Originally known as the “London Merchant,” the SS Politician was a 450.5’ steam turbine-powered cargo ship that launched on November 15, 1921. Two-decades after its maiden voyage, it ran aground off the Hebridean island of Eriskay in Northern Scotland while hauling some 22,000 cases of whisky (and £3M in Jamaican currency). The ship’s cargo was subsequently pilfered by locals, which ultimately served as the basis for the book, Whisky Galore, and its 1949 and 2016 film adaptions.
The bottles of malt whisky that weren’t plucked directly from the SS Politician were reclaimed by the sea, with the tides littering the local seafloor with numerous bottles, a myriad of which have eventually been recovered by divers. And such is the case with the latest bottle recovered from the wreck, which is currently on the digital auction block at the Grand Whisky Auction. While the bottle remains sealed, its contents are no longer appropriate for human consumption, though it’s nonetheless an amazing collector’s item. And, in addition to the 80-year-old malt whisky, the auction lot includes an antique diving helmet, a brick from the SS Politician, and a poster from the 2016 film. As of the time of writing, bidding has reached $7,893 (with the reserve not yet met).