By Jonny McCormick

Ask the expert

Send your questions to or by post to: Q&A, Whisky Magazine, 6 Woolgate Court, St Benedicts Street, Norwich, England, NR2 4AP
I was given an unopened bottle of 1961 Gooderham's Centennial Whisky. How much is this bottle worth?
C. Lacroix, Canada

This is a bottle of blended Canadian whisky 15 Years Old bottled by Gooderham and Worts to commemorate the centenary of Canada’s Confederation under the British North America Act 1867. Although logically it would not be unreasonable to think that the centenary bottles would have been dated 1967, there were bottles dated over a number of years including some earlier than 1961. The Gooderham and Wort’s Distillery was named after a Yorkshireman, James Worts and his brother-in-law William Gooderham. It was established in 1837 and rebuilt in 1859, but had to survive a serious fire, the outbreak of war and prohibition. The distillery produced whisky up until 1957 although the company merged with Hiram Walker in the 1920s and diversified into other spirits until its eventual closure in 1990. The Distillery district is now one of Toronto’s cultural attractions and has been used as a film location.

Canadian blended whisky does not have a track record of achieving high values at auction, however, the category is receiving more attention, not least with the publication of Davin De Kergommeaux’s Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert book last year. There are few tangible records of this bottle at auction to guide a valuation based on previous results. A slightly damaged bottle was included in a sale at McTear’s, Glasgow in December 2008 but failed to sell. There is another bottle with a slightly damaged box for sale for £150 on The Whisky Exchange website at the time of writing. Realistically, an auction valuation of £40-60 would be fair.

I have a no age statement Glenlivet with black label bought in Safeway’s supermarket around 10 years ago. Is it worth keeping or should I just drink it? Can you help?
A. McGirr, UK

I would recommend you drink this perfectly fine bottle of The Glenlivet. Even the packaging changes for The Glenlivet over the past decade have not made the entry level bottles much more valuable. If purchased in a supermarket, it will be at the younger end of the age range so it would only sell for up to a maximum of £30-40 and will probably sell for less (even before the deduction of the seller’s commission). There are highly collectible Glenlivet releases which have achieved high values in the salerooms including the Cellar Collection series and the future looks good for the exclusive single cask bottles issued for the Guardians of the Glenlivet fan club. You will not find these on the supermarket shelves though.

Please could you help to value a bottle of Legendary Clan Campbell 21 Years Old?
J. Bloor, UK

Legendary Clan Campbell 21 Years Old is presented in an octagonal bottle in a gold box. There was one offered for sale at McTear’s, Glasgow in July with a guide price of £60-80 but it failed to sell. Given the actual past prices where it has sold (usually as part of a mixed lot), an estimate of £20-35 is more realistic. However, you may have noticed there have been higher prices achieved for old blended whiskies using the online-only whisky auction websites where the dynamics of running an auction over 10 days produced better results for vendors than live bidding.

I was given your name by a former colleague from Tomatin Distillery. I had asked for his advice about selling an unopened bottle of Glenlochy 38 Years Old from the Old & Rare Platinum Selection, in its original box with its Certificate of Authenticity.
C. Doctor, UK

As an independent bottling from the top of the Douglas Laing & Co range, these usually do well at auctions, but they can be slightly unpredictable. This will certainly have appreciated in value from its original retail price in 2003. Its value lies in its source, the Glenlochy distillery in Fort William, which closed 30 years ago, and its year of distillation in the mid-1960s. The distilleries are ranked in the Whisky Magazine Index by the number and value of old bottles sold at live auction globally and currently Glenlochy distillery lies at position 46 and has an average sale price of £230 per bottle. I would insist on a guide price of£150-200 for your bottle, but be aware that occasionally this series of bottlings have sold lower than this low estimate while others have comfortably stretched beyond £300. It would be worth selling this through a specialist whisky auction or website rather than an auctioneer to maximise the audience who may bid on it.