The Distillers’ Charity and Sotheby’s have a six-year partnership to host three biennial auctions. The auctions showcase rare and unique Scotch whiskies and experiences under the name “The Distillers One of One”. The first Distillers One of One auction will take place on Friday 3 December 2021. The exceptional lots are now being revealed. They are one-off, never-to-be-repeated lots donated by companies from across the Scotch industry. They will range in estimates from around £1,500 upwards to £500,000, all to be offered without reserve. Each lot has been selected to showcase the excellence in craftsmanship, innovation and value of Scotch Whisky.
For collectors who want to own a piece of liquid history, there are some incredible releases. The highest valued lot of the auction, with an estimate of £350,000-£500,000, is a Talisker Cask of Distinction 1978. Casks of Distinction are selected for their outstanding quality. This is the first ever to be offered at auction. It is paired with a cask-end that has been turned into an original work of art by Turner Prize nominee Callum Innes. After further ageing in the cask for up to five more years, the whisky will be housed in very special bottles and wooden presentation boxes. They will feature the cask-end artwork of Callum Innes; another first for Casks of Distinction.
William Grant & Sons is providing three lots from Glenfiddich, The Balvenie and Ladyburn. All three exceed 50 years of age. Glenfiddich’s offering is four unique decanters. They were created especially for the auction and housed in a bespoke presentation case. The whiskies are from the 1950s: 1955, 1957, 1958 and 1959. The estimate for this rare collector’s piece is £220,000-350,000.
Beam Suntory are offering two lots, one from Bowmore, the other from Glen Garioch.
The Bowmore Onyx is a rare and unique 51 Year Old single mal. It is presented in a hand carved, bespoke black glass vessel, inspired by the terroir of the island home of Islay. Matured in a refill hogshead barrel from 1970, this whisky is bottled at 47% ABV. It is the first ever 51 Year Old released by Bowmore Distillery (estimate £100,000-180,000).
The Glen Garioch Cask lot features two full casks of whisky. The first, a 31-year-old cask from 1990. The second, an en primeur cask distilled in 2021. Estimate £100,000-150,000. The last time that Glen Garioch was distilled using direct fire on the stills was 31 years ago. The practice of direct firing is now being reintroduced. This will be the first cask from the newly fired stills, making this lot of historical significance.
The Glenturret is providing a Lalique decanter containing a unique Single Malt selected from 1987 Sherry casks. It has been created by Master Blender, Bob Dalgarno. To house this whisky, Lalique have created a One of One hand-blown decanter in rare green crystal. Included in this lot (estimate £15,000-25,000) is an invitation to The Glenturret Distillery to enjoy a gastronomic experience. The event will be led by Head Chef, Mark Donald at the new Lalique Restaurant.
On offer from Gordon & MacPhail is an unforgettable visit to Elgin in Scotland. The recipient will tour the historical warehouses. They'll sample from a selection of maturing Single Malt casks from the 1940s and 1950s. After choosing their favourite, a unique decanter will be filled with the whisky, plus a second bottle for drinking. This once in a lifetime experience carries an estimate of £80,000-160,000.
The Distillers’ Charity is the philanthropic arm of The Worshipful Company of Distillers. Proceeds from The Distillers One of One auction will benefit The Youth Action Fund. The fund focuses on supporting disadvantaged young people in Scotland. It aims to transform their lives and empower them to create positive change in their communities.
Jonathan Driver is the Master of The Worshipful Company of Distillers. He said: “The generosity of the Scotch Whisky industry in providing these unique lots has been humbling. Countless young people will benefit for years to come, thanks to the results of the auction. It is a testament to the spirit of the people who work in both the family-owned businesses and global companies. We cannot thank enough all those who have come on board with us and Sotheby’s to help realise our mission. And, to all the collectors who will be taking part on the day”.
Jonny Fowle is Sotheby’s Spirits Specialist. He said: “This landmark sale shows the strength of community spirit in Scotch Whisky. To bring this number of exceptional whiskies to auction, for a good cause, is reason enough to raise a glass to everyone.”