Glen Mhor Bill of Sale 10th January 1955
This can be filed under the one that got away. If you're into whisky and why else would you be here? You'll know that your experiences are littered with bottles and drams that you've sought or hoped to replace without success.
Earlier this month, a 1955 Glen Mhor bill of sale came up for auction which continued the strong links with the distillery and Christieson of Montrose, who we've discussed previously in a 1954 bill of sale and also a 1956 bonding invoice. This underlines the bottler being a regular and consistent customer of Glen Mhor, in the 1950s at least.
My own particular interest in this bill of sale was specific as it is signed by a Birnie, mostly likely William to confirm payment. I'm also a sucker for the old typeface and can imagine someone diligently crafting this bill without too much thought as to what it might become in the modern age.
A parcel order for 20 casks might not seem much in today's era where independents are banging on Diageo's door, pleading for truckloads of casks, but it was good and consistent business for a distillery that relied on filling without the backing of a large corporation.
There are a couple of other interesting points, for instance confirmation that these casks are bonded at Glen Mhor in Warehouse No17b and 17c on Insurance plan. Now, we know that Glen Mhor didn't have 17 warehouses, so I'd presume we're talking about the original warehouse (#1) and row 7, layer b? That would be a reasonable assumption as to how things were placed and tracked in an era before barcodes and scanners.
Also, the casks were treated which suggests that these were refill of some kind as this was the majority cask type at Glen Mhor and butts would have still been reasonably plentiful. Twenty hogsheads of refill status, of course, we don't know how many times they've been refilled and where the casks originally came from. That's an area I've not tapped into for Glen Mhor and ex-bourbon casks. Mental note taken.
The terms and conditions seem in keeping with prior documentation, which we've already discussed elsewhere. Leaving me to reflect upon the hammer price (including postage) that was almost £50. That puts Glen Mhor into a league of its own in documentation; move aside Brora, Rosebank whippersnapper and exaggerated Port Ellen.
Joking aside, I hope whoever won the lot appreciates it and makes it available to view - far too many relics of all persuasions are locked away nowadays. The city of Inverness deserves to be proud of its distilling heritage and a display is long overdue.