Bottling range: late 1930's - 1972

The bottles on this page are referred to as "Special Liqueur" bottles, and these were released by three different sources.

1.) Kraus Bros. & Co. Inc of New York
2.) D & J MacEwen of Stirling
3.) Ardbeg Distillery Limited

Kraus Bros. & Co., Inc of New York, NY (late 1930's to early 1940's):

Kraus Bros. & Co., Inc was an American whisky importer who ordered casks directly from the Ardbeg Distillery. These casks were shipped to the US and then bottled by Kraus Bros. with a label supplied ,or approved, by the distillery. So far, there have been three releases discovered.

17-year old (91.3 degrees proof) - one bottle (w/accompanying advertisement from 1940)

This bottle was originally offered in a Bonham's auction in New York, but it was prematurely pulled from the auction. It was subsequently, and privately, purchased by a well known collector in the UK.

18-year old (86.8 degrees proof) - one bottle (from three angles below)

This bottle was discovered at an estate auction in Florida, and it was privately sold to a well known collector in the UK.

18-year old (91.3 degrees proof) - two known bottles (both have been opened).

These bottles were discovered in New York. One was opened by the owner, and the other was sold to a collector in the UK, and subsequently opened at a well known whisky show.

Both unopened Front, after opening one. Rear, after opening one.

After the sale of the above unopened bottle, the courier didn't properly seal the bottle for the 1st leg of the flight, and you can see the results below. The tax stamp wore away, and the label became more soiled from the leakage.

Top before leakage Top after leakage Label leakage

D & J MacEwen & Co. Ltd of Stirling (1950's):

D & J MacEwen & Co. LTD was a Scottish firm originally opened as a Family Grocer and Wine Merchant in 1804. This company would have ordered the casks from the Ardbeg Distillery and bottled the whisky at their Stirling location with a label provided, or approved, by the distillery. So far, there has been one release discovered with three known bottles.

NAS (no proof noted) - three bottles*
*-The two bottles below on the left are the same bottle, but entered into separate SWA auctions.
The bottle on the right has been the subject of a few inquiries since 2016, but it is still in a private collection.
The third bottle is in the private collection of Sukhinder Singh, and a picture can be viewed in Emmanuel Dron's Collecting Scotch Whisky book.

The 25th Scotch Whisky Auction

The 34th Scotch Whisky Auction

In private collection

Ardbeg Distillery for Hotels of Islay (1971-72):

According to some rumors, this release was sold by the Ardbeg Distillery directly to Hotels of Islay. There are several known bottles in collections, and if you have a more detailed picture you would like to share, please go to our CONTACT PAGE and send us a message.

NAS (75 degrees proof) - several known bottles

Glenmorangie archives

Whisky Paradise link

Whisky Paradise link

Special Liqueur Crossover Label to Old Islay Malt (1973):

This bottle appears to be the crossover bottle between the Special Liqueur for Hotels of Islay and the Old Islay Malt. It may have been a short run or even test label as there are only two known examples thus far.

The bottle in the pictures below is the same bottle, and it is currently empty and residing on Islay. The Head Office is still listed at the bottom of the label, and Special Liqueur is still at the top. However, this is now the Old Islay Malt style label and at 80 Degrees Proof and 10-years old.

search only


© 2024