William Grant & Sons Donates to Historic Whisky Auction

William Grant & Sons has made a historic donation to the inaugural Worshipful Company of Distillers’ charity auction, The Distillers One of One, taking place with Sotheby’s at Barnbougle Castle at 1.00pm on 3rd December 2021.

It’s hoped the auction will raise in excess of £1 million for Scottish charities.

A leading Rare Whisky House, which combines Glenfiddich, The Balvenie and ‘lost gem’ distillery, Ladyburn, William Grant & Sons is providing a unique lot from each distillery to mark the launch of its Private Clients business. This service will provide unprecedented, privileged access for international connoisseurs and collectors to some of the finest and oldest whisky reserves in the world from six generations of whisky-making tradition, for enjoyment, personal legacy or as an alternative investment.


As a founding partner to The Distillers One of One charity auction – formed by The Worshipful Company of Distillers – the William Grant & Sons Private Clients business will make a significant contribution to the combined auction sales. The lots, which have never before been made available, are expected to reach in excess of £285,000 in total sales. They exemplify the ongoing Private Clients business proposition to reveal unseen wonders of the whisky world – rare whisky expressions, experiences and access to William Grant & Sons’ generations of knowledge, expertise and learning – for the world’s most discerning collectors.

As one of the oldest independent family-owned whisky distilleries in the world, the Private Clients business is anchored in authenticity and generations of care and custodianship of some of the oldest and rarest whisky reserves. These are shown in this never-to-be-repeated selection of auction lots bringing together the most coveted liquids in six bottles, across three one-of-a-kind items created by the Private Clients division:

Glenfiddich: The 1950s
A four-decanter prelude set of one-off bottlings from Glenfiddich distilled in the 1950s – some of the oldest reserves in the William Grant & Sons stocks. Nurtured over generations directly by the family and Master Distillers, these expressions from 1955, 1957, 1958 and 1959 are housed in a cabinet fitted with a high precision thermometer and hygrometer from world-renowned instrument makers, Fischer, allowing for careful control of internal environmental conditions. Each liquid is bottled in a Baccarat crystal decanter with a 24-carat gold neck and encased in a cabinet designed and made by HM The Queen’s royal warrant holding cabinet maker, NEJ Stevenson. The cabinet is created using figured sycamore, maple and hard wood and features an innovative mechanism to lay the whiskies flat to prevent the cork drying. The cushioning within the cabinet consists of lamb nappa and goat suede, some of the softest natural materials in existence.

Ladyburn 1966 David Bailey one-off John Lennon Edition
Following the success of the Ladyburn David Bailey Limited Edition in early 2021, this is a unique bottling from ‘lost’ distillery Ladyburn. A 54-year-old whisky distilled in 1966, featuring a highly sought-after hand-signed photograph by David Bailey, one of the greatest contemporary portrait
photographers of the modern era, of the icon John Lennon, initially released in 1965 as part of Bailey’s iconic Box of Pin-Ups. Ladyburn was one of the shortest-lived distilleries in history as it only operated for nine years (from 1966 to 1975) with very few casks remaining. It is regarded as a
vanguard of its time in knowledge and expertise and the liquid marks an extraordinary moment in the history of Scotch whisky in the 1960s.

The Balvenie 1964 Single Bottle Release
This is one of the rarest and oldest expressions of The Balvenie ever to have been made available. For this unique single bottle release of The Balvenie 1964, The Balvenie Malt Master, David C. Stewart MBE, hand selected this truly exceptional cask – 10379 – distilled on 18 November 1964. It has been
maturing in Warehouse 24 for 56 years and has developed a remarkable complexity during this maturation. It is bottled in a one-of-a-kind, hand-blown crystal decanter made by Dartington Crystal and finished with a hand-made calligraphic label by world-renowned illustrator Peter Horridge. The decanter is housed in a black walnut book-opening case created by Morayshire-based furniture craftsman Sam Chinnery. This is packaged in a walnut case with solid brass stopper and corner bracing made by NEJ Stevenson, holders of HM The Queen’s royal warrant for cabinet making.


Jonathan Driver, a leading authority on whisky, holding the dual position as Master of the Company of Worshipful Distillers and Managing Director of William & Grant & Sons’ Global Private Clients, comments: “William Grant & Son’s rich legacy of giving back to its communities comes from the heart and over generations – it is integral to the way we do business. The Distillers One of One is hugely significant because it is the first time that these precious whisky stocks have been made available. These liquids are
beyond rare, they are truly ‘one of one’, and their sale is historic as it represents the future legacy held in these liquids”.

Beyond The Distillers’ One of One auction, the global Private Clients personal service will build direct-to-distillery client relationships by offering ongoing, tailored access to incredibly rare and precious family stocks. Rare whisky expressions, experiences and access to generations of knowledge and expertise will form the proposition.

For further information about William Grant & Sons Private Clients and to register to bid at The Distillers One of One auction, please contact Jonathan Driver’s team at William Grant & Sons Private Clients at privateclients@wgrant.com.

See also: The Comprehensive Guide To Investing in Whisky Bottles

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