guardbridge in Fife and studied at St Andrews University. He established Cameronbridge distillery in 1824 on land leased from local landowner Captain Wemyss and he was an early adopter of Robert Stein's Patent Still (1826) for the production of grain whisky.

He married Rachel Veitch in 1839 and they went on to have eleven children. By the end of his life over 50 years later, the distillery housed bonded warehouses capable of storing millions of gallons of whisky and cov...

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