View Full Version : Schenley Elegance

02-22-2002, 13:34
I received a question (below) from a visitor. Does anybody know this bottling?

I have what increasingly seems to be the only 1945 25th anniversary unopened bottle of schenley canadian whisky known to exist. We told a collector friend that we wanted to sell the bottle and now have at least 6 collectors interested and all saying the same thing...the bottle is so rare they did not know any still existed (they have never seen one)...it was apparently only manufactured a couple of months in 1945 by Vallyfield. I am trying to find out what this bottle is worth and someone told me once that the company that made the bottle did not even have a bottle of it. Do you know if Vallyfield kept one of these bottles? Or do you know what it is worth? A description and pictures are below.

An unbroken seal running from lid to bottle has G9355574 1945 on it. A gold seal at top of bottle says Schenley Elegance. Main label says Special bottling in commemoration of Schenley's 25th anniversary 1957. Imported Canadian O.F.C. by Schenley Canadian Whisky A BLEND. Bottle is 4/5 quart. Top of bottle has 132 months old label below neck. Bottle has been kept in velour bag all these years. Labels look new. Pictures attached. Any help would be appreciated.

Dennis Klindrup
<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.whiskyportal.com>http://www.whiskyportal.com</A>

02-22-2002, 13:51
Dennis, old whisk(e)y seems to be worth what someone will pay for it. The actual whiskey does not improve with age and, based on my tastings, may actually deteriorate. E-Bay has done well because it provides a world-wide forum for determining price and due to the number of potential bidders (and sometimes fools) the price can be quite inflated. The value of such a bottle is in the potential of other collectors caring to own one. Often that value is an emotional value tied to someone having some connection with the distillery. But then, I think you know that.

-- Greg

02-22-2002, 16:10
"and sometimes fools". Yes Greg Kitzmiller is the master of the understatment.
Who would actually be foolish enough to buy a canadian whiskey?

Put your pants back on. You'll only need one pair as canadian whiskey is a kind of Depends (diapers for adults)kind of thing.

Damn Dennis! Why don't your folks ever ask about real whiskey? You always show up with something snergy.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

03-01-2002, 09:50
This inquiry has b___ s___ written all over it. First, there are so few Canadian whiskey "collectors" I doubt anyone could even find six, let alone get them to agree on something. Pure fiction. That's not even a slam on Canadian. There are very few "collectors" of North American whiskey period. Second, there definitely is not enough of a collecting community to establish the "rarity" of anything with any certainty. As soon as you hear someone say "this seems to be the only bottle known to exist," put your hand on your wallet and start backing toward the door. Especially something made in the 1940s. These bottles turn up all the time. Who you zoomin? (I know it's not you, Dennis, but one of your posters.)

This description is even screwy on its face. If the whiskey was distilled in 1945 and bottled in 1957 (or some of it, since it's a blend), then it was really "made" in '57, not '45. "Only made for a few months." Well, yeah. A 1945 whiskey can't have been "made" for more than 12 months, can it?

Amazing what people think they can get away with.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

03-01-2002, 15:42
I know - I get a bunch of questions. Most of them are the usual "what's it worth" questions, and I never try to answer these (I simply wouldn't have a clue - I just love drinking the stuff. BTW: I am actually looking for someone that would be able to help with such questions - anyone?). This one was interesting because of the attached pics - and curious is my middlename, so I'll probably try again with other thrilling questions... http://www.straightbourbon.com/images/icons/wink.gif

Back to my Baker's 7yr 107 proof... http://www.straightbourbon.com/images/icons/tongue.gif

Dennis Klindrup
<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.whiskyportal.com>http://www.whiskyportal.com</A>

03-01-2002, 22:06
I guess Bushido and I are two of the six collectors of Canadian Whiskey. I would like to get to know the other 4. Yet I have no idea what this would legitimately be worth. Of course if they just want to get rid of it...

(Here goes what little credibility I ever could have had on this site.)

03-02-2002, 09:58
I get inquiries all the time. Most of them are honest and sincere. This one wasn't. This person thought he/she could put something over on people.

The reason there are expert appraisers in certain fields (see Antiques Roadshow) is because there is an active market in that category of collectibles. There are many buyers and sellers, auctions, etc. It has reached a critical mass so if you follow the field, it becomes possible to say, "you probably could get $X for this" with some accuracy. Even in those fields there is fluctuation, because the worth of anything always boils down to what a willing buyer will pay a willing seller.

In the beverage alcohol field, this type of market exists for wine and cognac, maybe for scottish malts, but not for any North American whiskies. There are no experts because there is nothing upon which they can base a claim of expertise. Most American whiskey collectors -- and there are a few -- acquire their treasures at retail. What secondary market there is isn't consistent enough or large enough to allow accurate appraisal. Even the annual Getz Museum auction is of little value because most bidders are motivated at least in part by a desire to make a donation to the museum, not by an assessment of the value of the offering. Most of the items offered aren't even rare. They are "off the shelf" products made special by being signed by the master distiller. Has anyone ever heard of any of those bottles being resold? At any price?

In other words, anyone who claims to be an "expert" on the "value" of "rare" North American whiskey is either a liar or a fool.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

03-02-2002, 21:46

I agree with your assessment of the North American whiskey collector's market, with one notable exception: the special editions issued by a little distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, better known to us all as Maker's Mark.

Makers is the only current domestic player that can claim a loyal collector base. For example, its Keeneland editions fetch $100-150 in auctions, as do the black and gold exports and the Boy Scout bottles. Good luck finding rare editions like C- USA, Harley Davidson, 1993 UK Blue or Confederate bottles for under $300.

I've been offered $500-1000 for an old Makers Limited bottled in the early 70s. These offers are from folks who don't collect other whiskeys, they are strictly Makers fans. Go figure.

Other whiskeys doing well in auctions are sealed prohibition era pints (with original boxes and labels).

Best regards,

03-04-2002, 17:04
Exception noted. In fact, the MM bottles have become so collectible, the Kentucky ABC has issued a warning to the public that it is illegal to sell spirits without a license.

What kinds of prices are Prohibition-era bottles fetching? Are any brands more desirable than others?

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>