Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

'Whisky Galore' bottles net £12,000

Two rare bottles of whisky salvaged from a shipwreck which inspired a book and film

Two rare bottles of whisky salvaged from a shipwreck which inspired a book and film have been sold in an online auction for £12,050.

The collector's items were sold as a pair by Britain's biggest internet-only auction site Scotch Whisky Auctions, based in Glasgow, after more than a week of bidding which closed on Sunday.

The bottles, which have documents of authentication, were part of the cargo on the 8,000-ton cargo ship the SS Politician which sank off the shores of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides in 1941 and inspired the book and film Whisky Galore.

The whisky, now undrinkable, was bought by a UK buyer who fought off rival bids from around the world.

Scotch Whisky Auctions director Bill Mackintosh said: "I'm obviously very, very pleased for the people on whose behalf we sold it and I just think it's an incredible figure.

"It's not a whisky anybody's going to drink so they've bought it for its scarcity value and the fact that it's a fantastic part of Scotland's social history."

Eight bottles surfaced in 1987 when local man Donald MacPhee, from South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, explored the wreck and found his liquid treasure. He sold them at auction with Christie's and got £4,000 for his loot.

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

The official documents from Christie's state: ''2 bottles bottled by W & A Gilbey with original cork and wax sealed by Christie's in plain glass with shoulder embossing stating, 'Federal law forbids sale or re-use of this bottle'.''

A total of 28,000 cases of malt whisky were on board at the time when the ship, sailing from Liverpool to the Jamaican capital of Kingston and New Orleans in the US, crashed. Islanders salvaged much of the cargo, including many bottles of whisky, but only the eight from 1987 have been authenticated.

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