Ask The Collector – August

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.

Ground Rules

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
    distinguishing characteristics!
  4. If Sukhinder makes an offer to buy your bottle, please do him the courtesy of responding whether you accept his offer or not.
  5. 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.

Dear Collector

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.

Nicole W.

Dear Ms. W.,

Ambassador Royal was primarily made for the US – I would say it is worth about US$100 – $150. Hope this helps.

Regards, Sukhinder

Dear Collector

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
and I.

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
the scotch?

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.

Regards, Sukhinder

Dear TSB

LabelI 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.
- SKelly

Dear Skelly,

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.

Regards, Sukhinder

Dear TSB

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?

Henry K.

Dear Henry,

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
quite similar.

I feel this bottle is worth about US$250 – $300

Regards, Sukhinder

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Comments (44)

  1. Ramy

    Dear Collector,

    I have a bottle of Canadian Crown Royal whisky from 1959….Is it worth something ?
    Thank you very much for your assistance.

  2. Ralph Lyon

    A few weeks ago you dated and price quoted a couple of old bottles of Scotch for me ($100-Johnny Walker Black & $200-White Horse…pre-1936 & still very potable).

    I just realized that I never thanked you for your help. I’ve decided to keep them as opposed to selling them. They’ll be a great way to celebrate an upcoming special occasion.

    Thanks again for your help!

    Ralph Lyon

  3. Tom Borg

    I have a bottle of Kings Ransom Blended Scotch Whiskey from William Whitely & company. It is still sealed and wrapped in wire. How much is it worth how old is it

  4. deb

    I have been gifted the following unopened bottles
    all from early to mid sixties so i am told

    what value could you access to each?

    ballantines square bottle

    kings ransom

    lord calvert square tall tapered

    peter heering


  5. chieu

    dear collector
    i have a unopen bottle of crown royal dated in 1972 can you give me a price on what it may be worth?

  6. Nicole B.

    I have recently stumbled on to a bottle of King’s Ransom Scotch that was stored in my Grandfather’s attic. The bottle is still sealed, wrapped in thin wire and more than 2/3 full. On the bottle there is a 16 cent Missouri tax stamp and a label announcing that due to wartime production the packaging of the product had changed, but the quality hadn’t. I do not currently have a picture but would be glad to email you one. How much could this bottle be worth?

  7. josh

    Dear Collector
    I have an unopen bottle of kings ransom that came in a treasure chest like music box with a shot glass and two glasses. it has thin wire and an unbroken seal. any idea what that may be worth?
    thanks. josh.

  8. Angel


    I have a BLUE Porcelain Pinch 750ml bottle:

    PINCH 15 Year Old Scotch Whiskey (John Haig & Co.)

    It is new and never been opened. I got it as a gift over 17 years ago. The bottle does look like it made from glass…it looks porcelain.

    Do you have any idea of it’s value?



  9. david hollister

    i was wondering if you can help me out with finding the price of a 1970 bottle of crown royal. I’ve had the bottle for about 12 years and never really knew the value. Your help will be very appreciated

  10. Sandra A. Sessions

    I have a bottle of Ballantine’s 17 year old Scotch Whiskey that I purchased for my father at Heathrow’s duty free shop, in 1985, upon returning to the U.S. while serving in the Air Force. My parents recently moved in with us and found the bottle, still in the box with the duty free label intact. I paid 11.55 then…any idea of it’s worth? Should we just drink it now since they saved it for a special occasion? I think selling their ranch in Texas and moving to Idaho at the age of 75 and 72 is a special occasion, don’t you?
    Thank you for your help,
    Sandra A. Sessions

  11. Angelica

    I found a bottle of Haig & Haig 5 Star Blended Scotch. The label also says it has been aged 8 years. This bottle was in my grandfather’s bar. The label looks quite old and no year is listed. However it does have a bottle stamp # of 36-5500334. Can you tell me its value?

