Letters: Walker worth; Boodles peddler


In 1990 I was fortunate to win the grand prize, a Johnnie Walker 150th anniversary Scotch, at a scotch tasting party in London.

It came complete in a presentation box with a Brierley crystal decanter. I can get very little information on this scotch. Can you provide any information (rarity or value)?

Keith Ruddy, Canada

Dear Keith:

What you have is a specially-packaged bottle of whisky marking the 1970 celebration of John Walker & Sons' founding in 1820. The whisky originally was called Walker's Kilmarnock Whisky, and sold in Walker's grocery store in Ayrshire, Scotland.

Unopened, mint condition bottles of the limited-edition anniversary variety you mention have been valued as high as $2,000. That makes it the second most expensive Walker scotch ever produced. The No. 1 was the Blue Label 200th Anniversary, a special release of cask strength in a Baccarat crystal decanter, which has sold for as much as $3,000.

Royal Brierley Crystal, incidentally, is a 300-year-old maker of fine crystal products, so obviously the decanter boosts the overall worth to that $2,000 figure. The company was called Stevens and Williams until the1930s when it was changed to Royal Brierley Crystal to indicate its appointment as the Royal British Glassmakers.

Hello Bill:

I found your blog in researching Boodles British Gin. I moved from New Hampshire to North Carolina two years ago. NC is like NH in that we have ABC stores but, unfortunately, NC does not stock Boodles.

I have found a internet retailer and was able to order three bottles, but I'm curious as to who the U.S. distributor might be. Any info on my favorite but hard to find libation is appreciated.

Richard S. Blake, Apex, NC

Dear Richard:

Thanks for the inquiry.

Boodles is produced by Chivas Brothers for Pernod Ricard USA which is the national distributor.

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