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  #1  
Old 03-06-2009, 01:04 PM
craftwithus
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Default Ballantines Mystery

I have just located in my Step Fathers house a Bottle of Ballantines Finest Scotch Whisky. The cap has a seal across it from George Ballantine and Sons. The label says By appointment to the Late Queen Victoria and the Late King Edward VII. So where's the mystery ? The Cap is a perfect fit, but it is in Plastic ! Any Clues anyone ?
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2009, 05:23 PM
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Jojo Jojo is offline
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We need you to post a photo of your bottle - include clear, close up of the label (front & back) and of the closure. Anywhere there is writing on your bottle, we need to be able to read it.
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2009, 09:50 AM
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Default Ballantine mystery

Here are a couple of Images from this particular bottle.
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DSCF1177.jpg   DSCF1226.jpg  
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2009, 01:42 PM
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Default Ballantine update

Been back to the house and on the back of this bottle is a small label 'Provision de Bord'. Possibly something to do with the export market, my step father lived in France for part of the year.
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2010, 08:49 PM
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Default here is a bottle from the 50's or early sixties to compare.

I have 3/4 case of these in their boxes.
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2010, 10:49 AM
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The flask is a half bottle and appears from the label to be from around the early 1970's but it there are a couple of oddities. First there's no volume or strength on the label the other is that it appears to have a plastic coating. Both these seem to point to the bottle being a display bottle, the only way to check is to see if there's a back label or alternatively open it.

The full bottle is from around 1962 to 1967
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  #7  
Old 04-18-2010, 10:27 PM
purplehaze67
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I've got this one, pretty much the same as DCTrips, maybe 10-ish years older. A couple things confuse me, pardon me if these are a bit asinine, but my scotch background is pretty limited so far...

1) The label uses the term "liqueur". My understanding of that is an alcohol which contains some non-alcoholic additive and with a proof of less than 80. Is that accurate? If so, this bottle does not seem to meet those criteria.

2) It's also called a "blended scotch whisky", which I thought to mean a mix of scotch and grain neutral spirits. But this is also billed as "100% scotch whiskies". Is this basically what would be called today a vatted, or pure, malt? Or does it mean that the only whisky in here is scotch and other, non-whisky alcohol could be used?

3) In general, does scotch follow the bourbon trend of older bottlings being better? Can I expect this to be significantly superior to a current Ballentine's bottle?

I'm also interested in any other info or opinions anyone may have on this bottling. The seller indicates it's a circa-1950's release. I guess the "in use for over 125 years, established 1827" would peg it at no older than 1952 but who knows how often they updated their labels? Any reason to believe otherwise?

Anyone tried Ballantine's from this era? Any thoughts?

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Old 04-20-2010, 08:08 PM
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Purplehaze - your bottle's from 1953 through to 1958. The term "liqueur" was used by most blending houses for their blends from the 1920 through to the early 1960's and was just a descriptive term that was used to show quality, in all cases it was 100% pure Scotch whisky. By 1970 it was used as we now know it today to mean whisky with added flavours i.e. Clayva.
Blended Scotch Whisky is made from Single Malt and Single Grain whisky's, Grain neutral spirit is called either Vodka or [with flavourings] Gin and never used in blended whisky and so it is correct in calling itself Blended Scotch Whisky.
I don't know about bourbons but I though they were the same as Scotch whisky which does not age in bottle but can often pick up what's called "bottle flavour" so it would be very difficult to compare it with a current bottling.
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2010, 09:37 PM
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Thanks for the info!

I apparently had "grain whisky" and "grain neutral spirits" confused. I am still a little cloudy on how grain whisky can be included in a product calling itself "100% scotch whiskies" but I guess as long as I know the makeup of my bottle, the terminoligy isn't critical.

What I meant by older bottlings being better, at least in the bourbon world, was that back in the 50s, 60s, 70s, etc, producers did some things that resulted in a better end product vs what's being put out today. Not that just time in a bottle on a shelf would improve the contents.

Lower distillation proof, higher bottling proof, more aging before bottling, older wood used in barrels, etc were all things that helped to make those vintage bottles better than the current offerings. I know things like Wild Turkey and Old Grand-Dad were way better in the past. Not sure if anything like this was going on in the scotch world.

Last edited by purplehaze67; 04-20-2010 at 09:40 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-21-2010, 10:24 AM
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Grain whisky started to be distilled in Scotland around 1830 and since 1863 all blended whisky has been made from malt and grain whiskies. The difference between grain neutral and grain whisky is in the processing. Grain whisky can be made from any grain type but normally either maize or wheat to which must be added a minimum percentage of malted barley and, like malt whisky, no chemicals etc can be added to the production and it must be distilled at a specific strength. The wording states that it must be distilled to retain an identifiable flavour. Grain neutral on the other hand is usually made from whichever grain is the cheapest in the market [a lot of neutral spirit is made from starch] to which enzymes and additives can be added to speed up the conversion to alcohol. They're looking for near pure alcohol with no flavour that is normally sold to gin rectifiers and vodka producers for further processing.
As to flavour, remember that there was no distilling from 1940 through to 1948/49 so most blends in the 1950's were produced with much younger whiskies that they use now, in most cases only 3 or 4 years old whereas now most standard blends use whiskies up to 7 or 8 years old.
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  #11  
Old 04-21-2010, 02:44 PM
purplehaze67
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Thanks again!

I was unaware of the distilling situation thru the 40s, so that's good to know. Sounds like my bottle will be no better, and possibly worse, than what I can buy off the shelf today. Oh well, win some and lose some. At least the price was right!
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  #12  
Old 02-03-2011, 07:19 PM
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Default How old is this bottle?

Hello,
i found old bottle of Ballantines Finest scotch whisky...

Sticker have number k227
and on the bottom are numbers sc 529 and 12

There are pictures
http://www.bami.cz/bami/files/aukro/ballantines.jpg
http://www.bami.cz/bami/files/aukro/ballantines77.jpg

Regards,
J.Kosecky
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  #13  
Old 02-04-2011, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Hello,
i found old bottle of Ballantines Finest scotch whisky...

Sticker have number k227
and on the bottom are numbers sc 529 and 12

There are pictures
http://www.bami.cz/bami/files/aukro/ballantines.jpg
http://www.bami.cz/bami/files/aukro/ballantines77.jpg

Regards,
J.Kosecky
This bottle's from the late 70's into the 80's so the date of 1977 on the base may be correct. Bottles from the early 70's had the 2 flags on the label different colours.
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  #14  
Old 02-05-2011, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blenderm View Post
This bottle's from the late 70's into the 80's so the date of 1977 on the base may be correct. Bottles from the early 70's had the 2 flags on the label different colours.
Thank you for answer.
What about price? How much is normal price for this bottle?
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  #15  
Old 02-06-2011, 10:35 AM
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Value is what anyone wants to pay and I doubt that anyone would buy such a modern blend as there's very little value in it. Either try selling on eBay [remember you're selling the bottle NOT the whisky] or open it and have a dram or three
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