  12. Terri

    Hello -
    I have a couple of Spey Royal Whiskey Bottles and am trying to figure out idea on value. They are about 18 inches tall and have a little dome on the bottom that has a little musical man in a kilt that dances with the music – I cant find much info on them—- The top and bottom is both white with a couple bands of red and black checkered design –

  13. priscilla Ostapiej

    I have a bottle of unopened Haig Pinch scotch that is encased in a pewter casing. Bottled in 1989 that I am interested in selling. It has a denmark seal plus a serial number along with a crown on the label. I haven’t been able to find one like it on the internet and came across this site. Please e-mail me back and I will gladly send you a picture of the bottle itself. Thank you Priscilla

  14. Dear Collector

    I have a bottle of Auchentoshan 1962. I have bottle 39 out of 112 ever made. I am intrested how much this would sell for.

  15. Lorne

    I was recently given a bottle of Haig & Haig (dimple) that looks rather old (the labels are yellowed and cracked). Where might I find out how old it is or if it’s worth anything? The person who gave it to me doesn’t have any info on it.

  16. Steve

    I have a bottle of Pinch 12yo that is allegedly from WWII era. It has a Bottle Stamp with Renfield Importers on it. Stamp #34-0096203. Any idea how old it is? Tastes great!

  17. Rick L McPhail

    I have a haig & haig bottle of scotch its very old a wire tie and metal cap twist tie cap. and old paper label maybe from the 30tys what would it be worth?

  18. Tammy

    I have a bottle of Lord Calverts Whisky that was given as a gift to my great uncle in 1955 it has never been opened it still has the original paper seal on it along with be in the original box. The box says A special Gift Decanter Designed by George Nelson. Can you tell me what this is worth?

  19. fred jones

    I have two bottles of dimple scotch unopened. The first is a royal pewter purchased in 1980 the second is a ceramic comemorative for the 75th anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy purchased in 1985. Could you give me a valuation please.


  20. JamesB

    While helping to clean out the wine cellar at my folks home, I found an unopened bottle of Spey Royal 8yrs Old Blended Scotch Whisky. My search to find out if this is something drinkable or if it’s turned into jet fuel has come to naught, except it did lead me here. Any/all direction is appreciated in advance. Thanks!

  21. David Paglia

    hi, i recently got a bottle of Ambassador 25 year old scotch from a friends mothers house that has been on a shelf in her basment for 45 or more years, its a full bottle and the tax seal is still intact on top, there is no date on it. It is 4/5th not a full quart. Is there anyway of dating the bottle to a close year? And whats it worth?

  22. jackie

    I have also the same chest as Josh 2-16-07 posting but it has a program sheet for Micheal Todd the producer of “Around the World in Eighty Days”— It shows the guest that were there–like Debbie Reynolds, Lucille Ball— many celebraties at the time. Do you know of this King Ransoms 4/5 qt gift?

  23. David Wright

    Hi, I recently found some bottles that were stored in my grandmothers closet after she passed away, they were my grandfathers who passed away in 1969 so they have been in there since 1969 atleast, I didn’t know they were valuable and have opened 1, the Ambassador Scotch Whiskey 25 yrs old in the box,stamp etc. (its wonderful) But I have a Haig & Haig Ltd Pinch 4/5 bottle full, unopened with stamp in the box (box poor shape) also Chivas Regal in the pouch with booklet and in the can with a 1955 tax stamp. could you please let me know what they may be worth? Thank You David

  24. Carl Jones II

    i have recently found a bottle of johnny walker red with a alabama abc tax stap #244078491 it also has a atf stamp # I 497 on it the bottle is 100% full and is 86.8 proof rather than the 80.00 proof the alabama stamp is for a mini or a 1/2 pint yet the bottle is a litre

  25. Don

    I have a friend which has a bottle of King Ransom Scotch dated 1943-1945 4/5 of a Qt which was brought home from the war by her mother gentelmen friend and sent it to her to hold until he came home and they could enjoy it together. She has the original box it came in as well. It is still sealed and in perfect condition. Wondering its value

  26. Katherine Brady

    Dear Collector,
    I have a bottle of Ambassador Blended Scotch Whiskey 25 year old 1/5 gallon blended and bottled by Bloch Brothers Distillers Ltd. It is full and the seal and label are intact. It was purchased in Kansas with a number on the seal (037720 76).
    It was purchased prior to 1954. Please advise with any information you may have.

