The Distillers’ One of One Auction of Ultra-Rare Scotch Whisky

The Distillers’ One of One Auction of Ultra-Rare Scotch Whisky

Barnbougle Castle ©Rosebery Venues


Sotheby’s and The Distillers’ Charity Announce Partnership to Host Three Auctions of Ultra-Rare and Unique Scotch Whisky and Experiences

The Distillers’ Charity and Sotheby’s today announce a six-year partnership to host three biennial auctions of ultra-rare and unique Scotch whiskies and experiences under the name “The Distillers One of One”. The first Distillers’ One of One auction – comprising one-off, never-to-be-repeated lots specially created and donated by leading Scotch Whisky distilleries – will take place at Barnbougle Castle on the outskirts of Edinburgh on Friday 3 December 2021. There will be over 40 lots, which will showcase the excellence in craftsmanship, innovation and value of Scotch Whisky, ranging in estimates upwards to £250,000.

The Distillers’ Charity is the philanthropic arm of The Worshipful Company of Distillers. Proceeds from the One of One auction will benefit a fund, which has been created by The Distillers’ Charity focusing on supporting disadvantaged young people in Scotland, transforming their life chances and empowering them to create positive change in their lives and communities. Working with charity partners, including The Prince’s Foundation which offers education and training programmes, the Youth Action Fund will provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, discover their values and be work-ready.

The Prince’s Foundation’s President, HRH The Prince of Wales, Duke of Rothesay, has sent The Distiller’s Charity a warm message of support saying how pleased he was that the combined forces of the Scotch Whisky industry were standing alongside each other to benefit countless young people and provide them with the tools they require to become vital members of their communities.

Jonathan Driver, Master of The Worshipful Company of Distillers, said: “Our ties with the Scotch Whisky Industry have been invaluable in creating this landmark sale, and the generosity shown has been overwhelming. Across the spectrum of the industry from independents to family-owned and global companies, we have come together in a collective endeavour to support the youth of today in Scotland through practical training and education. We are also delighted to have Sotheby’s on board to help with our philanthropic mission which will have far-reaching benefits for decades to come.”

Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine and Spirits, commented: “Working closely with The Distillers’ Charity and The Worshipful Company of Distillers, we will harness our knowledge and expertise in hosting auctions to create a regular series of sales that will not only shine a light on the Scotch Whisky industry but also raise valuable funds to support disadvantaged young people in Scotland.”

Further information about the contents of The Distillers One of One will be distributed by Sotheby’s and The Distillers’ Charity in the autumn.


The Worshipful Company of Distillers is excited and proud to present a rare opportunity to acquire a bottle of the legendary Karuizawa Distillery’s Five Decades whisky. This sale has only been possible thanks to the incredible generosity of this donation from Liverymen David Croll and Marcin Miller of the Kyoto Distillery in Japan.

Karuizawa’s ‘five decades’

Karuizawa – Five Decades Cased

A bottle of Karuizawa Five Decades, a single malt made with whiskies distilled between 1960 and 2000. The whiskies were married in an ex-Karuizawa cask before bottling. This intricately engraved bottle was released in 2015 exclusively for Isetan department store and is presented in a lockable presentation box.

Karuizawa was founded in 1955 and was Japan’s smallest whisky distillery. In 1959, it became the first Japanese distillery to export whisky overseas. Karuizawa distillery stopped production in 2000 and closed for good in 2011.

Karuizawa – Five Decades bottle view

Proceeds of the auction will be for The Distillers’ Charity and its ongoing support for the Lord Mayors Appeal, for Future Youth Zone Barking & Dagenham, helping disadvantaged young people in one of London’s most deprived boroughs.

A huge debt of thanks is also owed to Sukhinder Singh, Isabel Graham-Yooul and their team at Whisky.Auction for enabling the sale on their Charity Platform.

We are sure that this significant item will stimulate a great deal of interest 

The opportunity to acquire it begins on Sunday May 2nd at and is open for bids until Tuesday May 11th

Good Luck … and Thank You ! 

