A GOUROCK bar owner fought off competition from around the world to buy a rare bottle of malt whisky for his prized collection.

Jim Robertson of the Kempock Bar is one of the few owners of a bottle of malt from the famed SS Politician, which sank in the Outer Hebrides in 1941 on its way to New Orleans and Jamaica, inspiring the film Whisky Galore.

And now he has landed a limited edition from the 1990 first production of whisky at Speyside Distillery near Kingussie.

He paid £650 when the bottle went under the hammer at McTear’s Auctioneers and has put it on display.

Jim, 68, said he was delighted to get the historic Speyside bottle.

He said: “Bidding started at £500 and went on from there with bids coming in from around the world.”

Jim has built up an enviable whisky collection since he started buying rare bottles in 1986.

He also has other SS Politician memorabilia, including a piece of wood from the original whisky crate and slides of divers salvaging through the wreck, much of which remains under the sea.

Speyside Distillery chief executive, John Harvey McDonough, said it was a very emotional experience to watch their bottle being auctioned.

He said: “We were sharing a very special piece of our history with the world. We are delighted that this historic bottle has found a home, and that it is about to start a new chapter in its life.”

McTear’s whisky specialist, Stephen McGinty, said over the years McTear’s has auctioned some of the world’s most exclusive whiskies.

He said: “There is no doubt the first distillation from Speyside Distillery fits very firmly into this category. 

“Not surprisingly, given the significance of the bottle, there was huge interest with collectors at home and overseas ensuring there was lively bidding.

“This is a magnificent whisky, and we are delighted it has achieved such a good price at auction.”

Speyside Distillery is located in the Cairngorms and is home to the SPEY brand of single malt Scotch whisky.

The distillery was founded in 1990 by local businessman George Christie on the site of a former grain mill. It took him 30 years to achieve his dream of building a distillery, with the renovation work being undertaken completely by hand.

The purchase came in a humidor box with a hand written label, numbered bottle and wax stamped with the wording – 1990 year of 1st distillation. It is completed with a certificate of authenticity signed by Mr McDonough.