When I get questions on the value of Scotch bottles, I turn to the most knowledgeable collector I know, Sukhinder Singh, proprietor of London-based The Whisky Exchange.
Last month we introduced The Collector – you send in questions about the value of bottles of Scotch you have laying around, Sukhinder answers them, and then at the end of the month I post the questions here for everyone to read.
So if you have questions on a
collectible bottle you’ve discovered, send them in, and we’ll get them
answered. Use the “…Ask the Collector” link under “Stay in Touch…” over to the right.
We are getting swamped with emails every
month! Believe me, we get a LOT of questions and only a small
percentage of them make it here – but we try to respond to everyone.
In order to help reduce the amount of work, I thought I’d establish some ground rules:
- Before emailing, please look through the
old “Ask The Collector” stories, to see if a similar bottle has already
been appraised. If we get another question about the value of a bottle
of White Horse from 1990, I’m going to put my head through the screen.
- Some people have been leaving questions
for Sukhinder in the comments. This is a no-no. I will assume any
questions left in comments are for other readers to answer and NOT for
Sukhinder – If you want Sukhinder’s expert opinion please use the “…Ask the Collector” email address in the link to the right.
- No questions will be considered without an included picture. I spend too much time asking people for pictures. Starting in 2007, I’m afraid we can’t respond to any questions which don’t include a picture of the bottle. In
you don’t include a picture, you won’t get a response. Make sure your
pictures include the fill level as well as the label and any
- If Sukhinder makes an offer to buy your bottle, please do him the courtesy of responding whether you accept his offer or not.
- Please visit The Whisky Exchange – either in person or via their website. Let’s support Sukhinder, as he is providing this valuation services for free!
If you want to read more about The Whisky Exchange, here is a story from May 2006.
The Whisky Exchange has a fantastic selection, and will do mail order around the world.
How much is this worth… a fifth bottle of
Ambassador Royal Blended Scotch Whisky, aged 12 yrs. The bottle is
unopened in perfect condition bought around 1972. Thank You in advance.
Dear Ms. W.,
Ambassador Royal was primarily made for the US – I would say it is worth about US$100 – $150. Hope this helps.
We have a bottle of 1893 Glen Moray/Glenlivet scotch that is a pinch
style bottle. The seal and label are intact and it is about half
full. Our grandfather brought the bottle back after his service in
WWII. He says he got the bottle in Italy. He lost it on a bet to our
father who has since passed away and the bottle is now with my sister
contacted Sothebys (Martin Green) in 1999 and they told us they could
sell the bottle for us but it would cost us a fortune to send it to
Scotland because at the time it could not be auctioned in the US. We
do not know the current process.
We believe we have a very
rare bottle and we were told by Glenlivet that it is potable. They
wanted to buy it for their museum but wanted to buy it for $300.00. We
would rather drink it and sell the empty bottle than sell it for such a
low price. We do have pictures available that we can e-mail and fax
you any research documents you might want to see. Can you offer any
advice or should we just have a really nice dinner and celebrate with
Thank you for any assistance you can provide and for your time.
Karin and Kim H.
Dear Karin & Kim,
You have a very nice bottle there and it could have been worth a lot, except for…….the level.
I know the bottle well, it was bottled around the 1920’s and is in a dumpy 3 sided bottle.
Unfortunately, the level is a key element for
a collector and considering it is so low at the moment, it can only get
worse. I feel it is worth about US$600 – $800 in this condition – if
the level was perfect I would have been happy to offer you $1750, as it
would have been a nice addition to my collection.
I know you are considering drinking it, it will be a 50/50 as to how good it is.
With such little liquid in the bottle, oxidation may have finished the whisky.
I have recently found a bottle of Kings Ransom scotch whisky it is unopened and is in a stoneware jug. There is no date on the tax stamp, but it was found with bottle of 1955 Crown Royal. There is a state of Illinois tax stamp on it for 1.00. On the bottom of the jug it says made in England. Feels about 3/4 or more full. Any idea of the date on this and is there any worth? Thanks.
This ceramic was made in a similar design from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. This one should be about the mid 1950’s to the early 1960’s.
You are right about the level of fill – 2/3 full, some old ceramics do have an evaporation problem.
Even though it is fairly old, these do come up quite often, so, it’s only worth about US $100.
How much is this worth…
Someone gave me a closed bottle of 30yr Ballantine’s scotch, he says he
has had it for 20yrs. It does not say the year it was made but it does
have a number on the bottom S987. Does that mean anything?
I would guess this bottle is from the 1970’s, maybe a little earlier. The same type of label was used for many years and even today it is
I feel this bottle is worth about US$250 – $300