1 bottle V.S.O Scotch Whisky by Charles MacKinlay & Co Leith. 'Ten years in wood when shipped - Imported per S/S Tamaqua May 5th 1916 by John Wagner & Sons. Bottled March 1917'. Driven cork with branded foil capsule. No box. Two part moulded glass bottle approximately 1 litre in size although no capacity actually stated. 95 US proof equivalent to 47.5%. Level very top shoulder. Natural wear to label and capsule appropriate to age although overall condition is very impressive.
A beautiful and historic bottle from a Scottish vendor who acquired the bottle directly from an American collection in the 1980s. John Wagner & Sons were a Philadelphia based merchant who ceased operation in 1918 - one year after this bottling was produced. Charles MacKinlay & Co are better known as the Leith based merchants who provided the famous Shackleton Whisky from their own Glen Mhor distillery. There is no reference to blending or the nature of the contents on the label of this bottle beyond the anacronym 'V.O.S' (Very Old Scotch). What is certain is that this would have been an expensive and special bottling at the time. It was highly uncommon in the early 20th century for bottles such as this to carry an age statement and the size of the bottle, higher bottling strength and the name 'Dr Charles B Penrose' suggest it would have been a limited and special occasioned bottling.
It is also worth noting that this is one of only a handful of bottles to survive from an era where shipping in wood was far more common. As you can note from the label details, the whisky was 'ten years in wood when shipped' on May 5th 1916 and bottled in the US in March 1917. This practice seems to have largely disappeared after the First World War which makes this an extremely scarce and quite beautifully preserved example of this distant practice.
The SS Tamaqua was a Clyde-built steam ship launched in 1910. It was originally named the SS Den Of Glamis but changed to SS Tamaqua upon change of ownership in 1915. It changed again to to the Gyoko Maru in 1922 before it was destroyed by fire and sunk off the coast of Naha, Okinawa on 23/02/1944.
Dr Charles B Penrose (1798-1857) was a Philadelphia born Pennysylvania Senator and Solicitor of the US Treasury. This Philadelphia connection with the merchants John Wagner & Sons and the fact it was bottled 60 years after his death may go some way to explaining his name on the bottle although this remains unverifiable at time of description writing.
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Please note: due to the various ages of bottles and their seals, condition of liquid is at the buyer's discretion and no claim can be lodged against failure/leakage in transit.
This auction ended on 7th of October 2015 08:00:00 PM