Keith Hewitt

Whisky Collector and Historian of SS Politician

Keith Hewitt
Keith Hewitt

Keith has a passion for everything whisky. He resides in a small hamlet near Edinburgh, Scotland with his wife Dianne. He runs his own bearing and power transmission company called Scotia Bearings.

He has been collecting whisky since 1994, when he purchased his first bottle – a bottle of 1964 Black Bowmore. His whisky collection has grown substantially over the past 12 years, but in 2000 he acquired a very special bottle. This was a bottle salvaged from the SS Politician, which ran aground off Eriskay in 1941.

Since Keith purchased his bottle of Polly, he has been researching the story of Whisky Galore – both the true story of the Harrison Line’s vessel the SS Politician, and Compton Mackenzie’s adaptation Whisky Galore!

Keith has amassed a vast collection of artefacts and film memorabilia, in addition to many Harrison Line items and no less than three full bottles of whisky salvaged from the SS Politician itself.

His knowledge is based on extensive research and having the privilege to meet people involved in the actual events of the SS Politician in 1941. He has been assisting the producers responsible for the remake of Whisky Galore due in 2007 and Keith has arguably the largest collection of artefacts and knowledge on the subject.

Over the past few years, Keith has been presenting the story of Whisky Galore to organisations and whisky societies in the UK. In 2006 he completed a three night sell-out event at the famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and is due to make a return in the summer of 2007.

Keith also gives advice on valuations to whisky collectors and societies all over the world.

Keith is travelling to New Zealand in February 2007, returning after 3 years - in 2004 he first presented to the Christchurch Whisky Guild at a tasting and film showing of Whisky Galore!. This time, Keith will be appearing with Charles Maclean in a special evening to launch Dramfest 2007. Keith will be distilling the myth and magic surrounding the story of Whisky Galore, along with Charlie’s unique whisky tasting - a rare opportunity to taste some of the most famous blends from the 1940’s and compare them with some of today’s whiskies. All this in conjunction with an exclusive screening of the Ealing Studios film Whisky Galore!.

Most of the items that you see photographed in this website are items from my collection. I am always looking for new additions to my collection and so if you have any items or stories that you think may be of interest to me, please contact Keith Hewitt at

Bottles that were salvaged by Donald McPhee

These are the bottles that were salvaged by Donald McPhee and came up for auction at Christies Auctioneers, Glasgow on the 6th November 1987. The bottle that I purchased is a W&A Gilbey, circa 1940. The bottle is a plain two piece moulded glass bottle - driven cork and a plain wax seal. The glass is embossed “Federal Law Forbids Sale or Re-use of this Bottle”.

Click here to see more of my collection »

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