A collection of rare whiskies from the SS Wallachia, which sank in 1895, are set to go under the hammer at McTear’s Auctioneers in Glasgow on April 14. The collection includes seven bottles and four half bottles of whisky from brands like Robert Brown’s Four Crowns blend and Charles Wilkinson, and two bottles of McEwan’s Export Beer. It is expected to fetch between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds — roughly $3,700 to $6,100.
On September 29, 1895, the SS Wallachia — departed from Glasgow carrying whisky, beer, coal, clothing, and other goods. The intended destination was the West Indies. But the weather was foggy, progressively getting worse, and as the ship headed down the Firth of Clyde, it collided with a Norwegian ship, sinking within 25 minutes. The shipwreck lay undisturbed roughly 30 meters below the surface until 1977 when a group of divers from the Girvan Sub-Aqua Club discovered the steamship while investigating the cause of a fisherman’s entangled nets.
Upon further inspection of the shipwreck, the divers stumbled upon a cache amount of whisky and beer that had, until that point, thought to have been lost with the ship, splitting up the collection between their group.
While this is not the first time a collection of whiskies from the SS Wallachia will be auctioned off, McTear’s whisky specialist Ewan Thompson tells the BBC that this release is “the largest and best preserved selection to go under the hammer.” Further increasing interest in the auction is the fact that this marks the first time that a decanter of Wilkinson’s Famous Liqueur Whisky will be released to the public. According to Thompson, it is one of just two decanters of the whisky that were recovered.
Despite the interest many whisky lovers have for trying aged spirits — especially ones as rare as this — Thompson warns that past reports from those who have tried Wallachia whisky have ranged from “elegant” and “moving” to “an utter abomination.”