Many, many Sunday lunches back we stocked a range of whiskies under the “Whisky Galore” brand – the whisky as immortalised by Compton MacKenzie and the film. A customer has just brought a bottle in – showing a more than generous share for the angels! You can clearly see the level just beneath the top of the label.
On 3rd February 1941 the freighter SS Politician sailed from Liverpool for Jamaica via New Orleans. Along with fur coats, Jamaican currency and War Office material 21,000 cases of Scotch whisky nestled in her cargo holds.
Her route took her north to Scotland and there, 2 days out of Liverpool, her voyage ended. As she sailed into the Sound of Eriskay among the remote islands of the Outer Hebrides, the “Polly” ran aground on Calvay Island.
When the inhabitants of the neighbouring small islands of Barra, Eriskay and South Uist discovered the Politicians cargo, including the whisky, they did not miss their opportunity. The islanders proceeded to “rescue” over 9,000 cases of whisky under the very noses of HM Customs & Excise.
Sir Compton MacKenzie, the writer, spent the War years on Barra. After the War he immortalised the events surrounding the shipwreck in his novel “Whisky Galore”. A subsequent film of the same title secured a place in Scottish folklore for the “Whisky Galore” story.
Not all the whisky was recovered in 1941 and some stayed under the waters for 50 years. The Scottish company SS Politician PLC was formed to salvage the remaining bottles. This was done in 1990.
Whisky Galore – Calvay Mist is a blend of the finest grain and malt whiskies. It accurately replicates the style and taste of the actual 1930’s and 40’s whiskies they raised from the wreck.
Thanks to Peter Burkinshaw for the loan of the bottleShare and Enjoy: