Six rare bottles of Scotch salvaged from the shipwreck that inspired Whisky Galore! are to be sold at auction. The SS Politician ran aground off Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides during bad weather in February 1941 – with 264,000 bottles in Hold Number Five.
Some islanders conducted an unofficial ‘salvage’ mission – and even donned their wives’ dresses so that engine oil leaking on to their clothes would not give them away afterwards.The wreck was immortalised by Compton Mackenzie in his 1947 novel Whisky Galore! and the Ealing comedy which followed two years later.
The six bottles will be auctioned at Bonhams in Edinburgh on June 5. They are a Ballantine’s, a VAT 69, and four bottles of Gilbey’s. Each one is expected to fetch £6,000 to £8,000.Unlike much of the contents of Hold Five, they were salvaged legally in 1990 and are accompanied by official documentation from HM Customs.