Karuizawa – Five Decades

The Master’s Charity Bike Ride goes ahead under “Rule Six Restrictions”

We are providing an update on the Distillers 500 event in light of the new restrictions put in place by both the UK Government and Scottish Government with effect from Monday 14th September to combat the spread of Covid 19 (the “Rule of Six”). The organisers had already completed a detailed Health & Safety risk assessment for the event, including the risks of Covid 19 and had a detailed plan to ensure the safety of the Riders, Support Team and others.   That plan has now been updated to reflect the new restrictions and additional measures that will be taken to ensure that the Riders and Support Team are able to comply with the new restrictions and safely undertake The Distillers 500 – these measures include, where relevant, riding in smaller, separate, groups of 2 or 4, self supporting at stops, and limited interaction at other times. These are in addition to the standard measures that we already have in place to comply with the existing Government guidance and rules on combating the virus. The Master and Riders are still hugely excited about their mammoth undertaking and  are ready to do whatever is required in order to comply with the new restrictions (as they evolve).

Because of the new restrictions unfortunately the arrival event with the Lord Mayor at Guildhall will be closed to all Liveryman, but the good news is that it is all being recorded on film for our first YOU TUBE VIDEO. Watch this space.

You can follow the riders by logging onto our social media sites:


There is still plenty of time to support the riders


There is still time to support our riders and sponsor them via our JustGiving page. Show your support today and visit:

THE MASTER: Kenny MacKay

Having started my career in 1977, I have lived through some remarkable
changes in our industry – This continuum is also reflected in our
membership, with somewhere over 85% of our Livery being involved in
distilling and associated trades, allowing for great fellowship amongst us.
Of particular interest to me are our charitable initiatives, as I believe our
Livery presents unique opportunities to “give”- whether that giving is
Time, Talent or Treasure. It has therefore given me huge pleasure to be
able to support Future Youth Zone for our Charity bike ride.

James Higgins

James is a Liveryman and Steward of the Distillers’ Company. James
is an in-house lawyer and has spent the last 21 years in the drinks
industry working for Scottish & Newcastle and Diageo. He has
undertaken a number of endurance sports events over the years and
so is very much looking forward to taking part in Distillers500. He is
riding for The Royal Marines Charity. James’ father was a marine in
the 1950s and fought in the Korean War. James wanted to do
something to honour his father’s service and all those in the Royal
Marines family that The Royal Marines Charity does so much to

Ed Macey-Dare

Ed Macey-Dare is a solicitor at Lee Bolton Monier-Williams – a law firm
famed for its work in wine and spirits brand protection. Ed is the Clerk
of the Distillers’ Company and also a Liveryman. He is riding for The
Stonyhurst Foundation, a charity launched in July of this year which is
focused on widening access to the school by removing financial
barriers. It is the largest ring-fenced independent bursary and fee
assistance charity of its kind in Catholic independent education in the
UK. Having been educated at Stonyhurst himself – and also the
recipient of a bursary – this is Ed’s way of saying thank you to his alma
mater and putting something back.

Simon Swift

Simon spent most of his early career working in the contract
catering sector including at Epsom Racecourse and Lords Cricket
Ground. He joined the drinks sector in 2010 with a move to
Bibendum Wine Ltd where he set up a new retail proposition – The
Wondering Wine Company. In 2018 he saw a gap in the market to
supply reusable, shatterproof and recyclable polymer drinkware
to the events sector and set up govino (UK) LTD. He also spends
time working with REEL BRANDS a leader in developing plastic
free packaging. Simon is cycling for The St Nicholas Nairobi Fund,
set up to support and care for children in some of the poorest
areas of Kenya. In 2011 funds were raised to construct a purpose-built school educating 90 young children with the aim to give them hope of a better start in life for their family and local

Alan Montague-Dennis

Alan is a Liveryman and Court Assistant of the Distillers’ Company.
He is the UK Director of Prestige Sales for Mentzendorff. He
entered the wine trade working for Saccone & Speed and then
moved to Majestic Wine, Hatch Mansfield and Allied Domecq. A
veteran cyclist, he has toured around France, Spain, Portugal, Italy
and The Cape Argus in South Africa. Alan is cycling to raise money
for the charity, Action Against Hunger (AAH); helping to save lives
for almost 40 years, across nearly 50 countries AAH have led the
global fight against hunger.

