Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Antique Paper Label Whisky Bottles on Permanent Display in the Distillery District of Toronto

Fifty vintage whisky bottles show some of the alcohol products that were made in the Distillery District compound and distributed all over the world. 

At the back of Pure Spirits seafood restaurant, between a coffee shop and underneath a content marketing ad agency there are fifty paper label whisky bottles in no particular order and with no information besides their beautiful labels. Ballantines Scotch and some of the more recognizable brands were bottled here, the liquid coming in wooden casks from Scotland.  Each bottle has a different story of course, some of the most unlikely spirits were actually made here (rum and vodkas) while some simply used the bottling plant. Obviously whomever made the exhibit was just trying to put some merchandise on display.

Here are some of the bottles that show the evolution of the gorgeous Gooderham and Worts labels which proves that someone at the company was beginning to think about the brand. The green Lemon and Lime 'Tom Collins' Mixer bottle hails from a different age when highballs were very popular and almost everyone drank after work. I remember from my bartending class that the Collins were brothers and Tom drank gin while John drank rye.  Tom Collins is still remembered today, while John Collins rye drink is a distant memory. 

G&W whisky was carried to the most remote regions of the world and so names like Government House, Twin Seal and Bonded Stock had additional meaning as secure from counterfeit.
Prince Regent G&W whisky bottle by RoberrificThe Prince Regent brand of whisky was very popular in Canada and helped make Gooderham and Worts  with its black and white stallions around a red G&W stamp into an easily recognizable brand. The idea that a Prince had his own private stock of whisky appealed to Canadians, who all wanted a taste.

Prince Regent G&W whisky bottle, a photo by Roberrific on Flickr.

1 comment:

Malcolm said...

I've seen that and it's pretty cool. There is (or was) a bottle that said "Ardbeg", handwritten on a label,which I'm sure wasn't brewed here.