Scotch and soda, mud in your eye.
Baby, do I feel high,
oh, me, oh, my. Do I feel high.
Dry martini, jigger of gin.
Oh, what a spell you've got me in,
oh, my. Do I feel high.
People won't believe me.
They'll think that I'm just braggin'.
But I could feel the way I do
and still be on the wagon.
(Dave Guard – The Kingston Trio – Scotch and Soda)
Bonhams, the London auction house, will be selling some old booze in November. How old? Well, nobody is quite certain of that. The label on the bottle of Scotch whiskey bears the name of a company that went out of business in the 1850's. It may well have been produced by a successor company, however. Regardless, it is quite old and is expected to bring in between $9,500 and $18,500 when it is sold.
The label reads "Glenavon Special Liqueur Whisky Bottled by the Distillers" — and Glenavon ceased operating in the 1850s.
Even if it was bottled by a related or sucessor distillery, "authentic bottles of Scotch from the 1870s are extremely rare", said Charles MacLean, a Bonhams consultant and leading expert on whisky.
The bottle has been in the family of a woman in Ireland for several generations.
It is an unusual size, slightly smaller than the traditional 75-centilitre bottle, and is made from olive-green glass.
The liquid inside appears to be pale gold, and the level is surprisingly high for an old bottle, almost to the neck.
It seems appropriate to remind people that old booze is not necessarily good booze.