With the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis being drastically felt across the hospitality industry, it has been an extraordinarily tough time for the on-trade sector. As Scotland's hospitality and licensed trade charity, The BEN is increasingly concerned about the impact of Coronavirus on the people within the industry.
In light of this hardship, Whisky Auctioneer is delighted to partner with The BEN who have curated a collection of rare and exclusive whiskies (view some of the highlights here) from Scotland's finest distilleries that will be auctioned off to raise funds for the people of the drinks industry in Scotland who have fallen on hard times due to Covid-19.
The BEN supports people of all ages who have worked in the licensed trade with beneficiaries receiving annual financial assistance as well as discretionary one-off grants for emergency situations. The BEN has been inundated with applications for support due to the devastating impact Covid-19 has had upon the industry. They would usually raise funds annually from hosting fundraising events and dinners, however, the ongoing pandemic has extinguished these sources of fundraising. Therefore it is critical that funds are generated using other methods to support the people of Scotland.
Featured within Whisky Auctioneer's Extended December Auction, the collection of over 25 rare expresssions have been generously donated by Scotland's whisky ambassadors, each feeling the urge to do something to help. 100% of the proceeds from each charity lot (identified with The BEN logo during the auction), including Whisky Auctioneer's 10% buyers commision, will go to The BEN to continue their vital efforts in supporting the licensed trade at this time.
In addition to some exceptional whiskies, the auction will feature two incredible experiences for whisky connoisseurs to get their hands on. The first is a special Glenfarclas tasting experience. This is your chance to bid on something unique – a private tasting for six people of Glenfarclas' "Five Decades of Family Casks", conducted online on a mutually convenient date. The guests will be taken through a tasting of 5 vintages from 1954 to 1993, featuring whiskies from 24 to an incredible 59 years of age.
The second exclusive experience is a tasting event with award winning independent bottlers, Douglas Laing. Another once in a lifetime opportunity, the experience is valid for six whisky lovers to dive into a magical world of cask samples. This two hour tasting event is hosted by Douglas Laing ambassador, Stuart Baxter, who will select some remarkable whiskies from all over Scotland.
Due to the extraordinary success of the first and second Ambassadors’ Collection auction in previous years, although there wasn't one planned for 2020, The BEN decided to organise their own auction, hosted by Whisky Auctioneer between the 23rd of December and the 11th of January, to raise funds for the hospitality industry.
John Hutchison, President at The Ben, said “The BEN works tirelessly to help disadvantaged colleagues from the Hospitality sector, 2020 has been one of the hardest years for our sector and as a consequence we have helped a record number of beneficiaries, at the financial impact on us as a charity is significant, and all monies raised from this auction will go straight to helping individuals in Scotland”
Chris Gardner, Chief Executive at The Ben also added, “We are touched by the continuing support and generosity of the trade in these extremely trying times. There are some superb bottles up for grabs and we thank everyone who has contributed once again”
Iain McClune, founder of Whisky Auctioneer, said: "Never has there been a more important time to form partnerships and support those in need in the hospitality industry. We're proud to host the auction of these charity lots, which include an impressive collection of liquid and some incredible once-in-a-lifetime whisky experiences. I have no doubt they will attract widespread interest from whisky lovers and collectors across the globe."
The Whisky Ambassadors’ stated, “The Scottish hospitality industry is what makes Scotland a great place to visit. Our pubs and hotels are legendary, we hear it first hand every time we attend whisky shows across the world. The whisky industry has always worked closely with hotels and pubs across Scotland. When Covid hit we could not begin to understand the stress it would put on our friends and colleagues within the hospitality sector.”
This year, more than ever before, we had to help. That is why Whisky Ambassadors from across the UK collaborated, at short notice, to generously donate one-of-one editions, single cask bottlings, virtual tasting experiences and bottles signed by industry celebrities to raise awareness and funds for The BEN in Scotland.
We wish for a highly successful auction that will raise lots of funds for a great charity, The Ben."
Over the past 2 years The Ambassadors’ Collection auction has raised thousands which was donated to The BEN to support those in the trade in Scotland.
Imperial The Whisky Trail The Imperial Gallon 4.5 Litre & Sample
In what is believed to be a first for the Scotch whisky industry, the auction will feature an Imperial Gallon (4.5 litres) of Imperial single malt which has been very generously bottled by Elixir Distillers. Built in the last years on the 19th century, Imperial is a distillery with a sadly chequered history, spending almost as much time in mothballs as it did distilling. It was under Allied Distillers tenure that the only distillery bottling of its single malt appeared, but thankfully a number of increasingly sought after independent releases like this have been produced over the years.
Auchentoshan 1966 44 Year Old
An impressive release from Auchentoshan, this spectacular whisky was distilled on 25th April 1966 and matured for a staggering 44 years in North American oak barrels. This is one of only 263 bottles released.
Glenglassaugh 42 Year Old
This single cask was bottled from a hogshead sourced from Massandra, a winery in the Crimea. It was distilled in 1973 and aged for a total of 42 years. One of only 175 bottles, this is extra special as it is signed by Distillery Manager, Alan McConnochie.
Chivas Regal The Icon
Chivas The Icon is a blend selected from some their rarest and oldest casks, some from 'ghost' distilleries lost forever. Chivas Brothers' Master Blender has created a blend that represents the very finest of the Chivas Regal range, crafting a timeless icon to indulge with, it is presented in a hand-blown crystal decanter.
Ardbeg 2005 The Whisky Cellar 14 Year Old / Private Cellars Selection
The auction will feature 25 bottles of a truly unique and particularly rare independently bottled Ardbeg from The Whisky Cellar's Private Cellars Selection, offered exclusively to the Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society. Distilled in March 2005, this iconic Single Islay Malt was aged for 14 years in single American hogshead #700038, before bottling in July 2019.
Bottled at a cask strength of 51.9%, the cask yielded 25 bottles, all of which have been exclusively offered to raise funds for The BEN.