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Issue 120 - Ask the expert

Whisky Magazine Issue 120
June 2014

 

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

I have recently acquired a 1970s bottle of Glendronach 12 Years Old bottled for Dinosa, Madrid. The bottle is made of clear glass as opposed to green that was standard for this era. I contacted Benriach, the current owners of Glendronach, and they had no knowledge of the bottling. I would be interested in finding out any more information and whether the bottle has any value.
Andy Steadman

Alternative whisky packaging with no brand records always poses a conundrum. Usually, it is the closures that vary; one could surmise that they simply ran out of black caps and used red ones instead on that bottling run. With your Glendronach, they may have used a clear bottle for that reason, or clear glass may have been used deliberately for the export run for Dinosa. However, the other possibility is that this is not what it appears to be. Whilst it looks to be the original box, the closures and fonts on the foil differ from their green bottle contemporaries. It is curious that the green bottles of Glendronach 12 Years Old make regular appearances at auction, yet there are no records of clear bottles being sold on whisky auction websites. If it's a quirk of the bottling line, the liquid will be the same and the value similar to the green bottles. If the provenance is questionable and the brand owners cannot endorse it, you may have to open it to find out what you have got inside.

I have a Springbank 1991 bourbon hogshead and I am thinking about asking J&A Mitchell to bottle it. Might ...

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