And finally… high spirits
The Distillers’ Charity hosted its second biennial One of One Auction, in partnership with Sotheby’s, sponsored once again by McLaren Packaging, in the stately Hopetoun House near Edinburgh last week.
Comprising a selection of ultra-rare Scotch whiskies, the 39-lot sale – which attracted lively bidding in the room and fierce bidding online – was attended by 200 guests from across the globe, and brought an outstanding total of £2,248,750, more than double the pre-sale low estimate.
Hammer proceeds of £1.8 million from the auction will primarily benefit The Distillers’ Charity’s Youth Action Fund, which aims to transform the lives of young people in Scotland aged between 16 and 25, by helping them to develop knowledge, confidence, resilience, and skills.
The result means that the first two Distillers One of One Auctions have raised a combined total of £4.2m for charity.
Grant Gordon OBE, chairman of The Distillers’ Charity, said: “We’re very proud to see that the Scotch Whisky industry has once more come together and raised an incredible amount in support of disadvantaged young people in Scotland.
“In the past 21 months, with proceeds from the first One of One Auction, over 800 young people who were isolated, disengaged and inactive, have already benefited from support through the Youth Action Fund. This year’s auction has once more raised a substantial amount of funds, which will contribute towards our aspiration of changing the lives of another 1,000 young people across Scotland in the next two years.
Jonathan Driver from The Distillers One of One, added: “We’re overwhelmed to see that our second One of One Auction has been another resounding success, galvanizing whisky brands old and new, all in the name of philanthropy.
“To have raised such an exceptional sum for Scotland’s disadvantaged youth this year is very special to us, and we cannot wait to hear about further inspiring stories on how these funds will be used in practice.
“We’re also delighted to announce that the next One of One Auction will be back in 2025, continuing the momentum of creativity, philanthropy, and celebration that we’ve built.”
Leading the auction was the spectacular Bowmore STAC 55 Years Old, the oldest whisky ever released by the distillery, which sold for £562,500 (est. £300,000-500,000).
A spirited extended bidding battle broke out as collectors enthusiastically offered amounts far in advance of the previous bid, to secure the highly prized single malt housed in a ground-breaking magnum-sized, 1.5 litre, hand-blown glass.
A new auction record was achieved when Brora Iris 50-Year-Old 1972, the oldest Brora single malt that has ever been bottled, presented in a 1.5 litre decanter and suspended within an imposing one-of-a-kind handcrafted stone sculpture, sold for £400,000.
In the run-up to the sale, online bidding had already broken Brora’s previous auction record; on the day, multiple bids resulted in an outcome establishing the highest price for a bottle of whisky released from the Brora distillery.
Donald McLaren, managing director of McLaren Packaging, said: “We were delighted to once again lend our support to The Distillers One of One charity auction, which reinforces our commitment to deliver a positive impact on the communities within which we operate.”