By John Rose

Ask the expert

I wonder if you could help me with a small problem I have regarding a bottle of whisky I purchased in 1989. It's a bottle of 25 year old Aberlour Vintage 1964 in a teak lockable box. On the label it states distilled by the Aberlour Glenlivet Distillery Co.Ltd. I am looking to sell this whisky and a person enquiring about it asked what the Glenlivet Distillery had to do with Aberlour.Did Glenlivet own Aberlour at that time? And do you have any idea of its value. In 1989 the year of its release I paid £340 for it.P Howell, Edinburgh, Scotland.The Glenlivet Distillery had nothing to do with Aberlour Distillery in the late 1980s.Glenlivet was a favoured name used for marketing whisky in the early days of production. It was used by more than 20 distilleries in a hyphenated addition to their own distillery names, and is still used sometimes to this day.An Aberlour 25 year old Distilled in 1964 bottled 1989 contained within its wooden presentation box sold at auction in Glasgow in December 2007 for £200.I've read the last magazine and was wondering if corks are normally changed after some time especially if concerning an old bottle.Most people believe that whisky will not deteriorate once it is in the bottle,however suppose after some time there is again a share lost to the angels and the liquid alcohol dips under 40% vol.Is that possible and what is the remedy.Peter De Decker,Antwerp,Belgium.I have consulted with the biggest collector of old whisky in the country and his opinion is it would be a good thing to recork old bottles after say 40 years, however this is not done.If a cork does disintegrate the best place to get it recorked is at the distillery where it was produced. With evaporation the general opinion is that the whisky will deteriorate as the level drops. The alcohol strength will be reduced also as the level declines. Evaporation in younger bottles is extremely hard to erradicate.Iwould like to know what you think about buying collectable whisky on eBay's whisky site. I am a collector and I have watched it many times, but I am not sure if I should buy from it.Is it possible to give me any advice?S.Catto, Swansea,Wales.The advice I would give anyone thinking of spending what could be large amounts of money on this site is you must know how it works. Any deal is done between the buyer and the seller. The buyer pays for the bottle plus post and packing before the seller sends it. If the seller is good and honest then there will be no problems. However if anything goes wrong, and you have parted with your money, it can be very difficult to contact the seller if he or she does not want to know. Also it is very difficult to contact the auction site owners (as I am sure many of our readers will know.) Before you buy you must accept that things can go wrong sometimes and you could end up with a bottle you are not satisfied with. Unlike buying from a whisky merchant or a recognised whisky auction where you can see and touch the bottle, you have to have complete trust in the seller.With this information you must decide if you want to buy. W I am a collector of malt whisky from distilleries that have closed down.And would like to find out any information about a bottle of St.Magdalene produced for the Centenary of Waterloo Street.What and where was Waterloo Street and what sort of price will I have to pay for a bottle?J.T Robertson, Harrogate, England.You are looking for a very interesting bottle. Sixty Four Waterloo Street Glasgow was originally commissioned in 1898 by Wright and Greig owners of Dallas Dhu Distillery also the very popular Roderich Dhu brand. It was acquired in 1917 by Benmore Distillers, then one year later it was sold to The Distillers Company Limited. In 1942 it became the home of the company's Engineering Department. This St.Magdalene 20 year old was one of 396 bottles produced to celebrate 100 years at the site 1898 to 1998. The bottle was filled at 62.7% Vol. contained within its original wooden presentation box together with a certificate of authenticity. The 396 bottles were never sold to the public but given to the staff of the then United Distillers & Vintners Company Limited. At auction you would expect to pay £400 to £500.