Historic Whisky discovered in Scottish castle set for auction


Whisky believed to be distilled almost 200 years ago, has been found in Blair Castle in Perthshire.  The forty bottles of whisky, thought to be the oldest Scotch whisky in existence, were discovered at the back of a shelf, behind a concealed cellar door by Bertie Troughton, Resident Trustee at Blair Castle in 2022.  It is believed that the whisky was distilled in 1833 and bottled in 1841, and then rebottled in 1932.

In November this year, 24 bottles will be sold via Perth based Whisky Auctioneer, the global market leader in the buying and selling of whisky and spirits at auction.

Before contacting Whisky Auctioneer, the family and a local whisky expert sampled the bottles, and subsequent research in the archives of Blair Castle and Atholl Estates, along with authentication by the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre via carbon dating, corroborated the early 19th-century origin of the whisky.

Joe Wilson, Head Curator and Spirits Specialist at Whisky Auctioneer, said, “Offering the world’s oldest scotch whisky at auction is truly a once in a lifetime occurrence. I’m fortunate to be well acquainted with old and rare liquid, as Whisky Auctioneer handles some of the world’s rarest whisky bottlings. This, however, is a transcendent discovery that is sure to capture not just the imagination of the whisky industry but also those well beyond.

“Distilled in the 1830s, the whisky was made during a fascinating period when whisky production was experiencing massive change following the 1823 Excise Act, making it a particularly exciting find for those interested in the history and heritage of the Scotch whisky industry.”

Bertie Troughton said, “Blair Castle is fortunate to have one of the best archives of any historic house in Scotland and it’s been wonderful to see the story of these fabulous bottles come to life in the archives. Whisky has always been a huge part of the history of Blair Castle and we will be building an exhibition around the bottles we keep after the auction so that all who visit Blair Castle can see it and hear the history of this incredible whisky”.

The archives also revealed cellar inventories known as ‘bin books’, with one such book dated July 23rd, 1834, recording whisky in the cellar safely in its cask, marking one of the earliest known references to whisky maturing in wood.

Angus MacRaild, Old and Rare Whisky specialist and co-founder of Kythe Distillery, added, “This is a profoundly historic whisky and a remarkable artefact of Scottish distilling that is unlikely to ever be equalled in terms of provenance and preservation. That it has been carefully re-bottled and preserved at natural strength, maintaining the freshness and power of this spirit for nearly two centuries is frankly, astonishing.

“To taste it myself, has been a great privilege. It is very much a distillate driven malt whisky, with minimal wood influence and one of a style which could have been produced any time in Scotland up until the 1950s. What I find most interesting is that this profile existed already as far back as the 1830s. It possesses clear textural weight in the mouth, along with a flavour profile that strongly involves medicinal characteristics without any notable or pronounced peat smoke.

“Not only do I find it historically fascinating, but a pleasurable and hugely charismatic whisky that I find quite typical of older style, distillate-forward highland malt whiskies.”

For more information go to the official website: whiskylink.co/Blair-Castle.


Category: News, Whisky
Tags: Angus MacRaild, Bertie Troughton, Blair Castle, Joe Wilson, Whisky Auctioneer