Shipwrecked whisky could fetch £15k at auction
A bottle of Scotch recovered from the wreck of the SS Politician, which sunk in 1941 and inspired the novel and films Whisky Galore, could fetch £15,000 at auction.
The bottle is one of five legally recovered by divers in 1987. Seller George Currie, who salvaged the bottle along with two other divers, believes now is the time to let the whisky go.
He told Press and Journal: “At the time, we just kept the whisky as a souvenir, and didn’t think too much about it. But it has been 33 years now and it feels like time to let it go, and let somebody else get the benefit.”
Cargo ship SS Politician, which ran aground off the coast of Eriskay in 1941, was filled with over 20,000 cases of whisky bound for the US and the Caribbean.
Much of the whisky stored on the ship was “rescued” by local islanders, contrary to marine salvage laws. The episode inspired the 1947 novel Whisky Galore, written by Compton Mackenzie, which was subsequently adapted into two films.
While most of the hold was blown up to prevent further looting, Currie later managed to find some intact bottles while on a dive while working on a subsea cable repair.
The bottle, which is now sealed with wax, is being sold along with an original film poster from the 2016 Whisky Galore! remake, along with Currie’s old diving helmet and bricks he found during the search.
According to Roger Hutchinson in Polly: The True Story Behind Whisky Galore, brands believed to have been carried on board the ship include The Antiquary, Haig Pinch, VVO Gold Bar, Ballantine’s Amber Concave, White Horse, King’s Ransom, Victoria Vat, Johnnie Walker Red and Black Label, Mountain Dew, King William IV, McCallum’s Perfection, King George IV, PD Special, Old Curio and Spey Royal.
The whisky was first put up for sale in July, but despite attracting a bit of £8,500, it failed to meet its reserve price.