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Frequently Asked Questions about the whisky pub-jugs

Q: How to distinguish a rare jug?
A: One of the simpler ways is verifying the production mark that can allow to know the production year and consequently to know the rarity of the piece.

Q: How many pub-jugs are there?
A: It is almost impossible to calculate this number with precision, taking into account that the pu-jugs are manufactured worldwide and that frequently even the whisky distillers are not informed about all the advertising campaigns concerning their products effected in all countries. Also the catalogues are not always uptodate. It seems that an Australian collector has got more than 13,000 different pieces.

Q: Which are the most sought jugs?
A: The pieces most sought are those of the famous distillers such as: Johnnie Walker, Black & White, Dewar's, etc, particularly if they are part of limited, numbered or celebration series; moreover are pursued the jugs of whisky brands no more existing.

Q: Which is the best way to prepare a jug for expedition in order to avoid it arrives broken to destination?
A: Obviously we will never be sure that the jug arrives intact to destination, but the risk of damages can be minimised with some precautions. Firstly it is necessary to fill the jug with well tighten paper and to protect the spout and the handle (those are the parts that break very easily) by means of thick cardboard, then we will wind up the jug with at least of two layers of multi-bubble plastic cover. Then the jug must be put in a carton in which all the inside walls are covered with thick expanded polystyrene and we will fill with little polystyrene balls all the space left inside. In this way in case that the parcel falls down (very probably), the jug does not bumps onto hard parts. When more than one jug is shipped (inside the same parcel) is a good thing to leave enough space between adjacent jugs, by inserting thick pieces of polystyrene to avoid they can enter in contact. Nevertheless, it is a wise thing to insure the content of the parcel before the shipping…

Q: What are the "single-brand collectors"?
A: Very often the big problem of the pub-jug collectors is the space to fit their collection, so, taking into account that there are thousands of jugs, many persons take the decision of collecting only the pieces of one distiller; in such a way the range is almost limited, also from the economic point of view.

Q: Why are there so many different sizes of jugs?
A: The sizes are decided by the distillers to qualify at the most their company image. The jugs are no more used like in the past for their original purpose (adding to whisky a small part of pure water) and consequently the distillers have oriented also towards non standard sizes, mostly the much sought "Mini-Jugs", little masterpieces with good-looking, or on the impressive "King-Size" jugs, manufactured in few samples and so very required.

Q: Is it possible to repair a broken or damaged jug?
A: There are some restorers of ceramic and consequently every damaged jug, if complete of all its parts and not re-glued, can be restored in a professional way. What is important is to refer to a good restorer, capable and honest, by asking him before to give an estimate, because the cost of restoration is often greater than the value of the jug!

D: A restored jug has less value?
R: Clearly, it loses a part of its value. But, being the most part of the jugs quite old, the collectors do not reject restored jugs. Of course, the buyer must be informed in advance.

Q: Is there any association of pub-jug collectors?
A: Certainly, in US there is a very active association that promotes meetings and special events.

Q: Which country has produced more jugs?
A: Surely the Great Britain, since the most part of whiskys are Scottish, followed by U.S.A, Ireland and Canada.

Q: What determines the cost of a jug?
A: Being clear that the jug has to be in perfect conditions, without any damage or break, its maximum price depends mainly on its rarity, due to the pieces producted, and obviously, on the request, as in all sectors. The big brands are largely requested, so they are the most expensive.

Q: Why some jugs have the writing WHISKEY instead of WHISKY?
A: The most part of dictionaries mention both spellings. WHISKEY is referred to whisky made in Ireland or the US.

Updated: 1.11.2020