128 Years After Shipwreck 7 Bottles of Whisky are Up for Auction

A whisky and beer collection lost in a shipwreck for 128 years is now set for auction on the 14th of April 2023 at McTear’s.

The collection was discovered in 1977 by the Girvan Sub-Aqua Club with one of the divers deciding it is time to put the discovery up for auction. Included in the collection is one of only two decanters of Wilkinson’s Famous Liqueur Whisky found in the wreck.

It is expected that the find will be sold for between £3,000 to £5,000.

shipwreck whisky

What happened to the ship?

Sir William Burnell purchased the SS Wallachia to ship goods across the British Empire. 

On 29th of September 1895 the steamship set off from Glasgow filled with coal, clothing, books and alcohol in poor weather conditions. 

With the ship moving down the river and the fog thickening a Norwegian steamship suddenly appeared, colliding with the Wallachia. Within 25 minutes the Wallachia had fully sank.

The cargo and the whisky were lost to the Firth of Clyde bed for 128 years until divers rescued it in 1977.

Auction information

The auction for the 7 bottles of shipwreck whisky will take place at McTear’s Auction House in Glasgow on the 14th of April 2023. 

The collection will consist of 7 bottles of blended whisky and 2 bottles of beer. 

Viewings will take place from the 12th of April at 9am. It will be part of the Whisky | Timeless Treasures auction, which will feature other interesting and rare scotch whiskies, including from:

  • Macallan
  • Talisker
  • Lagavulin
  • Glenfarclas
  • Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Ewan Thomson, McTear’s whisky specialist, spoke about the shipwreck collection to the BBC: “This is a wonderful collection, with a truly historic story to tell.

“Although individual bottles of ‘Wallachia whisky’ have been sold in the past, this is the largest and best preserved selection to go under the hammer.

“The decanter is a particularly notable find, being one of only two recovered from the ship and, as far as we know, it is the only one to ever come to auction.

“The lot includes seven bottles and half bottles of whisky from historic brands Robert Brown’s Four Crowns blend – a popular brand that received a royal warrant from Edward VII – and Charles Wilkinson, along with two bottles of McEwan’s Export beer.”

Visit the McTear’s auction page for more information and how to enter the auction in person or online.

Whisky collection as a hobby

Collecting scotch whisky is a hobby for whisky enthusiasts worldwide. A whisky collection can bring great joy and value to an enthusiast, but it can also appreciate in value. 

Pre-pandemic whisky saw unprecedented growth in value, post-pandemic it is one of the fastest luxury investments to recover. 

When we look at the success of whisky at auction, there are some clear winners in recent years:

If you enjoy the odd dram of whisky it might be worth considering whisky collection as a hobby. 

At UKV International AG our whisky specialists can help identify the perfect whisky to start your collection. 

We take into consideration your likes and dislikes to recommend the ideal whisky to start you on your journey. 

UKV are a broker in rare whisky, we assist our clients in discovering and acquiring whisky, whether for consumption or collection. 

If you would like to take a step further into investing in cask whisky we can help with insuring and storing your whisky until it is ready to be bottled and sold for profit. 

Contact us today to start your whisky journey.