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Whisky + Shipwreck = Awesome


I have a fondness for booze, as you may have realized, but also for shipwrecks and pirates. (Old pirates, not Somali pirates.)

WhiskygaloreSo I am particularly thrilled by the story of the SS Politician, a ship carrying 260,000 bottles of whisky that sank off the Outer Hebrides (islands off Scotland) in 1941. The local islanders rowed out to the partially-submerged wreck at night and stole all the whisky they could get their hands on. But the government was not happy about that so they searched peoples' homes and jailed some of them, even though they were just going to let the whisky sink with the ship. For years, hidden bottles from the wreck would turn up when someone cleaned out their attic or dug up a shed.

The tale was made into the book Whisky Galore by Compton Mackenzie, then a later books Scotch on the Rocks: The True Story Behind Whisky Galore and Polly: The True Story Behind Whisky Galore, retracing the story of that book. It was also made into the movie Whisky Galore, sometimes known as Tight Little Island.

In 1970, the newspaper The Mirror led a diving expedition to the ship to find any bottles that were still on it. They did find them, and rewarded a diver Bob Pert with a few bottles for his efforts. He's auctioning off one of those (unopened but evaporating through the cork) bottles December 3rd. [Props to Lyke 2 Drink for finding news of the auction.]

This bottle would make an excellent holiday gift for someone obsessed with booze. Or shipwrecks. Or both.