Sandy Macdonald bottle-shaped publicity booklet 1930s

$95 AUD

An unusual advertising booklet in the shape of the once famous mottled Sandy Macdonald whisky bottle. A careful reading of the text, combined with the photographs, dates this, with all probability, from the 1930’s. Some of the language – “Scotch whisky has been for many years the universal beverage of, at any rate, the English-speaking races the world over” – suggests a by-gone era!

Glendullan Distillery is featured. Macdonald, Greenlees Limited, the owners of the Sandy Macdonald brand, were the licensee for many years as part of DCL, one of their forerunner companies, William Williams and Sons Ltd., having built the distillery in 1897.

A sticker on the front cover shows the “sole-agents for USA” as Henry Kelly & Sons Inc., 413/421 West 14th Street, New York.

The booklet is in pristine condition, apart from some very slight rusting of the staples, and runs to 16 pages plus covers. A great piece of early Scotch whisky advertising literature.

This product is located in Australia.


Sandy Macdonald

Belonging to Macdonald Greenlees, it became one of DCL’s admixed brands whereby Scotch malt whisky (or in one case Irish pot still whiskey) was blended with Canadian grain spirit in order to get round Canadian protectionist measures of the 1930’s. Sandy Macdonald, with 40% malt content, was the best of the bunch.

These brands were not sold in Britain at that time but were aimed at the lower end of the Canadian market. It may also have had a role during Prohibition.

However, as a blend Sandy Macdonald is said to date back to 1840 when it came into existence with the setting up of Alexander and Williams, as whisky merchants in Edinburgh. This eventually became Macdonald, Greenlees and Williams (Distillers) Ltd., subsequently falling to DCL ownership in 1925.  The company remained a significant DCL subsidiary for many years but, along with the brand, has quietly disappeared from the market under current Diageo marketing strategies.