The whisky is thought to be some of the oldest in existence (after bottling that is), with an approximate distillation date of 1833. Bottled in 1841, and rebottled in 1932, they were authenticated via carbon dating by the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre. Further analysis was undertaken by the Scotch Whisky Research Institute in Edinburgh, revealing an estimated an ABV of 61.3%.

The 1830s is a particularly interesting time in whisky history, as the industry was undergoing a massive shift due to the introduction of the 1823 Excise Act. This auction will be alluring to those with an interest in the development and history of Scotch whisky, as this is a rare opportunity to sample liquid with a distinctly 19th century profile.

An expert in rare whiskies had this to say:

“This is a profoundly historic whisky and a remarkable artefact of Scottish distilling that is unlikely to ever be equalled in terms of provenance and preservation. That it has been carefully re-bottled and preserved at natural strength, maintaining the freshness and power of this spirit for nearly two centuries is frankly, astonishing. 

To taste it myself, has been a great privilege. It is very much a distillate driven malt whisky, with minimal wood influence and one of a style which could have been produced any time in Scotland up until the 1950s. What I find most fascinating is that this profile existed already as far back as the 1830s. It possesses clear textural weight in the mouth, along with a flavour profile that strongly involves medicinal characteristics without any notable or pronounced peat smoke. ”

Angus MacRaild

There is even a strong possibility that the whisky was once tasted by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The monarch had a close relationship with the 6th Duchess of Atholl and stayed at Blair Castle for three weeks in 1844. The Blair Castle Household Book documents that whisky was consumed during her visit, and local newspapers from the time reported Queen Victoria’s fondness for Atholl Brose - a local beverage made pf whisky and honey. She's also known for her liking of Scotch, having granted a royal warrant to Royal Lochnagar following a visit in 1848.

The discoverer of the whiskies said:

"Whisky has always been a huge part of the history of Blair Castle and we will be building an exhibition around the bottles we keep after the auction so that all who visit Blair Castle can see it and hear the history of this incredible whisky".

Bertie Troughton

Discover our own collection of rare and collectable Scotch whiskies, here.