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Issue 117 - Ask the expert

Whisky Magazine Issue 117
February 2014


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Ask the expert

Your questions answered

Since I was 8 years old, I have enjoyed looking at whisky bottles. Due to my hobby, an English friend of my father used to bring us a bottle each time he came to visit. Now that I'm 34 years old and like to have a glass of whisky, many of them are empty (but some are still full). Are these ones valuable?
E Brynkus, France

The two most valuable from your list are the Ballantine's Very Old 17 Years Old Signature Edition released to celebrate their 60th anniversary. The blue ceramic decanter (boxed) can fetch £80. Clan Campbell 21 Years Old can fetch £50-70 at an online auction if you have the original gold box.

My father has had this bottle of bourbon for over 40 years. The bottle is full and comes in a metal can. We have two bottles in the family. I did some research but I couldn't find much information on them.
Victor, U. S. A.

This is a Prohibition era bottle of Schenley's Aged Medicinal Whiskey, a real collector's piece. It may date from the late 1920s around the time of the Wall Street Crash. The references to physicians and surgeons, and the term ‘medicinal whiskey' was an ingenious way to get around the restrictions of the Volsted Act. Whiskey could be legally obtained on prescription from the doctor. After 1929, a small number of surviving distilleries were permitted to distil again including the George T Stagg distillery in Frankfort which Schenley acquired that year. Your bottles will be valuable should your father ever decide to sell them.

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