By John Rose

Ask the expert

I am a representative from a liquor board in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I have a customer who owns a bottle of Haig Dimple which he believes dates back to the early part of the 20th century.The owner is getting on in years and he has asked me whether this is an item that would be appropriate to offer as an auction item.Given your expertise in collectables, I am seeking your counsel on whether it is a worthwhile endeavour for the gentleman, and if you may have an idea as to the bottle's worth.Many thanks in advance.G.Dawyduk,Winnipeg,Canada.I think the Haig Dimple is from the 1950s and 1960s so at auction would fetch between £40 - £60. We have formed our own small company as a hobby in order to market our own whiskies in Sweden.We are very interested in all kinds of Scotch Whisky.We have a ceramic flagon wewould like you to give us some information on. It is a dumpy ceramic with dark blue glaze on the top part with a red seal over the cork stopper, the main part of the ceramic is in a white glaze with Grant's Deluxe Scotch in red letters, the Glenfiddich & Balvenie Distilleries Dufftown, Scotland,. Blended & Bottled By William Grant & Sons Ltd. in black letters 26 2/3 Fl.ozs 86 U.S.Proof.We would like any information you could give us on this flagon.U.Gustafsson, Stockholm, Sweden.What a great way to honour Scotch whisky. The ceramic you have was produced by William Grant & Sons Ltd in the very early 1970s. It was the first of its kind to be marketed by Grants, and was produced for five to six years very successfully. They followed this with many more ceramic flagons over the years.The price at auction would be £70 - £90. I have a large collection of ceramics and decanters of whisky. I have been told about a ceramic bell called The Royal Year which I would like to buy but I would like to know about it first.Can you give me any information, also what price I will have to pay for one?R.Cameron, Southampton, England.The ceramic bell you refer to was produced to commemorate the Royal Lochnagar Hill Walk on the 17th July 1991. This was a walk for charity from Royal Lochnagar Distillery to the top of Lochnagar mountain. The bell is 18.75cl in size as opposed to the usual 75cl.Plain seal over gold coloured cork stopper, main background colour white, with blue and gold lines at the top and bottom, blue letters. Bell contained within its original presentation cardboard drum.The Hill Walk Bell was given to the guests who took part in the walk and attended a dinner at the distillery that night. Please watch for counterfeit copies as the ones I have seen are the larger size bell 75 cl. This Bell was produced only once, so make sure you watch the date, as I have seen dates from different years The price you will have to pay for a genuine one is £200 - £230 Is it possible for on individual to buy a barrel of new whisky from a distillery? I would very much like to do this for my retirement in 10 years time. It would also be a nice thing to leave for family when I am gone. I am very I interested in any information you can give me on this subject.R. Jules,New York, U.S.A.Well it is possible for you to purchase casks of new make spirit and have them matured at some distilleries here in Scotland. Usually the cask sizes are hogsheads containing approximately 55 gallons - 250 litres, or Butts containing approximately 108 gallons - 419 litres. The distillery would charge for the new make spirit, then a fee per year for warehousing etc. By law spirit has to be at least three years old before it is taken out of bond. After probably 10 to 12 years the spirit would be matured, and you would be consulted and you would be asked to pay the government tax and the whisky would be yours. The distilleries to contact who sell casks to individual buyers are, Arran, Ben Nievis, Bruichladdich, Glengoyne, and Tullibardine.