Supporting Details for "Bonhams Responds to 'Conspiracy' Accusations"
The errors below are not admissions by Bonhams to mistakes or misconduct; it is my research.
Also, those checking Bonhams' website will note some errors are corrected. After the "Ardbeg incident," I had privately notified Bonhams of other errors. Some were remedied prior to sale, per my notes.
JUNE 2012 NEW YORK AUCTION
Ardbeg 17 (No link, removed from web)
Bonhams claimed this was "Circa 1900" and strongly resisted evidence to the contrary. This article gives details. The bottle dated from about 38 years later.
Listed as "Early 20th Century." Illinois tax stamp from 1940s. Federal tax stamp that did not exist until after Prohibition. Glass embossing postdates 1933. Label lists Fleischmann as sole US distributor; this did not happen until 1938.
Listed as "Circa 1930," which implies this is Prohibition whisky. Distributor '21 Brands' was founded after Prohibition. Glass embossing postdates Prohibition. Federal tax stamp postdates Prohibition. No Prohibition-era medicinal labeling.
Same as above (minus 21 Brands detail).
Same as Glen Burgie.
The lot title is misleading because it is not the name of the whisky. It implies the bottle contains Glenfyne malt, which would be quite rare. It is not Glenfyne; it contains a blend of unknown whiskies. The description also stated the cryptic "Distillery purchased by Glenfyne Distillery in 1919." Why mention 1919 here? What does it have to do with sale of this bottle, and what are bidders supposed to assume from it? The bottle dates from at least 15 years later than 1919.
Listed as "Circa 1920." It dates from at least 14 years later. Lacks Prohibition labeling. Glass embossing postdates Prohibition. Federal stamp postdates Prohibition. Browne Vintners founded 1933.
Description claims "Blended 1899," which could commonly be inferred to mean bottled in that year. Description then states "1920 single malts" and "Grain 1914-1920." Now indication is bottled in 1920. Description does not identifify the actual bottling year, 1952. Somebody paid $1,547 for a 1950's blend.
Bonhams' description reads "Drambuie Liqueur Co. (1927) LTD." This is the company's name and founding date as listed on the label, but it is presented in the catalog spot where dating is typically given. 1927 is irrelevant to dating and should not be listed here. It's not Prohibition liquor. Post-Prohibition federal tax stamp, two Post-Pro state tax stamps, no medicinal labeling.
Described as "Early 20th Century." Glass embossing postdates Prohibition. Federal tax stamps postdate Prohibition. State tax stamps postdate prohibition.
Described as "Early 20th Century." Glass embossing postdates Prohibition. Browne Vintners founded 1933. Federal stamp postdates Prohibition.
OCTOBER 2012 NEW YORK AUCTION
Description reads "Distilled 1949, bottled 1957." Copyright on label reads 1970. "Fake tax stamp" from latter 1980s.
"Circa 1940's." Brand did not look like this in 1940s. Label design is from the 1970s.
"Circa 1940's." The label states company established 1887 + 75th Anniversary Bottling = 1952. 1940s description is unnecessarily misleading when the label indicates actual bottling year.
"Circa 1886." 1886 is the patent date of the glass design, not the bottling date for the whiskey. 1886 was inscribed on all Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey bottles for many decades. Early ones read "Baltimore" not "Rochester" with other marks not seen here. More photos are needed to winnow down dating, but c. 1910 is more likely. (Also note government chemists of the era described Duffy's as being "whiskey of a very poor quality." Mr. Duffy himself admitted it was neutral grain spirit. Whoever paid $1,904 for this, enjoy your vodka).
"Circa 1949." It's hard to tell from a photo, but this seems to date from the 70's. Certainly not 1949.
"Circa 1950s." No federal tax stamp and the style of cap/seal mean latter 1980s or after.
"Circa 1950s." The counter-evidence is so sad and glaringly obvious that I can't even talk about it.
"Circa 1950s." Actually a recent export.
"Circa 1950s." No "Forbids" embossing means not from before 1964. Whisky Advocate pegs this as 1980s.
"Circa 1950s." Distillery not called "Buffalo Trace" until 1999. Again see WA article.
"Circa 1950s." No tax stamp. Closure is not 1950s style or materials. Latter 1980s.
"Circa 1950s." Modern day export.
"Circa 1950s." The brand's labeling and bottle style did not appear this way in the 1950s. No "Forbids" embossing so not prior to 1964. Seems to be mid 70s.
Bonhams stated, "One bottle is bourbon and one bottle is liqueur. Estimate is correct." (Note that this information was issued as a correction). Estimate was $200-$300. Neither bottle is bourbon. Both are 35% ABV. One is a current bottling and the other is an earlier one (but the distillery was founded in 1997, so not that much earlier). Pritchards never made a "Sweet Lucy" bourbon. Sweet Lucy liqueur retails for about $24.