By John Rose

Ask the expert

John Rose answers another selection of our readers' letters
Q. I am trying to find information on a bottle of whisky I have had for many years, it was given to me by a friend. Made of brown glass it has a tartan ribbon running down the outside of the neck with a seal and crest attached to the shoulder. The label is black in colour with red letters 'Kennaway's Top Vat Finest Scotch Whisky 70 Proof 30 UP. Blended and Bottled by Kennaway and Company Limited, Exeter.' On the back of the bottle moulded into the glass is Kennaway's 1743. Can you help? R Burns Exeter A. William Kennaway founded a wine and spirit merchants business in 1743 at Palace Gate, Exeter. It must have been a very profitable business because in 1789 William bought Trinity Chapel in Exeter's Magdalen Street.In 1856 the Kennaway's had the entire complex restored by architect Edward Askworth, and the chapel became a shrine to the Kennaway family.A bottle of Kennaway's Top Vat at auction would fetch £80 to £100.Q. I have two hogsheads of Isle of Arran single malt, one cask distilled in 1996, 122ltrs of pure alcohol at 58% vol. The other cast distilled in 1995, 152ltrs of pure alcohol at 57% vol. I wish to dispose of them, so could you tell me how and what value they should fetch? I also have a ship-like decanter in a wooden box, limited edition number 023 of 1000, of the first ever production of single malt from the Isle of Arran distillery, cask strength of 60.3% vol.
J Leggett West Sussex A. I have been in touch with Isle of Arran Distillers and they say they might be interested in buying back your hogsheads, please contact the distillery for more information.The ship-like decanter was to celebrate the first ever production from the new Arran distillery. It was an antique style bottle in a wooden presentation box with a label based on a turn of the century design from an old Arran whisky. Each bottle was numbered and signed individually by the chairman Harold Currie in October 1998.Price guide at auction £130 to £160.Q. Could you please give me some information on a bottle of whisky I have had in my possession for several years. It is called Sandy Macnab, on the reverse side of the label it has an ode to Sandy Macnab, and I would like to know more about it. N Duncan Glasgow, Scotland A. Sandy Macnab was a blended whisky produced at Lochside Distillery, Montrose.Lochside started life as a brewery in the 18th century. At the start of the 19th century it was owned by William Ross, who sold it to James Deuchar and Sons Ltd. of Newcastle Upon Tyne, which became part of Scottish & Newcastle Breweries Ltd.Beer from Lochside was shipped directly from Montrose to Newcastle.In 1957, Joseph H Hobbs of Ben Nevis Distillery purchased Lochside and converted it into a distillery. He set up a holding company called Macnab Distillers Ltd and started Sandy Macnab Old Blended Whisky.The ode to Sandy Macnab described on the rear label refers to a poem that was written about the whisky.In 1973, Destilerias y Crianza del Whisky S.Aof Madrid DYC bought Lochside and was very successful in marketing Sandy Macnab Old Blend in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy.DYC also had a bottling plant installed at Lochside and from 1975 until the late 1980s bottled Sandy Macnab, Lochside 8 and 12 year old single malt.In 1992 production stopped and the bottling plant was sold off. There were extensive warehouses used to mature malt until 1996 when Allied Distillers acquired the complex in a takeover.Stock from DYC and the remaining maturing malt was moved to Dumbarton. The warehouses were dismantled and the complex sold to a developer. The Lochside Distillery was finally dismantled in 2005 and houses and flats have been built on the site.If you have a question for John, send it to editorial@whiskymag.com, or by post to Questions & Answers, Whisky Magazine, St Faiths House, Mountergate, Norwich, England, NR1 1PY