Whisky Galore Day is February 5th
February 04, 2011
On February 5, 1941, the SS Politician ran aground off the islands of Scotland. After a bit, the ship broke up and began to sink, so local islanders rowed out to help salvage its contents: over 20,000 cases of whisky. Unfortunately, the government considered the salvaging more like looting, and pursued those who took part in it.
This story was told in the novel Whisky Galore, by Compton Mackenzie. (Mackenzie also wrote Monarch of the Glen, which became the basis for a long-running series on British television.)
The book was then made into a comedy film called Whisky Galore and released in the US under the name Tight Little Island. Looks like a new version was made in 2016 starring Eddie Izzard.
The anniversary of the grounding of the ship is Feb 5 so make sure you celebrate with a dram of your favorite maritime scotch whisky.
In 1970 a newspaper funded a diving expedition to find the ship and pull out some of the whisky still trapped inside. This whisky went up for auction in 2008 and I wrote about that here.
The book Whisky Galore spawned at least two follow-ups: Scotch on the Rocks: The True Story Behind Whisky Galore and Polly: The True Story Behind Whisky Galore.
For more reading, see the Wikipedia pages for the book and the film.
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