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Issue 118 - Ask the Expert

Whisky Magazine Issue 118
March 2014


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Ask the Expert

Questions and answers

I have a question regarding a bottle of Crown Royal XR Extra Rare Heritage Blend that was donated to the Museum collection. Our research has led us to an evaluation of $10,000. Any further information to validate this number would be appreciated. We are aware that this is one of three bottles made especially for Queen Elizabeth II when she visited the Kentucky Derby in 2007.  It's special whisky, and the bottle is more special because The Queen accepted the gift during the race.  
Karen VandenBrink, Ontario, Canada

There are a number of key factors that I use to determine the value of bottles. This is a combination of its scarcity, the packaging, the hype and story around the release, the initial retail price and the distillery or type of whisky. This throws up a number of pros and cons for this bottle. The scarcity makes it one of the rarest Canadian prestige releases in recent years. Firstly, only three bottles were produced, secondly, it was never for sale, and thirdly, the liquid contains some salvaged stock from the Waterloo distillery from before the fire adding to the ‘irreplaceable' nature of this bottling. The packaging was commissioned especially for the project and contains 24K gold leaf.

Next, I consider the price. This was never a commercial product. There is not yet a precedence of retail or auction prices for modern Canadian whisky or Crown Royal changing hands at those levels. So, what would a collector (or the museum) pay to acquire this bottle if one ...

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