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Issue 74 - Ask the expert

Whisky Magazine Issue 74
September 2008


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Ask the expert

Now you can find both of John Rose's superb articles about collecting whisky in one place. In collections,he looks at some of the latest bottles to come up at auction. In questions,he fields your enquiries

I would like you to explain to me why bottles of Flora & Fauna are so much more expensive when they are sold at action in their wooden boxes, ie up to £120.The Flora & Fauna series is still being produced although the bottles are sold nowwithout boxes or cartons.

A Bain.Oban.Argyll. Scotland Thank you for this very interesting question. Well this is a classic example of how prices change when collectors start looking for original bottles and packaging. When the Flora & Fauna Selection was first issued in 1900 they were presented in beautiful wooden boxes inscribed with the name of the Single Malt Whisky also with the same sketch of the Flora or Fauna on the bottle label, as the bottle contained in the box. After a short time the wooden boxes were changed to cardboard presentation boxes, then in time the bottles were presented without any packaging as they are now. As the Flora & Fauna wooden boxes have become harder to find the collectors have been willing to pay much more for them. I watched an empty Flora & Fauna wooden box on an internet auction site last week sell for the staggering price of £82. When you think you can buy a new bottle for around £40 this is how collectors can influence prices when they want something.

I have been wondering what happened to the old Balvenie Classic? The one in the flat bottle with the display of the coat of arms and Scottish flags.

Back in the late 1980s and through the mid 1990s it was my favourite single malt.Then suddenly it disa...

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