A Week in Whisky: ‘Pat’s’ collection goes under the hammer

THE largest whisky collection ever to come up for auction starts going under the hammer today.

More than 9,000 bottles have been assembled by “Pat”, an anonymous collector, and are together expected to fetch $5 million (£3.9m).

The first batch will be on sale at until 5 October.

Iain McClune, the website’s founder, said: “The story behind how the collection started is an intriguing one – the collector came from not even enjoying whisky to becoming hooked and he pursued with zealousness this journey to not only collect, but also gain knowledge and experience in the world of whisky.”

“Pat”, the collector, added: “Many bottles included will simply never or at least rarely be available again – I was fortunate to start my collection at the time I did.”

Hammer time

Staying with auctions, and Bonhams is gearing up for the first of two whisky sales before Christmas.

The first part of a Macallan collection will go on sale at its Edinburgh showroom on 7 October.

Top of the bill is a Macallan 50 year old in a crystal decanter made by the French glassmaker Lalique.

Martin Green, Bonhams’ whisky specialist in Edinburgh, said: “This is one of the most interesting and wide ranging collections of The Macallan to come to auction for some years; to own just one of these bottles would be a dream come true for most whisky collectors.

“We are selling the bulk of the 70-strong collection on 7 October, with the remainder offered in our sale on 9 December.”

There’s something fishy about this whisky…

Staying with The Macallan and, erm, still staying with auctions, The Macallan has launched a partnership with The Atlantic Salmon Trust to mark the release of the sixth and final bottle in its “edition series”.

Mark Bilsby, chief executive of the trust, said: “The Macallan is committed to safeguarding the wild salmon swimming through its estate along the River Spey and, with their support, we will be able to strengthen and expand vital projects that aim to bring more salmon back to our waters and give Atlantic salmon the future they deserve.”

As for the whisky itself, it was aged in a mixure of American and Europe oak casks, which had been seasoned with sherry.

Whisky maker Steven Bremner used five styles of cask to create the Scotch, which carries a recommended retail price of $126 (£99).

Bremner said: “This complex single malt provides the perfect conclusion to the edition series as there is so much to discover in this whisky.”

Jura supports mental health charity

Auctions, auctions, and more auctions this week, with Jura getting in on the act too.

The island distillery will auction 470 bottles of 19-year-old whisky to raise money for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

The bottles go on sale on today, and will stay on the site through until 5 October.

The auction is part of owner Whyte & Mackay’s efforts to support mental health charities around the world.

Iain McClune, who is still the founder of Whisky Auctioneer, said: “Now more than ever mental health is of utmost importance and it’s a privilege to bring this Jura 19 year old to auction in support of such a worthwhile cause as SAMH.”

Whisky academy founder wins entrepreneurship award

From auctions to awards, and Kirsty McKerrow, founder of Edinburgh Whisky Academy, has been named as the “family business entrepreneur of the year for Scotland and Northern Ireland” at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

It must be a very wide trophy to get all those words onto the front.

McKerrow, whose brother also works in the business, launched the academy in 2015.

She said: “My brother and I have grown up steeped in whisky heritage, with our forefathers starting Mackinlays whisky in 1815, so it’s extremely rewarding to receive this recognition for developing a business that maintains our family’s links to the whisky industry and helps to enhance people’s appreciation of Scotland’s national drink.”

The winners of each category now go to the national final of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards – good luck, Kirsty!

Tourism prize for Glengoyne

Glengoyne is also going to need more space in its trophy cabinet after picking up a gold medal at the inaugural International Spirits Challenge (ISC) Tourism Awards.

The prize comes hot on the heels of winning gold at the Design Business Association Design Effectiveness Awards over the summer.

Stuart Hendry, brand home director at Glengoyne-owner Ian Macleod Distillers, said: “Following hot on the heels of ISC Golds for our Glengoyne 10, 12 and 18 year olds, this award recognises the hard work and dedication of the team who ensure our visitors leave with a smile on their face and a deeper understanding of our unique processes, flavours, and history.”

The distillery’s visiors’ centre was created with Edinburgh-based branding agency Contagious.

The agency has also worked on projects with Angel’s Envy in Louisville, the Irish Whiskey Academy in Dublin, and the Absolut Elyx Experience in Sweden.

Release round-up

And finally, back to auctions briefly, with a unique gold and silver quaich going under the hammer to raise money for The Ben, the charity that supports workers in the Scottish hospitality industry.

The quaich was created by Isle of Mull Silver & Goldsmith to accompany the release of Tobermory’s 23-year-old oroloso cask finish, which joins its core range and goes on sale at £320 a bottle.

The island distillery’s latest creation followed the same path as its 15-year-old liquid before then spending added time in the sweet sherry casks.

Also hitting the shelves this week is bottler Douglas Laing & Co’s 1993 Macallan, the latest in its XOP The Black Series.

Just 244 bottles of the whisky are going on sale in Europe and Asia, with a recommended retail price of £2,150 each.

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s whisky pages.