Treasures from the deep | The SS Walachia

Picture the scene: it’s a dreich, foggy afternoon in September on the Firth of Clyde. The year, 1895.



The SS Walachia is leaving Glasgow, bound for the West Indies with a cargo of earthenware, acids, beer and (most importantly) whisky! Of course, navigating in such conditions can be treacherous and, sure enough, while passing by the village of Innellan the captain of the Wallachia was startled by the sudden appearance of the Norwegian steamer, Flos, looming out of the fog. The two boats inevitably collided. Thankfully there was time to get both crews to safety, but the Wallachia was lost to the murky depths.


It wasn’t until nearly 100 years later that divers were able to recover some of the wreck’s precious cargo. Unfortunately, much of the whisky had been contaminated by the acids they were being transported alongside. However, from deeper within the cargo hold some bottles were recovered that had largely escaped the ravages of the briny deep, and we’re excited to offer a selection of these in our whisky auction this month.

Among the treasure are two half bottles and one full sized bottle of Robert Brown’s Four Crown. While it may not be a household name today, Four Crown was a favourite of King Edward VII and would have been among the more popular blends of the day. The brand was laterally acquired by Chivas, and the name Robert Brown still adorns one of the company’s blends created for the Asian Market. While a few of these bottles have appeared at auction over the years, we’re confident that no one has been able to boast a collection quite as impressive as the first lot in our April whisky sale. Featuring seven bottles of whisky and two bottles of beer, along with pieces of the original shipping crates, this lot offers a fascinating glimpse into the past.



McTear’s is the longest-established auctioneer of whisky in the world. Entries are invited for this international auction. For a complimentary, no-obligation valuation, visit our Glasgow Galleries or contact our specialist on 0141 810 2880 or

Ewan Thomson

Ewan Thomson

Ewan Thomson

Whisky & Wine

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