The evening of Tuesday 10 April saw the second Distillers’ Charity Auction raise total proceeds of £212,000 from the sale of an incredible collection of rare whiskies at Mercers’ Hall in the City of London. We were privileged to have the Lord Mayor of London and Lady Mayoress in attendance at the pre-auction drinks reception hosted by our Master, Bryan Burrough. Both the Lord Mayor and Master spoke at the drinks reception to welcome over 130 guests to the auction and thank donors and all those involved for their generosity in supporting our charitable endeavours, which they reminded us were an important and integral part of livery life.
Following the drinks reception more than 70 lots went under the hammer of David Elswood of Christie’s and after 90 minutes of heavy bidding in the room and on the phone lines, the final lot was hammered. A bottle of Bowmore Single Malt Scotch Whisky 1964 Fino Cask 46 Years Old matured in its legendary No.1 Vaults was the most highly prized lot of the evening, with a winning bid of £31,000. This was followed closely by bottle number 14 of 83 of The Balvenie 50 Years Old Cask 191, distilled in 1952 and bottled in 2002. One of the oldest Balvenies ever released, it raised £30,000.
Other highlights include a one-of-a-kind bottle of The Dalmore 1976 Highland Single Malt Whisky 41 Years Old matured in a Graham’s Port Colheita 1963 Pipe that sold for £19,000 and a vintage distillery bottling of Glenfiddich 50 Years Old made from nine casks laid down in the 1930s, one for each of William Grant’s children who helped to build Glenfiddich Distillery, for £18,000. A 2017 release of The Macallan 40 Years Old matured in three Oloroso sherry casks exceeded its pre-sale estimate with a selling price of £9,500, as did a bottle of Lagavulin 12 Years Old, mostly likely distilled in the 1960s or 70s and discovered in the cellar of The Earl of Elgin, at £1,500.
The Master closed the evening with words of thanks for the extraordinary collection of rare whiskies gathered for the Auction and its success in raising such a significant sum to support the charitable work at the heart of our Livery. The Auction team are extremely grateful to all the producers and liverymen who donated lots, to Christie’s for running the auction, and of course to those who bid so generously. They are also most appreciative of a generous legacy grant made by The Diageo Foundation to help the auction be a sustainable, long-term fundraising programme, together with further donations from The Morrison Foundation and the William Grant Foundation.
The net proceeds from the Auction will go to support our Livery’s charity endowment fund, which supports provides the platform for our long term charitable giving, a program by the Alcohol Education Trust to extend their reach into Scotland to improving alcohol education for young people in Scotland, and the Lord Mayor’s Appeal towards the OnSide Youth Zones initiative creating opportunities for young people in London to thrive. Further details of how the proceeds are being used will be provided in the coming months on our website and in editions of Spirited.