Whisky Galore bottles up for auction

29th April, 2013 by Andy Young

Two rare bottles of whisky salvaged from the shipwreck which inspired the book and film Whisky Galore are currently being auctioned.

Whisky Galore

Two bottles salvaged from the SS Politician (Image credit: Scotch Whisky Auctions)

The bottles were part of the cargo on-board the 8,000 tonne SS Politician, which ran aground and later sank off the Island of Eriskat in the Outer Hebrides. The ship was bound for Jamaica with a cargo including 28,000 cases of malt whisky when it met with disaster in February 1941.

The crew of the ship were all unharmed and were looked after by locals following the sinking. When the locals discovered what the ship’s cargo was, a series of raids were carried out on the wreck. Islanders recovered hundreds of cases from the Politician, and many of these were later hidden to prevent them being found by customs officials.

The two bottles which are now up for auction, were among eight bottles recovered in 1987 by Donald MacPhee, from South Uist, when he explored the wreck. MacPhee sold his bottles at auction and received £4,000 for his find.

Two of those bottles were bought by a man in Aberdeenshire, who died recently and his widow has decided to sell them, along with the letters of authentication and the neck tags from Christie’s.

The bottles are being sold as a pair by Britain’s biggest internet-only auction site Scotch Whisky Auctions, based in Glasgow, with bidding opened on Saturday and closes on 5 May.

Scotch Whisky Auctions director Bill Mackintosh said: “Everybody loves the idea of the wily islanders diving to the bottom of the wreck and coming back up with bottles of whisky which they would then hide from the customs.

“But it is true that there are only eight which have been authenticated recently, and these are two of those which were sold at Christie’s some time ago.”

Although the bottles are expected to fetch a high price, it is thought that the whisky is not fit for consumption.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our newsletter