On Arran Whisky: That Sinking Feeling

John Bruce recounts the fateful passage of the SS Politician – and what happened to its precious cargo

S.S. PoliticianIn the course of writing the first two articles for this esteemed publication I have come to realize that the whisky is only a part, albeit a glorious part, of the equation. With this in mind, despite the restrictions imposed by the cruel editor’s predilection for the brevity of the philistine, this edition shall attempt to cover, in no particular order, history, golf, film appreciation, travel recommendations and indeed whisky.
On the morning of 5 February 1941, the SS Politician, bound for Kingston Jamaica, ran aground on sandbanks in the Sound of Eriskay. The entire crew was rescued by local men and word quickly spread that a major part of the cargo was 28,000 bottles of whisky. This cargo, as any right minded man of the sea will tell you, was salvage or near enough as made little difference, and thus anyone retrieving it was entitled to keep it. The islanders, some from as far away as Lewis, swiftly “rescued” a significant part of it.


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