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Distillers One of One Auction fetches £2.25m

The Distillers’ Charity One of One Auction more than doubled its pre-sale estimate, raising £2,248,750 (US$2,715,815).

Bowmore STAC 55
Bowmore STAC 55 Years Old was the top-selling lot at the auction

Proceeds totalling £1.8 million (US$2.2m) from the auction, which took place yesterday (5 October) in partnership with auction house Sotheby’s, will be donated to The Distillers’ Charity’s Youth Action Fund.

The money will support young people in Scotland aged between 16 and 25 years old by helping them develop knowledge, confidence, resilience and skills.

Held at Hopeton House near Edinburgh, Scotland, the charity welcomed around 200 guests from across the world.

The top auction sale was Bowmore STAC 55 Years Old – the oldest whisky ever released by the Islay-based distillery, which sold for £562,500 (US$679,331). The bottle had been estimated to fetch between £300,000 and £500,000 (US$366,000 and US$611,000) pre-sale.

Grant Gordon OBE, chairman of The Distillers’ Charity, said: “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.

“We sincerely thank all our industry leaders, the whisky collectors and the craftspeople that pour their passion into every cask and bottle, for their support and generosity, as well as the Youth Action Fund’s charity partners who work tirelessly every day to support the young people in Scotland.”

The One of One auction is a biennial event, and this year’s sale was the second iteration.

The previous sale has helped more than 800 young people across Scotland, who were isolated, disengaged and inactive, Gordon said.

This year’s auction delivered 19 auction records, which included bottlings from Brora, Glenglassaugh, Glenmorangie, The Glenturret, Glen Moray, and The Last Drop to name just a few.

Oldest Brora single malt

Jonny Fowle Sotheby's
Jonny Fowle of Sotheby’s during the auction

Brora Iris 50 Years Old 1972, the oldest Brora single malt that has ever been bottled, was presented in a 1.5-litre decanter, suspended in a one-of-a-kind handcrafted stone sculpture. The bottle was snapped up for £400,000 (US$483,080), the top end of its pre-auction estimate.

Meanwhile, The Gordon & MacPhail Recollection Showcase, featuring five engraved Glencairn decanters with an ‘extremely rare’ one-off 700ml single malt from a closed distillery, was bought for £93,750 (US$113,222).

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s head of whisky, said: “In 2021, the inaugural Distillers One of One sale broke the mould for whisky charity auctions, not just through the creativity of the donations, but also through the value generated for The Distillers’ Charity.

“For 2023, the participating distilleries really went above and beyond to stretch the bounds of their generosity and creativity. The galvanising feeling of partnership, community and conviviality built a resulting auction that was greater than the sum of its parts and the results have once again exceeded anything that we thought was possible before this project began. We would like to thank all of the donors who have worked so generously to make this auction a success and look forward to its development in 2025.”

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