Port Ellen wasn’t always as famous as it is today. While the distillery was active, from 1967 to 1983, most of its production went into blends. So where exactly did all that Port Ellen go? It’s hard to say, but here’s one possibility: This bottle of Old Guns Finest Scotch Whisky is a blend produced in the 1970s for the Italian market by Low Robertson & Co., the licensee of the distillery from 1967 onwards.
Oh, and the handful of bottles we have tried all contain peated whisky.
Winning bid £110
Courvoisier Succession JL was distilled in a single vintage in the early 1900s, from a single vineyard in Jarnac. It was bottled without reduction in 1989 from 21 demijohns, just 595 bottles were prouced. A blind tasting by Cognac officials deemed it to be perfect. Fittingly, this liquid gold is sealed with an 18-karat medallion.
Winning bid £2200
George T Stagg Distillery, or Buffalo Trace as it is known today, was one of the only distilleries allowed to continue production during Prohibition. This Broad Ripple was distilled in 1917, and bottled in 1928 at the height of the Roaring Twenties. It comes in what the top of the box describes as a ‘Sealed Container for Whiskey’, and the back features a word of caution: ‘Buy this bottle only in tin top sealed carton.’ to caution against refilling of empty bottles.
Winning bid £1150
Top tip: Taste this bottle of Grandmont Amer Gentiane, a bitter aperitif made from wild gentian roots in accordance with a late 19th century recipe.This is one of 2400 bottles from Batch number 1 produced in Limoges, France in June 2018.
Winning bid £18
Duncan Taylor bottled many magical casks of Bowmore 1966 in the early to mid 2000s. This one was bottled from one of Duncan Taylor’s last remainingcask stocks after 41 years of ageing.
Note the set includes a miniature: for sharing!
Winning bid £3600
Top tip: Macallan As We Get It, with a cork closure. An earlier release of this bottled at 100.9 Proof (this one was bottled in 1969 to early 1970s at 100.8 Proof) scored 97 points @whiskyfun.
Winning bid £2,100
Moon Import was founded in 1980 and was among the first to use copyright free images for its labels. Inchgower 1967, The Costumes, was distilled in 1967 and bottled in 1988. The label has a group portait of eight people in Pre-Columbian dress.
Winning bid £825
James Thompson Final Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey distilled at Yellowstone in 1970 is the oldest bourbon ever bottled. James ‘Buddy’ Thompson’s barrels were originally set aside to be bottled for the millennium, but perhaps due to the changing fortunes of the bourbon industry or the sale of the company to Guinness in 1991, they survived untouched. This one bottled in 2017 is one of only 250, it was signed by James Thompson himself, who died in April 2019 at the age of 87.
Winning bid £1500
Chartreuse Green Bottled 1912-1913 – Tarragona
A bottle of green Chartreuse liqueur. This was produced in Tarragona, Spain, we estimate in 1912 to 1913. There is no size or ABV stated, this appears to be a 100cl bottle. Chartreuse has been produced by Carthusian monks in France since 1737. In the early 20th century, the monastery and distillery were nationalised by the French government. The monks, unwilling to give up their secret recipe, moved production to Tarragona, Spain. They later returned home and today all Chartreuse is produced in France.
Winning bid £5100
A bottle of The Macallan 30 Year Old Sherry Oak. This was the last edition of the 30 year old to be released before the introduction of the Fine Oak series.
Winning bid £4100
A bottle of Karuizawa 31 Year Old, one of a pair of Imperial Purple (Murasaki) Geishas released in 2018. This sherry-aged malt was distilled in the early 1980s and bottled by Elixir Distillers exclusively for The Whisky Exchange. Each bottle in the pair has complementary labels designed by The Whisky Exchange’s creative director Raj Chavda and are presented in individual wooden cases. This is bottle number 58 of 60. Karuizawa was founded in 1955 and was Japan’s smallest whisky distillery. In 1959, it became the first Japanese distillery to export whisky overseas. Karuizawa distillery stopped production in 2000 and closed definitively in 2011.
Winning bid £13100
A bottle of The Yamazaki 25 Year Old, matured in sherry casks.
Winning bid £3800