Macallan Water Jug

Whiskey Jugs - A growing hobby with some rare examples


Whiskey Jugs were born initially as a marketing and promotional tool, as were Whiskey decanters. Whiskey lovers like to add a little water to their malt whisky to soften the impact of the alcohol and allow more room for precious flavour.

Whiskey Jugs, or whiskey pitchers are used as a jug to serve water, have been used for advertising purposes for a great many years; and more commonly have been used to promote the sales of beers, wines and liquors.

It's the addition of water when enjoying Whiskey that has lead to an increase in the production of whiskey jugs in differing designs, colours, shapes and sizes. It's this explosion in their use as promotional tools that has seen them become increasingly collectible.

Promotional Tools

Over the years, these pitchers became known as "Pub Jugs". As early as the 1840's distilleries began offering free water pitchers to tavern owners to promote their products.

Although widely used in Europe, the use of whisky jugs for advertising purposes in the United States did not become popular until after World War II. Laws in some areas now prohibit the giveaway of such items to promote a liquor product.

Since the very beginning, assorted materials have been used in the production of these pub jugs. China, glass, tin, enameled metal and aluminum have all been used; but the china or porcelain water pitcher is by far the most popular.

A great many famous manufacturers have been enlisted to produce these jugs from around the world, which in itself has promoted these products as exceptionally collectable.

Royal Doulton, Wade Regicor, Euroceramics, Seton Pottery, James Green & Nephew, Elischer and Shelly to mention just a few.

Seagram Grand National Water Jug

Many of the larger, well known distilleries have designed their own shape and style of Whiskey Jug which easily identifies their company and product.

The collecting of these water pitchers or pub jugs is a relatively new hobby which really started to grow in the 1980's. Older jugs are most popular with collectors and are difficult to find in mint condition.

Visual appeal is an important factor in determining a jug's value. The rarity and condition of a jug is also a factor to be considered.

As this hobby, and the collection of Whiskey decanters has grown and the availability of older pitchers has decreased, the collection of newer pitchers has grown as has their value.

The assortment of shapes, bright colors, and advertising slogans available make for a most interesting and decorative collection. Whiskey jugs may be found almost anywhere including antique shops, auctions, flea markets and yard sales.

Prices for jugs can range from as little as $2.00 to thousands of dollars, making this an affordable hobby for any budget.

No matter what you call them, Whisky jugs or pitchers, water pitchers, whisky advertising pitchers or simply pub jugs, the collection of these beautiful pitchers is rapidly growing.

Collectors Clubs

Organizations such as the Whisky Pitcher Collectors Association of America have been formed to promote fellowship and communication amongst the collecting community.

Claymore Water Jug I would recommend you have a look at this site. Not only is it hosted by enthusiasts, it provides you opportunities to purchase Whiskey Jugs that may interest you, but it also provides links into other interesting sites.

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