Value of a very old bottle of scotch whiskey.
February 26, 2010 1:34 PM   Subscribe

Is there an easy way to determine the value of a very old bottle of Scotch Whiskey? It has been in the cellar here since I was a young boy. No idea exactly how old it is. It has got to be at least 30 years old. Teachers Highland Cream. Pic1 Pic2 Pic3 Pic4 Pic5 Pic6 Pic7
posted by kapu to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Generally, old blended whisky is more of a novelty than an item of value. Whiskey does very little aging in glass, save slow evaporation -- whisky (generally) gets more expensive as it ages in a cask -- not once bottled.

I've seen this question pop up often on another forum and the usual advice is: invite some people over and revel in drinking your unique, novel but ultimately worthless really old whisky :)
posted by wrok at 1:40 PM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

You can look at similar bottles for sale at places like The Whisky Exchange. Here's a 1940s bottle of Teacher's Highland Cream going for £173 (£203 with tax). That's $263. The label design on that bottle is similar to but not the same as yours.

For comparison, here's a newer bottle from the 1970s going for £43 without tax, so you'll need to narrow down the year or at least decade it was bottled. You might consider contacting Teacher's directly for help.
posted by jedicus at 1:40 PM on February 26, 2010

On their website, click on "Our History" then Our Bottle designs. The red arrow and triangles you can see on your Pic 2 show up on the 1913 bottle. The next bottle 1932 and all subsequent ones look different. So I suspect this bottle is from at least 1931. Based on the price of the bottle at The Whisky Exchange I would definitely contact them or the distillery to see if they can give you any more info.
posted by IanMorr at 1:46 PM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Though the 1933 post-prohibition advert also has that design. Could be that era.
posted by IanMorr at 1:50 PM on February 26, 2010

So I suspect this bottle is from at least 1931

Do you mean that the latest it might be is 1931? I ask in a spirit of inquiry, and because they won't let me in the website.
posted by Netzapper at 1:54 PM on February 26, 2010

Whisky doesn't age in a bottle, the age statement refers to the time spent in a cask, so while the bottle may be 30-50 years old, the whisky itseld is more likely to be considered 3-5 (3 being the minimum and 5 probably being more where teacher's comes in on average age).
posted by Large Marge at 1:57 PM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Do you mean that the latest it might be is 1931

You know, I hated that phrasing myself after I hit Post. I meant that the last year it could have been bottled would have been 1931, but I've since seen an ad from '33 and one from this 1938 Life Magazine (page 89) that look similar.
posted by IanMorr at 1:58 PM on February 26, 2010

Whisky doesn't age in a bottle

No, but if this is a bottle from the 30's or, even better, one of the first shipments in after prohibition ended, the value is not going to be determined by the contents.
posted by IanMorr at 2:01 PM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

You should contact folks at They look for rare and old whiskys and likely can tell you the value of your bottle.

Regarding Teacher's Highland Cream:
"By this time [William Teacher] had been joined in the business by his sons, Adam and William. Following the example of others they moved into wholesaling, providing special blends for specific customers. One of these became very popular, so they concentrated their energies on producing and marketing it as Teacher's Highland Cream (it was registered in 1884). Export growth was the next move: as early as 1903 the brand was being exported to America."
As mentioned above, this is a blended whisky, not to be confused with a single malt scotch. FWIW -- the proper spelling for Scottish whisky does not contain an "e."
posted by ericb at 3:02 PM on February 26, 2010

The proper link for e-mail contact.
posted by ericb at 3:03 PM on February 26, 2010

Hmmm ... strange. The e-mail contact gets borked. Their e-mail: **
posted by ericb at 3:04 PM on February 26, 2010

Also consider posting at The Whisky Guild's social networking website.
posted by ericb at 3:11 PM on February 26, 2010

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