Shipwrecked 80-Year-Old Scotch Readied for Auction

Feel like owning a bottle from the SS Politician?

Aged whisky and other items
If you'd like to bid on some shipwrecked whisky, the additional items may be of interest.

There are plenty of reasons to be fascinated by shipwrecks. They can offer us glimpses into the past, both of the historical events that caused the ships in question to sink and for the time-capsule qualities of the vessels themselves. They can confirm suspicions about the past or bring bold new information to light. And sometimes? Sometimes shipwrecks have liquor on board.

That’s the case with the wreck of the SS Politician, a ship that ran aground in the Outer Hebrides as World War II raged on. The Politician was carrying 28,000 cases of whisky when it sank, and several locals seized on the opportunity to salvage some very tasty liquor from what remained of the vessel. The salvage operation — and the government’s response to it — inspired a book and several films.

A new article at Forbes, by Brad Japhe, reveals the latest wrinkle in the saga of the Politician and the whisky on board. It turns out that the whisky recovered not long after the shipwreck wasn’t all of the whisky that was on board — and several bottles were found by George Currie, a deep sea repairman who was working on a nearby cable.

Over the years, these late discoveries have been auctioned off — and another one of them is currently available via The Grand Whisky Auction, with bidding set to continue online for another week. The bottle, which has no identifying information, is being sold along with a poster of the film inspired by the SS Politician, a brick from the ship and a diving helmet. For a piece of whisky history, it’s an inviting package.

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