David Wilson

David is a Liveryman and Master of the Keepers of the Quaich and
has worked in the drinks industry for 24 years, holding a number
of senior leadership positions for Morrison Bowmore Distillers, Beam Suntory and currently William Grant & Sons. He is married with 4 children. A keen cyclist and outdoor enthusiast, David is excited to be joining the Distillers 500 and the very worthwhile charities which the team are supporting. David’s chosen charity is Parkinson’s UK, a charity that works tirelessly to help those affected by this challenging and life changing condition.

Ann Medlock

Ann is the co-founder of Golden Decanters, an independent bottler of single malt Scotch whiskies. Ann is a recreational cyclist, who once tackled the Caledonia Etape. A passionate supporter of the Woodland Trust, Ann wanted to highlight the importance of our forests for harbouring wildlife and making humans happy too! The mighty oak, so important in the Scotch whisky industry for the maturation of spirit, in general supports upwards of 400 other species! She also has fond memories of her local youth club
and is delighted to be part of a team hoping to contribute to Onside
Youths Zones for the 21st century!

Scott Allen

Scott is MD at Allen Associates (HPE) Ltd, the largest Scottish based chemical and process engineering design consultancy serving the Scotch whisky and related industries. Although not strictly a distiller, Scott has worked at over 100 distilleries so feels very much part of the distilling community. Scott is a keen cyclist, so being able to combine that with the
Distillers’ charity ride from his hometown to London was too tempting to turndown. He is riding for the Scottish Association for Mental Health in recognition of the fact that many of us will suffer from a mental health problem at some point in our lives; this is therefore an area which needs our support, particularly during the current pandemic.


September 16th – 22nd 2020


As I am sure you are aware, I rather stupidly said I would do something different for Charity in my Master’s year.

Well, this year has certainly been different from anything I could possibly have imagined, but our Livery Company’s charity response has helped soften some of the disappointment – and hopefully will continue to do so for this initiative.

In that regard, either through bravado, or else after an additional glass at the end of one of our functions (or perhaps both!), I rather foolishly suggested cycling from Scotland to London to raise money for charity, knowing that it would challenge me personally  (as I approached my 60th birthday) and might encourage others to do the same.

Over one year on, with COVID-19 delays and subsequent uncertainty, we are now GREEN FOR GO. It’s a month before those legs (hopefully) take me from my home in Auchterarder to the City of London. Over 2000 miles of training, including 60 miles on my 60th birthday and I still feel a little under-prepared, but I am ready as I ever will be for this challenge of a lifetime!

Four other stalwart riders from the Livery (James Higgins, Ed Macey-Dare, David Wilson and Alan Montague-Dennis) and another three from within the drinks industry (Anne Medlock, Scott Allen and Simon Swift) have accepted the challenge to ride with me. There is no hiding place as the ride will be filmed all the way with daily blogs on our social media platforms, ending with a video of the ride on our new You Tube Channel. Do follow our progress and stories! More later.

50% of all the money raised will go to the Lord Mayor’s Appeal (Future Youth Zone, a charity in Barking & Dagenham that is part of the national OnSide Youth Zone network). I am passionate about the work they do across the country’s most disadvantaged areas. They give hope to young people in deprived areas, providing them with somewhere safe and inspiring to spend their free time, in order to help them achieve their full potential.

Gavin Evans CEO of Future Youth Zone commented: “We are so grateful for the Worshipful Company of Distillers for supporting Future as Founder Patrons, and to Master Kenny MacKay for taking on this incredible challenge to raise much needed funds for our work”.

Click the link to learn more:

In addition, each rider has also nominated their own personal charity, to which an equal share of the remaining 50% will be donated. Those charities are: Saints & Sinners Club of Scotland, The St Nicolas Nairobi Fund, Woodland Trust, Royal Marines Charity, Scottish Association for Mental Health, Parkinsons, The Stonyhurst Foundation and Action Against Hunger.

