Some of the Ultra-rare Lots at the Second The Distillers One of One Auction

Some of the Ultra-rare Lots at the Second The Distillers One of One Auction

The Distillers’ Charity and Sotheby’s have revealed the first of the exceptional lots which will go under the hammer at the second The Distillers One of One auction of ultra-rare and unique Scotch whiskies and experiences, taking place on the 5th of October at Hopetoun House near Edinburgh.

The proceeds from this remarkable auction – set to remain the largest-ever Charity Auction of Scotch Whisky – will be donated to The Distillers’ Charity, principally to the Youth Action Fund, dedicated to transforming the lives of young people in Scotland.

Nearly 500 disadvantaged young people from across Scotland have already benefited from the £2.4 million raised by The Distillers’ Charity through the inaugural One of One auction in 2021 – to date, more than half of these young people have already gone on to secure employment, apprenticeships, further education, training, or work as volunteers.

For this year’s Distillers One of One auction, thirty-five companies from across the Scotch Whisky industry have confirmed their participation with 40 lots; among them, thirteen “Founder” Donor brands, many of whom donated in 2021 and will return this year due to the phenomenal success of the first auction.

Each brand will donate a one-off, never-to-be-repeated lot – currently ranging in estimates from £5,000 to upwards of £500,000 – with each of them showcasing the excellence in design, craftsmanship, heritage and innovation in Scotch Whisky.

A seemingly endless row of barrels

The auction has wide-ranging appeal for collectors seeking the opportunity to own a genuinely unique masterpiece – whether dedicated whisky connoisseurs or collectors more generally. Some truly exceptional lots will be available at the auction, such as Bowmore “STAC”: set to be one of the most contended for lots at the event, it has an estimated price of £300,000 – £500,000.

The Bowmore Distillery at night

At 55 years old, Bowmore STAC is the oldest whisky ever released by the famous Islay distillery, showcasing over half a century of skilled maturation. Distilled in 1962 and filled into a refill American oak hogshead, this rare single malt captures over five decades of expressive character.

A truly striking and ground-breaking vessel houses this beautiful, oldest-release whisky and pays homage to the island home where its inspiring sea stacks became the starting point for Bowmore STAC.

The iron gates into the Brora Distillery

The reawakened legendary distillery, Brora, will donate a never to be repeated release in the form of a handcrafted sculpture. This world-first artwork is completed with a Single Malt Scotch Whisky that defies the passing of time. The truly unique auction lot celebrates the artistry and heritage of its craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations.

Other lots already creating intrigue among whisky collectors and the industry include The Glenturret’s “Enduring Spirit”: a set of four bespoke Lalique decanters, filled with four unique whiskies made by renowned Whisky Maker Bob Dalgarno, and representing key moments in The Glenturret’s 260-year-old history.

To house these unique whiskies, Lalique has provided four beautiful crystal decanters using archived moulds from the 1980s – which is no longer for sale – each featuring an image depicting a key moment in The Glenturret’s history.

The images will be sandblasted onto the crystal bottles. The lot, estimated at £40,000 – £80,000, also includes an invite to visit The Glenturret distillery and to enjoy a sensational gastronomic experience led by Head Chef Mark Donald at the Michelin-starred Glenturret Lalique Restaurant.

“The Visionary” by The Glen Grant is a rare single malt Scotch whisky aged 68 years, which is amongst one of the oldest whiskies ever to be released by the distillery and, indeed, one of the oldest in the auction. This unique release celebrates the legacy of visionary forefather James’ The Major’ Grant, capturing his passion for exploration, eccentricity, and commitment to innovation and preservation.

The Visionary, estimated at £50,000 – £90,000, is presented in a hand-blown battuto-cut magnum decanter inspired by the vessels’ The Major’ used to house plants and fruits he discovered on his worldly travels. The whisky held inside has been matured in a single Sherry cask filled in 1955, capturing a rich character defined by aromas of soft ripe orchard fruits and flavours of vanilla, toffee, and sweet Sherry.

A bottle of the Coalescence of the Coast - Aged 55 Years in its open case

Highlands Distillery Glenglassaugh has created “Coalescence of the Coast – Aged 55 Years” – Master Blender Rachel Barrie has crafted this one-of-a-kind bottle to express the extraordinary character of Glenglassaugh after decades of coastal maturation.

