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Friday 19 April 2019

Cheers: 'I found €30 whiskey in the back of the wardrobe - now it's to sell for €1,100'

Spirited times: Eamonn Walsh with his bottle of Midleton Irish whiskey at his home in Tallaght.
Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Spirited times: Eamonn Walsh with his bottle of Midleton Irish whiskey at his home in Tallaght. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

A 29-year-old bottle of Irish whiskey hidden away in a wardrobe is set to be auctioned for up to €1,100 to the delight of its wine-drinking seller.

Eamonn Walsh (65), from Tallaght, Dublin, had bought the Very Rare 1990 bottle of Midleton whiskey after haggling with a shop manager in the town three decades ago.

The grandfather said the bottle was advertised on one price tag for IR£75 and on another for IR£30.

He managed to convince the shop the customer was always right and secured the sale at the lower price.

Fast forward three decades and Mr Walsh stumbled upon the bottle while doing a clearout and now it’s set to be auctioned in Scotland for up to €1,100.

“I bought the Very Rare Midleton whiskey in Roches Stores in the Square, Tallaght, in 1990,” Mr Walsh said.

“It was the World Cup and I was queuing when I saw a bottle of Midleton in a glass case, then I saw another one. The two bottles had different prices on them.

“I was told it was a mistake, so I said the customer is entitled to buy it at the [lower] advertised price.

“They called the manager. He said as it was a mistake, did I wish to purchase it at IR£30?

“I said ‘yes’ but I only had 10 pounds on me, so they let me come back for the whiskey the next day.

“I walked away with the whiskey that day thinking I’d save it for a special occasion, an anniversary, a big birthday.

“But there it has been, lying in the wardrobe for 30 years. I was doing a clear-out and I found it on the shelf.

“I started Googling it and then I found a place to auction it and I couldn’t believe how much it’s worth.”

The bottle is now in the UK and it is expected to be auctioned online within weeks on whiskyauctioneer.com.

Ross Fraser, from the auction website, told Independent.ie the highest priced Midleton the website had sold was a 1989 Very Rare bottle, auctioned for more than €8,000 last May.

The most expensive whiskey auctioned on the site was sold for more than €112,000.

“The bottle Mr Walsh is auctioning has sold in the past for anything over €600 to €1,100,” he said.

“Midleton is a very famous Irish whiskey and those bottles aren’t produced any more, so it has a lot of interest. People are fighting to get this bottle.”

Mr Walsh, who is a musician, said he was hopeful that the auction would raise enough to allow him to take a holiday.

“I have always wanted to go to Mauritius and India. It would be fantastic if the bottle got me a plane ticket,” he said.

“I wish whoever buys it good luck but I’m not a whiskey drinker. I guess that’s how it lay there so long.

“I would be a wine drinker.”

Irish Independent

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