All fundraising will be routed through the Distillers’ Charity.

Donating is easy and can be done in 3 simple ways
(each one will enable us to claim gift aid):

  1. Transfer money to our Bank at C Hoare & Co. Sort Code 15:99:00. A/C number 19276390. A/C name: Distillers’ Charity account. IBAN: GB20 HOAB 1599 0019 2763 90. BIC: HOABGB21.
  2. Send a cheque to Kim Lyons, payable to “The Distillers’ Charity”, to 1 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3JT.
  3. Via the Just giving link:

We plan to arrive in London on City Giving Day September 22nd, which is part of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.  We are very pleased that the Lord Mayor himself has agreed to welcome us all on arrival at Guildhall Yard, where we can hopefully present him with a substantial cheque for Future Youth Zone.

We also hope that Liverymen, friends and family will be there at the end to join us in Guildhall Yard and also for a limited number there will be a (socially distanced!) finishing party at London Scottish Regimental Headquarters in Horseferry Road. More details to follow in due course.

Kenny MacKay


June 7th – June 16th 2020

The Worshipful Company of Distillers announces an online Whisky Auction

The Worshipful Company of Distillers’ online charity auction will be held from June 7th through until June 16 , with all proceeds going to The Drinks Trust’s ‘Your Round’ appeal to support people of the drinks industry who are facing severe hardship as a result of Covid-19. The Drinks Trust has experienced a huge increase in demand for its services, with many individuals from the industry now in desperate need.

The Livery is appealing to anyone who has those special single bottles, cases, or casks to donate them to our charity auction. If you wish to participate, please contact Middle Warden Chris Porter at Also, follow the on-line auction on and on our website at

Kenny MacKay, Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, commented: “There has never been a time in history when the challenges facing our industry and its people has been greater. At every level in business we face unprecedented difficulties, particularly for the lower paid and the young. As part of a wider initiative by The Distillers’ Livery Company to support The Drinks Trust, this auction is a demonstration of us standing alongside our Trade in a time of great need. We are delighted to be able to help with our donations and the boost that the charity auction will give to the ‘Your Round’ appeal.”

Ross Carter, Chief Executive of The Drinks Trust, said: “We are grateful to have the support of the Distillers’ Charity in this time of crisis. It is heartening to know that the drinks industry is acting with solidarity to support colleagues who are less fortunate and facing hardship.”

Notes to the Editor

The Drinks Trust (Registered in England and Wales, charity number 1023376)

The Drinks Trust is the community organisation for the drinks industry, offering support and services to help its community thrive, to upskill, to broaden their knowledge, to network and to learn from one another. It will also be there to support them in challenging times, with wellbeing and financial assistance.

The Distillers’ Livery Company would especially like to thank Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh and Whisky.Auction for their help in enabling this vital fundraising initiative to take place.

The Distillers’ Charity (registered in England and Wales, charity number 1038763)

Charitable giving lies at the heart of The Worshipful Company of Distillers’ purpose. The Distillers’ Charity was established in 1955. Our vision is to make a difference to young people by improving alcohol education, training and vocational opportunities and working with other Livery-related charitable causes, including within the drinks trade.

For all media enquiries, please contact Paul Finch at The Distillers’ Livery Communications on 07718 136146 or

Visit to OnSide Youth Zone

In March, The Master, Renter Warden (Chris Porter) and IPM’s Bryan Burrough and Richard Watling had a first hand viewing at Future, the brand new facility to be opened by the charity OnSide Youth Zone for young people in Barking & Dagenham in April. 

Barking and Dagenham Youth Zone joins a network of Youth Zones across the country, with over 25,000 members enjoying facilities based in the Wirral, Wolverhampton, Manchester, Oldham, Wigan, Blackburn and Bolton.  

The Barking and Dagenham site is the first to open in London. Ranked the 3rd most deprived local authority in England, almost 1/3 of children in the borough live in low-income families. 1 in 10 adults are out of work in Barking & Dagenham – the highest unemployment rate of any London borough. 

