Whisky expert to auction off collection of rare spirits for new family charity

Whisky expert Charles Maclean is set to auction off a collection of rare spirits for his new family charity. 

The author has rallied the Scotch whisky industry to donate a collection of highly collectable drams for auction.

All the funds raised will go towards the The Maclean Foundation which hopes to raise money for clean water projects in developing countries. 

It comes after the trio of world record-breaking Maclean brothers completed a cycle and row to every distillery currently selling whisky in Scotland last month. 

The ‘outstanding’ auction’s 39 lots include a unique one of one Port Ellen from 1979, a 35-year-old bottle of Port Ellen, which is part of the Douglas Laing Old & Rare selection, and a 36-year-old Glengoyne from the Russell Family cask. 

Also available will be one of only six bottles in existence of Karuizawa Omoiyari, a single malt Japanese whisky and the first bottle of 278 from the Chichibu Distillery’s thousandth cask.

Charles MacLean.

Charles, who starred as Rory Macallister in Ken Loach’s award-winning film The Angels’ Share, said: ‘All the items have interesting stories. 

‘Some are very rare and highly collectable, although some lots are easily affordable – appealing to consumers as well as collectors and investors. 

‘The provenance of every item is flawless. 

‘The auction is unusual in many respects. 

‘Assisted by other trustees, who have or had long involvement with the Scotch whisky industry, we approached a number of friends and colleagues, and they have been hugely generous. 

‘The funds raised from this outstanding and unique auction will allow the charity to get off the ground and to start having an impact through the provision of clean water.’

The fundraising target for the auction is £60,000. 

The adventurous brothers recently completed a human-powered journey between 121 Scottish distilleries currently selling whisky to introduce the new charity to the industry. 

Between them, they travelled 2,200 miles by bike and 160 nautical miles across some of the most challenging bodies of water in the British Isles.

The auction is being hosted, free of charge, by Whisky.Auction.

Director Isabel Graham-Yool said: ‘This is one of the most remarkable auctions of my career. 

‘What is so special is that every single one of the 39 lots has particular significance, not only to whisky enthusiasts, but also to the Maclean family and their generous friends who donated such rare and exceptional bottles from their own private collections. 

‘We expect there to be a huge amount of interest in this charity auction.’

Also available will be an outstanding library of 40, primarily first edition, whisky books donated from the personal libraries of 15 of the world’s leading whisky writers, including Gavin Smith, Ian Buxton, Alice Lascelles, Nicholas Morgan, Dave Wondrich, Ingvar Ronde and Charles Maclean. 

To support the cause and see the rare whiskies available, visit 

Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s food and drink pages, in association with Cask & Still magazine.

Don’t miss the July issue of Scottish Field magazine.