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Charles MacLean and sons create charity

Charles MacLean MBE and his three sons have established a charity dedicated to clean water projects, which will include whisky-inspired fundraising.

Charlie MacLean whisky
L-R: Jamie, Ewan, Charlie and Lachlan MacLean

MacLean founded the charity with his sons, who are also record-breaking rowers: Ewan, Jamie and Lachlan MacLean. The trio became the first brothers to row any ocean, as well as the fastest and youngest trio to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

The Maclean Foundation will fund clean water projects through adventures and collaborations with the whisky industry – beginning with the brothers attempting to row, run and cycle between all of the Scottish malt whisky distilleries that currently sell whisky.

The brothers hope to complete the challenge in two weeks, ticking off 120 distilleries along the way. They will independently bottle and sell donated casks to fund clean water projects.

Lachlan MacLean said: “Clean water is something we all need to live. It is an essential building block to bringing communities out of poverty.

“Waterborne diseases typically kill more people each year than all forms of violence, with most of these deaths being children under the age of five.

“Through our foundation, we will help to widen access to the most basic necessities of clean water and sanitation to those who need it.”

Clean water for life

The MacLean brothers will begin their journey on Saturday (12 August) on Skye. The will journey across 2,000 miles by bike, and 150 nautical mules across seas around the British Islands.

Each bottle sold from their whisky collection, which they will build along the way, will provide at least one person with clean water for life.

Charlie MacLean MBE, an author of 18 books, who starred in The Angels’ Share, added: “We believe we can achieve something very special together, with the help of Scotland’s wonderful whisky industry, which I’ve been proud to be part of for decades.”

The MacLean Foundation is a registered Scottish charity, and more details can be found online at

Ewan MacLean, a Dyson design engineer by trade, said: “Our foundation is all about combining our passions for adventure and whisky to support people.

“We want to make a real lasting impact through our work – this is our purpose, our new focus.”

In 2017, World Whisky Day founder Blair Bowman embarked on a “record-breaking dash” around 60 Scotch whisky distilleries in a single day to collect bottlings that were auctioned for charity.

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