By John Rose

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If you have a question for John,send it to or by post to Questions & Answers, Whisky Magazine, St Faiths House Mountergate, Norwich,England, NR1 1PY
I am a huge fan of Glenmorangie single malt Whisky and I take great interest in the news that the distillery has installed four new copper stills to meet world demand for their product. I was told by a friend of mine who is also a Glenmorangie collector that they do a ritual called sweetening the stills. As I know you have a background in the distilling of whisky can you give me details into what this would entail.Any information would be much appreciated.K M Washington, Devon, England You are correct Glenmorangie have just installed four new copper stills, the tallest swan necked in Scotland, and they have done a ritual called sweetening the stills for generations when the stills were renewed. It is a process of collecting herbs, lichen, and heather from the area around the Tarlogie Springs which supplies the distillery with its water. This collection of herbs is boiled and the botanical infusion distilled passes through the distillation process which sweetens and takes the edge off the new copper and helps give Glenmorangie the sweetness it is associated with.I would like to draw on your wealth of whisky knowledge. I have a friend who won a bottle of Johnnie Walker The Directors Blend and wants to sell it for charity so could you give her a guide price for her to put a reserve on it ? The details on the bottle are Johnnie Walker The Directors Blend, Limited Bottling 2008.This bottle is guaranteed to be one of 450 bottles. Signed by Master Blender, Jim Beveridge J Maclean, Glasgow, Scotland This Johnnie Walker was released about Christmas 2008 and not made commercially available and was given to VIPs within the business. It was created by Jim Beveridge and has very rare whiskies in the blend which will be very hard to find again, the oldest being 28 Years Old. Because this very rare bottling was created as a work of art by Johnnie Walkers Master Blender in a Limited Edition and given as a gift it will be highly collectable. I think if I had one and wanted to sell it I would need in excess of £500 for it.An acquaintance of mine suggested I contact you to get an evaluation on a bottle of whisky I have. It is a Macallan 1938 Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky 75 cl.43% Vol distributed by Gordon & Macphail. It has a hand written label and a red ribbon with a red seal round the middle. It has a rough wooden presentation box with The Macallan 1938 stencilled on the front.Do you know this bottle?B. Cruickshank, Glasgow, Scotland You have a very nice old bottle of Macallan Single Malt.At auction in Scotland I would expect your bottle to realise £1000 to £1300 if it is in good condition.I have three old bottles of Seagrams VO, Canadian Club, from the 1980s and just wondering if they are worth anything to anyone. They are unopened in Christmas boxes and in quite good condition.M. Moe, Sayreville, USA V. O stands for "Very Own" as the blend was initially conceived for the private use of the Seagram family. However I do not think the value of the bottles to a collector would be very high, and I would suggest you drink them as I am sure they will be very good.I have just moved house and have found an old bottle of bourbon in the garden shed. I do not drink myself and I wondered if you know how much it would be worth to a collector , if anything ?M Resnick, Cape Town, South Africa You have a bottle of Old Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 7 Summers Old , 107 Proof, Genuine Old Line Sour Mash. Distilled and Bottled by W L Weller and Sons, Louisville, Kentucky. This old bottle seems to have a damaged label which will affect the price a collector will pay. In order to command a good price from collectors old bottles must be in as near to the condition they would have been when the bottle was produced. Because of the poor quality of the label I would expect you bottle to be £40 to £60 at auction.