37% of children live in poverty in Barking and Dagenham, 6th worst in London and young people there make up 21% of total population. 

The site, when open, will be a place where friendships can be forged and will be open seven days a week for young people to have use of a sports hall, music studio, boxing ring, and cooking facilities and quiet rooms for reading and discussion. The centre aims to teach young people new skills, help build friendships and provide support. They leave feeling confident and positive about their future, with renewed sense of belonging, place and purpose. 

Hosted by their indefatigable CEO, Gavin Evans, our Distillers Group’s tour were left in no doubt that the decision to support Future, the chosen charity of the Lord Mayor, was one that we should support and in turn give support to Future. A chance to help young people in one of London’s most deprived boroughs. A chance to fulfil potential away. 

Future Barking & Dagenham had it’s official opening by HRH Price Harry on April 11thwhich was attended by the Master in recognition of the Distillers Charity’s contribution.

We look forward to maintaining close links with Future and learning of the many positive stories that will emerge from it.       

The Scottish Charity Distillery Tour 2017

On a bright blustery day in early September, ten crews consisting of a Distiller and consort gathered at the historic and newly restored distillery of Annandale in the borders, for the start of a unique tour of new, restored and lesser known distilleries the length and breadth of Scotland. The brainchild of Liverymen Peter Mackay and Alex Bruce and designed to explore a range of the new distilleries of Scotland, we also had the chance to discover beautiful byways and exciting road passes in the splendour of the autumn colours.

Starting with the meticulously restored Annandale Distillery of Teresa Church and David Thomson in the Lowlands of Dumfriesshire, and ending with the traditional style of Aberfeldy we were also able to experience Francis Cuthbert’s one-man farm distillery of Daftmill of 100,000 litres on the same day as the vast new Chivas Bros Dulmenic, producing 10 million+, tour the very new and smart Ballindalloch of Guy Macpherson-Grant, the Victorian splendour of The GlenDronach on Speyside and the modernity of Kingsbarns in Fife and Aberargie in Perth and Kinross owned by our own Morrison family.

The relentless attention to quality, the passion for authenticity and historical accuracy, the patience of waiting for the spirit to mature into whisky and age appropriately were all very evident and highly encouraging for the future of the industry.

625 miles from the first of seven distilleries in three days tells only a tiny part of the story whereby we explored breath-taking and dramatic scenery across the Lowlands then up to the heights of the Glenshee passes, Tomintoul and the Lecht. Expert navigational skills were needed to stay on the right pathway. An impressive line-up of cars was another highlight of this amazing trip with PM Morrison’s achingly beautiful Bentley leading the concours for grace and luxury, PM Maxwell leading the symphony of sound in his burbling V8 Tiger, the Barratts’ Alvis purring contentedly, and the Master heading up the overseas contingent with his 1964 Porsche 356, usually making its presence felt with the characteristic air-cooled chatter. A short stop at Kilmany was the opportunity to pay homage to Jim Clark whose birth town, led by the grandfather of Peter Mackay, had erected a bronze statue of startling likeness to the great grand-prix driver himself.

To help our charitable endeavours the distillery owners were incredibly generous in the provision of free tours accommodation and meals, especially Brown-Forman and the GlenDronach with our stay at the Glen House. The Spanish lady really did appear to haunt the corridors in the depths of the night – not just the consequence of exuberant tasting of the wonderful malt on offer.

Finally, and wearily, we arrived for the grand finale at Broomhall, the family seat of the Earls of Elgin and Kincardine where a concours was staged to show off our pride and joys in front of the magnificent façade. Before dinner that night we were shown the schoolroom where the young Bruces were educated with selected friends from the village; it now houses the memorabilia of their two Viceroys of India – magnificent headgear and jewellery and fascinating letters from Queen Victoria among many others.

A delicious dinner preceded toasts and calls for ideas for future events – Islay and the western isles, the Shetlands and Hebrides were mooted; we worked hard at the plans while sampling the delicate malts of the Adelphi collection.

All too soon we were off to get some rest before preparing for the annual Livery Edinburgh dinner, of which more anon.

The Master