Nippy Sweetie

“Why on earth do people say things like ‘my eyes aren’t what they used to be’, so what did they used to be? Ears? Wellington boots?”

Billy Connelly, who is undoubtedly a national icon, has been at the forefront of comedy since the 1970’s, before which he was a singer in the Humblebums alongside Gerry Rafferty. He was born in 1942 in Anderston, Glasgow, and as a teenager he followed the path of many young Glaswegian men by in the Glasgow shipyards, training as a welder.

Towards the beginning of his comedy career, it was common place that the half time ice cream sellers at his concerts would also sell a ‘Nippy Sweetie’. These miniature whiskies depicted the ‘Big Yin’ on the label, were produced by Douglas Laing & Co, who are a Glasgow based bottler. In 2016 Douglas Laing donated their last remaining miniature of Nippy Sweetie to Glasgow People’s Palace, which was hosting a Billy Connelly exhibition at the time.



Lot 49 in the Rare & Fine whisky sale at McTears on March 1 is one of the incredibly rare aforementioned miniatures, bought at a performance in Newcastle during the mid-1970s.  

Graeme Maxwell

McTear’s sells more whisky than any other traditional auction house in the dedicated whisky auctions that take place monthly, run concurrently live online on a platform that attracts six million visitors annually from over 120 countries worldwide. Come along to the Valuation Days at McTear’s on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week for complimentary auction advice. 

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