    Katherine Brady

  27. robert asencio

    hi,i have a botle of 30 year old macallan
    botle in sherry oak casket ,botle in its iriginal box, how much is it worth?, thanks.

  28. walter amaral

    how much is this worth.

    george dickel tennessee sour mash whiskey old no. 12 brand. given as a wedding gift 1940-1941. still sealed filled to the neck.

  29. tom walters

    Hi I am looking for some info on a bottle I came accross. It is a 12 Year old Pinch by Haig and Haig with yellowed lables and wire. it is in the original box with plastic unopened. The US IR number is 431613712. Also by Renfield. I can send you photos if needed, couldnt figure out how to do it here. Thanks

  30. Howard Case

    I have two pre 1940 Ambassador Blended Scotch Whisky bottles. One full and one empty but unopened. I think they would both make good target practice. Any comments?

  31. I have a bottle of half full Ambassador 12 year old scotch whiskey that was in a friends basement for 50 years and we believe is a little older than that. I was just curious of the the value of the bottle. It looks like the one in the top advertisement of the website I sent.

  32. Steve Waterworth

    Hi I have a porcelain decanter of Haig Dimple Scotch. It celebrates the 75th anniversary of The Royal Australian Navy. I purchased it in 1985 and it is still unopened it seems to be at least 95% full possibly 100%. Would you please let me know the approx value of this decanter. Copy & paste the links below to your address bar to view the pictures of the decanter as I was unable to copy them to your site.
    Thanks Steve.

  33. joe

    I have a bottle of pinch Royal Decanter pewter the bottle was purchased in 1975 it is in the D4000 seriel number series the bottle is packed in a black box that is blue satin lined do you have any idea what i have and what it may be worth Thank you

  34. Pimpdog

    I have a dusty bottle of Royal Ages scotch whisky, can anyoe tell me about it?

  35. craig bond

    how does a guy go about selling his collection any web pages or contacts email me please @ the name is craig thanx

  36. justin

    we have a bottle of pinch scotch 1972 never been opened.. how much do you think its worth?

  37. meek mears

    I have an unopened bottle of Ambassador Scotch Whiskey 25 yrs old and was wondering the approximate worth.

  38. shnitzleking

    is a bottle worth more if it has an atf bottle stamp on it?

  39. Jonathan

    i got a unopened fifth of ambassador 25 yr purchased in 1972. How much do you think its worth?

  40. LEEANN Ray

    this is leeann ray. i am deaf and i want to know if they have the tops for the kings ransom scotch whiskey stoneware decanter jug top i have the jug but dont have tops. i was wondering if they have them or not let me know thanks so much..

    leeann ray

  41. K B

    what is a unopen bottle of 1960 crown royal worth

  42. Adam Lohr

    i have a bottle of Canadian Club Blended Canadian Whisky the stamp on the lid shows a 1975 date and i also have a 1976 *EAGLE BOTTLE* Bourbon Supreme with the stap still on it could you tell me about how much they are worth if any

  43. Andrea B

    Hi, My name is Andrea. I have a bottle of Ambassador Twenty Five. Never opened, levels to the top. The box the bottle came is is worn though from taking it in and out so much. Tax stamp still in tact. Every website I go on gives little to no hint of this brand and or company. The company isTaylor & Ferguson Ltd. in Glasgow, Scotland. Distributors for The Jos. Garneau Co. New York, NY. I cannot find information on either of those names except for the Taylor & Ferguson…. I found dates of (1931-1967). I also found that this bottle is worth 490 pounds which if I’m right is almost $1000 usd???/

    I could send you pics if needed. Could you please help me out? Thank you so much in advance. I look forward to hearing your expertise on this.


  44. sue kopcho

    i have a case of haig and haig 5 star blended scots whiskey, all bottles in orig packaging and never opened. looking to learn more about it, any info you have would be greatly appreciated.