By Jonny McCormick

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I recently won a bottle of Wild Turkey Master's Keep Decades signed by Eddie Russell (with letter of authenticity). I am interested to know if the signature adds, or will add, any value given that the product is available in stores. As a Bourbon fan, my initial thought was to simply enjoy the contents of the bottle, however, I am curious as to the availability of products carrying his signature.
H. Jaus

This is a handsome looking bottle of Bourbon and a terrific prize to win. It's something to really treasure as master distiller Eddie Russell has signed it. Festivals, tastings and whisky shows are all opportunities to get your bottle signed. Both Eddie Russell and his father Jimmy Russell love speaking to Bourbon enthusiasts and they will have signed countless bottles in their long careers. I expect most collectors will see the signature as a nice bonus, but their spending limits will be governed by their desire for this bottling. The added value of a signature depends on the bottling and signatory. Famously, someone paid £6,000 for a bottle of Glendronach 26 Years Old from McTear's, Glasgow this year signed by President Donald J Trump. At Bruichladdich Distillery, the legendary former master distiller Jim McEwan signed thousands of bottles during the years. For comparative purposes, I noticed four bottles of Octomore Discovery Fèis Ìle 2014 in the same Scotch Whisky Auctions sale; two signed bottles achieved £350 and £310, but the two unsigned ones achieved £390 and £320. If I were you, I would buy a second bottle of Wild Turkey Master's Keep Decades and savour the contents of the unsigned one first.

My Dad was given a Johnnie Walker 150th Anniversary decanter. He doesn't think it's worth anything but as it's an anniversary piece, I thought I'd check for him. The only issue is a tiny chip on the stopper. Is it worthless or should he keep it?

The Johnnie Walker 150th Anniversary celebrates the period 1820 to 1970, and was released by the Distillers Company Limited (DCL) in 1985 shortly before the Guinness takeover in 1986. You will note that the iconic Johnnie Walker Striding Man is still striding left at this stage, whereas these days, he walks to the right. Given that it marked an anniversary from 1970, it is easy to speculate that David Adams, the master blender, would have been working with single malt and grains aged 15 years or more for this special blend. If your father's bottle is unopened and intact and the chip is to the decorative stopper, then I doubt this will impact on the value. Although released more than 30 years ago, its value at auction can be quite variable which can indicate less interest and fewer bidders. Prices on this bottling have fallen back in recent years, though the price achieved in the last year is fairly consistent if you choose to sell: Whisky Online Auctions took £825 in February 2017, Scotch Whisky Auctions achieved £820 in January 2017, Whisky Auctioneer managed £800 in July 2016, and Just Whisky hit £760 in July 2016.

I am keen to find a bottle or two of Hewitt's Irish blended whisky. It went out of production around 10 years ago.
Whisky Galore

Irish whiskey is one of the lowest categories represented at auction, but given the low original cost of this Cork Distilleries blend, I expect there will still be bottles about. This whiskey was reviewed in Issue Three of Whisky Magazine. Michael Jackson remarked on the polished oak on the nose, the soothing, sweet maltiness, vanilla, moreish dryness, and perfumed spiciness on the palate. Despite selling tens of thousands of bottles, Scotch Whisky Auctions has only a single record of selling a square bottle of Hewitt's Whiskey from last year, where £55 bought you a bottle with a damaged label, a leaky bottle of Paddy's and a litre of Jameson. McTear's Auctioneers sold an older screw cap bottle in a mixed lot for £100 in 2011, where it was joined by old label bottlings of Jameson, Crested Ten, and Dunphy's Special Export. Keep scouring the auction websites as you should still be able to get a bottle for under £30 if one appears for sale.