Ambassador Royal 12 Years Old 1980s 1 Litre

$535 AUD

This was the top of the range as it appeared in the 1980’s at 43% but in the much rarer 1 litre version by Taylor & Ferguson. With original box. Good general condition for its age with a good fill to the bottom of the neck.

There is a delightfully fanciful description on the back label and on the back of the box as to how the brand got its name, suggesting that it arose from a Scottish trade mission to China in 1702 which went with ample supplies of whisky both for the journey and to present as a gift to Chinese dignitaries. The leaders of the mission were, in effect, “Ambassadors”, hence the name of the blend. The fact that blending was not to start until a hundred and fifty years later should not get in the way of a good story.

This product is located in the United Kingdom.



This was once a very well known export brand in the United States, belonging to Taylor & Ferguson, who set up as blenders in 1931. They were acquired by Bloch Brothers (Distillers) Ltd., after the Second World War, the latter having also bought Scapa Distillery near Kirkwall in the Orkneys (and also owned Glen Scotia in Campbeltown from 1930). The whole shooting match was sold in 1954 to the Hiram Walker group, which had come to Scotland from Canada to establish what became a very substantial whisky business, only to sell out in 1987 to Allied Lyons. (Most of the Hiram Walker assets are now owned by Pernod Ricard).

It is not clear who originated the Ambassador brand  - Taylor & Ferguson or Bloch Brothers.  Here is a label from the 1940’s clearly showing it as Bloch Brothers and showing them as owners of Glen Scotia and Scapa distilleries. Taylor & Ferguson, under Hiram Walker, became the licensee of Scapa Distillery and the latter’s product featured strongly in the Ambassador blend. It was promoted as ‘Scotch at its World’s Lightest’, and Ambassador continued to be available, as Deluxe, Deluxe 8 and 12 years old, and Royal 12 and 25 years old, principally in the US, until the late 1980s. Bloch Brothers was dissolved in 2010 and Taylor & Ferguson the following year.