Whisky at its peak has been combined from rare individual casks filled in 1963, 1965 and 1967. The coalescence of these casks in this fifty-five-year-old expression creates a multifaceted sensory experience with both complexity and beautiful balance. This precious whisky is held within a bespoke crystal decanter and carved wooden box and is adorned with the natural beauty of serpentine marble from the North Sea coast.

Each element has been hand finished and is inspired by the evocative coastal environment of Sandend Bay. (Estimate: £15,000 – £24,000).

The Samhla inside its very impressive case

Bladnoch is offering “The Samhla”. The distillery released The Samhla Collection in 2023 to showcase the connections between generations. Reaching back to those who came before them with The McClelland, heralding the present with The Prior and paving the way to the future with The Sage.

All three whiskies were built to both celebrate the treasure chest of rich stocks at Bladnoch and embody the brand’s heritage. The Samhla is the final addition, combining all three whiskies from the collection; this is the only whisky in existence that joins Bladnoch Distillery’s past, present and future together. The Samhla carries an estimate of £28,000 – £42,000.

A bottle of Royal Salute Coronation of King Charles III Edition with its open wooden case behind

Pernod Ricard is offering a unique and never-to-be-repeated special reserve which is not commercially available: Royal Salute The Coronation of King Charles III Edition – The Distillers One of One Special Reserve (estimate £14,000 – £24,000).

Sandy smelling one of his whisky blends

The blend is a combination of over 53 exceptional Scotch whiskies and features some very rare liquid from the Royal Salute 1962 Reserve Cask. Expertly crafted by Royal Salute Master Blender Sandy Hyslop, the coveted expression is housed in a Dartington Crystal decanter tinted in a deep sapphire blue hue, reminiscent of the precious stones set within the Imperial State Crown.

The decanter is presented in a stunning chiselled wood box inspired by the iconic Westminster Abbey, to which a One of One bespoke plaque pleated with 24-carat gold has been added for this lot.

A bottle of the Last Drop next to its box

On offer from The Last Drop is a Bespoke Blending Experience with their renowned Master Blender, Colin Scott (estimate £14,000 – £24,000). The winner of the lot will be invited to join Colin and members of The Last Drop team for a unique and personal blending experience at the original seat of the Kings of Scotland, Scone Palace, to create their own unique, Aged, Blended Scotch Whisky.

The Last Drop will draw samples from their inventory of maturing casks of single grains, single malts and aged blends from across Scotland, with ages of between 30 and 50+ years. Once the final blend is agreed upon, The Last Drop’s designer will create personalised, engraved bottles (compliant with Scotch Whisky labelling regulations), and the owner will receive a case of 12 x 700ml engraved bottles.

The experience will be rounded off with dinner at Scone Palace and a tasting of some of the treasures from The Last Drop archive.

A unique hand engraved bottle of Aberfeldy

Bacardi will offer two lots: the first one is the Aberfeldy 39 Years Old, drawn from cask #1, distilled on the 6th of December 1983. The Cask is an exquisite and rare edition of their beautifully aged Single Malt; time has crafted a whisky which is bold and fruity.

It is rare to find a cask of this age and quality: the venerable oak has imparted silky complexity and a luxurious richness to the maturing whisky (estimate £10,000 – £20,000).

A bottle of the McDuff 1971 with engraving on the bottle

Their second lot is a MacDuff 52 Years Old, distilled on the 23rd of April 1971. This bottle of whisky is the only second known release, direct from the distillery under its own name, ‘MacDuff’.

It was distilled on the 23rd of April 1971 and laid down in a single Hogshead cask; the estimate for this unique lot is £10,000 – £20,000. The venerable liquids have been encased in a beautiful and sophisticated bespoke Crystal Carafe created exclusively for the auction, handmade in France by one of the most prestigious crystal glass makers in the world, La Cristallerie Royale de Saint-Louis.

Old Pulteney's spectacular Bow Wave bottle

Old Pulteney is offering “Bow Wave”: this exceptional and rare 45 Years Old single malt spent four decades in hand-selected American oak casks before resting for a further five years of maturation in a single first-fill Spanish oak butt.

Bow Wave (estimate £20,000 – £30,000) takes its name from the wave that forms at the bow of a ship when it moves through the water, a notion that has inspired the decanter’s unique physical form. Conceptualised and crafted in Scotland, the deep blue bottle itself is made from hand-blown glass; the cork is hidden within the glass sculpture and can be accessed only through a bespoke handcrafted anchor key.

