The One of One Auction 2023: Post event

The Distillers’ Charity hosted its second biennial Distillers One of One Auction, in partnership with Sotheby’s, in the stately Hopetoun House near Edinburgh on Thursday 5 October. Comprising a selection of ultra-rare Scotch whiskies, the 39-lot sale which attracted lively bidding, both in the room and online by collectors from across the globe, brought an outstanding aggregate total of £2,248,750 (total hammer price of £1,800,000) more than double the pre-sale low estimate. The Auction, which was attended by 180 people in the presence of the Master and Lord & Lady Hopetoun, culminated in all 39 lots being sold, and 18 records broken.

Of the Auction hammer price proceeds of £1.8 million, 90% will benefit The Distillers’ Charity’s Youth Action Fund, which aims to transform the lives of young people in Scotland aged between 16 and 25, by helping them to develop knowledge, confidence, resilience, and skills. The Youth Action Fund has assembled a panel of complementary charity partners, each providing expertise and experience in achieving sustainable employability outcomes for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The 10% balance of funds raised will help to support the Distillers’ Charity’s general charitable work, including Distillers’ Vocational Training & Education and City & Livery giving.

We are delighted that thanks to the generosity of Scotch Whisky industry donors, and buyers, the Youth Action Fund will have long-term funding to carry out its vital work. Building on an already strong foundation, the proceeds from this Auction will go towards supporting even more young people throughout Scotland over the next two years.

One in four young people are living in poverty, with many of those in the most disadvantaged areas still suffering from the effects of Covid-19 lockdown on their development, leading to them stepping away from education. Youth Action Fund support, through our partner charities, has played an essential role in developing their resilience, confidence and motivation and to get into further education or employment.

Celia Tennant, Chief Executive of Inspiring Scotland, who manage the Youth Action Fund (YAF) on behalf of The Distillers’ Charity

The 2023 auction result means that the first two Distillers One of One Auctions have raised a combined total of £4.2m for charity.

Grant Gordon OBE, Chairman of The Distillers’ Charity

“We’re very proud to see that the Scotch Whisky industry has once more come together and raised an incredible amount in support of disadvantaged young people in Scotland. In the past 21 months, with proceeds from the first One of One Auction, over 800 young people who were isolated, disengaged and inactive, have already benefited from support through the Youth Action Fund. This year’s Auction has once more raised a substantial amount of funds, which will contribute towards our aspiration of transforming the lives of young people. 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 the Youth Action Fund’s charity partners who work tirelessly every day to support young people in Scotland.”

Grant Gordon OBE, Chairman of The Distillers’ Charity
Jonathan Driver, Chair of The Distillers Ventures Limited

“We’re overwhelmed to see that our second One of One Auction has been another resounding success, galvanizing whisky brands old and new, all in the name of philanthropy. To have raised such an exceptional sum for Scotland’s disadvantaged youth this year is very special to us, and we cannot wait to hear about further inspiring stories on how these funds will be used in practice. We’re also delighted to announce that the next One of One Auction will be back in 2025, continuing the momentum of creativity, philanthropy and celebration that we’ve built. We look forward to welcoming back our partners, including auctioneers Sotheby’s, and we’re proud to make a long-term commitment to funding and securing a future for young people in Scotland that benefit from the funds raised. The Distillers’ Charity would like to thank all who donated to, and bid on, the One of One Auction 2023, and we look forward to seeing them again in 2025.”

Jonathan Driver, Chair of The Distillers Ventures Limited

We would like to take the opportunity to thank Livery members for their support, encouragement and help in making the One of One Auction fundraising initiative possible and showing the philanthropic values of the Worshipful Company of Distillers in action. A special mention of thanks goes to the Working Group, who supported throughout the entire planning process and at the events themselves.