Silverware surrounds the bottle to represent the crashing ocean waves, all of which is then expertly placed on one of Scotland’s most unique natural resources: rich grey slate from the distillery’s home in Caithness. The winner will also receive a 10ml tasting sample.

A case in the shape of a Mansion house, with bottles inside it

Inspired by the Gordon family’s ancestral home and hand-crafted in sycamore, walnut and brass by Linley Design, House of Hazelwood presents “Christmas at Hazelwood” (estimate £14,000 – £24,000) – a unique architectural box in the form of an Advent Calendar.

The box contains a 50ml measure of every House of Hazelwood whisky released to date behind 24 numbered advent doors alongside a full bottle (70cl) of a unique 51-year-old sherry cask matured blend to be opened and shared on Christmas Day.

The rare whiskies held behind the advent doors include the very first drops of whisky to run off the stills at Girvan distillery, the last existing drops from a number of closed distilleries, and lost styles of whisky that can no longer be produced today.

Both the 70cl bottle of whisky at the heart of the box and the architectural box itself are unique pieces that can only be purchased through the One of One auction.

Holyrood Distillery's Arrival with its box

Holyrood, established in Edinburgh in 2019, are using the opportunity to launch its first-ever bottle of whisky: “Arrival”, inspired by the distillery’s iconic location in the former Innocent Railway terminal in Edinburgh.

Drawing on Edinburgh’s rich brewing heritage, Arrival (estimate: £5,000 – £10,000) puts the already iconic Holyrood hourglass front and centre. The distinctive beer bottle silhouette and brown glass pay tribute to a once-bustling glassworks located at Baileyfield, not too far from the distillery, while the bold typography and unique shape of the label are decidedly forward-looking in their design.

Founded by an award-winning master blender, KANDOBLANC is an inspired celebration of duality, not only in whisky making – but also in art, aesthetics and creative influences.

With a team renowned for their unparalleled expertise and ground-breaking innovations in the whisky industry, KANDOBLANC has handpicked the esteemed Distillers One of One auction to unveil its exceptional offering on a global stage.

This momentous occasion will feature a one-of-a-kind objet d’art, exquisitely crafted by visionary talents and outstanding in its beauty and exclusivity.

Founder Donor William Grant & Sons will be offering a unique Ailsa Bay Cask for the auction, with further information to be revealed soon.

With fewer than four months to go until the second auction, Beanie Geraedts-Espey, Managing Director of Distillers Ventures, said, “The remarkable results of the inaugural One of One auction were a testament to what can be achieved when an industry truly comes together both to celebrate and forge positive impact.

The success of the 2021 auction, together with the enduring commitment of so many incredible donor brands, as well as sponsors, is driving us to create an even more memorable event this coming October. Judging by the exceptional quality and creativity of our donors’ lots, we hope once again to achieve record-breaking hammer prices in support of our charity.”

Jonny Fowle, Global Head of Spirits at Sotheby’s, added, “The second Distillers One of One auction is already generating a buzz among collectors who have been eagerly awaiting news of this year’s lots, so it is exciting to finally unveil a selection of highlights.

Featuring the oldest whisky ever released from Bowmore, Glenglassaugh, Old Pulteney, MacDuff and Kilchoman, the highly anticipated event will further cement the significance of what has established itself as the biggest charity spirits auction of its kind. This is clearly an occasion for which the creativity and generosity of the Scotch whisky industry come to the fore.”

Besides the incredible support that the Distillers One of One auction is receiving from the participating Donor brands and their generous lot donations, several sponsors of the 2021 auction have once again confirmed their auction support for 2023.

In particular, Simpson’s Malt, makers of high-quality malt; McLaren Packaging, a specialist supplier of paper-based packaging to the Scotch Whisky industry; and Glencairn Crystal, inventors of the world’s favourite Glencairn Glass, have all returned to sponsor the auction this time as Programme Sponsors, supporting the Distillers One of One and Youth Action Fund over a two-year cycle of Auction planning, execution and subsequent grant-making.

In addition, Beamish International, a global private client business specialising in rare whisky, has committed to becoming the Headline Programme Sponsor for 2023/2024. Bentley Motors Edinburgh and Forsyths will both be Auction Event Sponsors for the 2023 Auction.

Read more news from the spirits industry here.

Some of the Ultra-rare Lots at the Second The Distillers One of One Auction 2

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