Whisky Ambassadors’ Collection returns for 2019 with auction proceeds going to a Scottish drinks industry charity

A group of Whisky Ambassadors have come together to create a collection of rare and exclusive whiskies donated by their companies that will be auctioned off to raise awareness for a Scottish drinks industry charity.

Published 17th Jul 2019
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

This is the second year the Whisky Ambassadors’ Collection has gone to auction to help raise raise awareness and funds for The Ben (The Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society) in Scotland.

The charity supports people of all ages who have worked in the licensed trade for at least three years full-time with beneficiaries receiving annual financial assistance as well as discretionary grants for emergency situations.

• READ MORE: Brand ambassadors gather together unique whisky collection to auction off for charity

Due to the extraordinary success of the first Ambassadors’ Collection auction last year, the online auction has returned for a second year and will be hosted by Whisky Auction between the 18th -27th of August 2019.

Once again The Collection will be full of rare and special whisky bottles donated by a range of whisky companies, including a bottle of 43 Year Old Ladyburn, matured in a single cask (bottle number 4 of 60) and bottled at cask strength by independent bottler Blackadder.

This year a Mystery Bottle of Malt Whisky has been donated by Elixir Distillers.

The team say this bottle is guaranteed to create a stir and will be a "must for any serious whisky collector out there".

• READ MORE: Brand ambassadors raise £10,000 for hospitality charity with unique whisky collection auction

The money raised will be donated to The Ben, which operates the picturesque BEN Pitlochry Estate on the banks of the River Tay, consisting of 18 bungalows which are rented at subsidised rates for eligible residents.

Last year, Andy Bell, international sales manager for Isle of Arran Distillers, and Craig Johnstone, former business development manager for Brown Forman, came up with the idea of asking industry friends to donate a bottle from each of their distilleries, deciding that if they had enough interest they would put a charity auction together.

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From this discussion over a dram, The Ambassadors' Collection was born.

Andy and Craig hoped that the industry would rise to the occasion, stating last year that they were "blown away" by the response.

Co-founder Craig said: “We were staggered by the generosity of our colleagues. Whiskies with ‘one of one’ labels to celebrate The Collection, single casks and rare festival bottles filled the table alongside a multitude of fabulous core range bottles, mostly signed by industry celebrities."

Co-founder Andy Bell added: “The way that everyone heard the call-to-arms and collaborated on this, from managing directors and master blenders to sales people and ambassadors really highlighted the cooperative nature of the Scotch Whisky industry at large.

"We realised that as well as raising cash for a good cause, auctioning The Ambassadors’ Collection would allow us to show our collaborative nature to the world.”

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In August of 2018 the first ever Ambassadors’ Collection auction went live and raised over £10,000 which was donated to The Ben.

Chris Gardner, chief executive at The Ben, said: “We really appreciated all the hard work and donations from everyone involved in the Ambassadors’ Collection auction last year. We were so surprised and delighted with the wonderful result of £10,150.

"The funds helped our 150 trade beneficiaries throughout Scotland and our new mental health campaign and roadshows which we will be rolling out throughout the country in the coming months. A little effort by a lot of people brought us a fantastic result, thank you all once again.”

Auction Lot List (at time of print):

Clynelish 1995 - 13 Year Old Murray McDavid

Caroni 1997 HTR - Bottle 1 of 1 21 Year Old Cadenhead’s

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Springbank 14 Year Old - Bottle 1 of 1

Tomatin 1996 - Bottled 2019

Tobermory 2008 10 Year Old - North Star

Linn House Reserve 26 Year Old - Cask Strength Edition Chivas Brothers

Bruichladdich 2008 Valinch 10 Year Old - Bottle 1 of 1 (Bottle signed by Adam Hannett and Allan Logan)

Glengoyne Teapot Dram (Bottle signed by Leonard Russell and Gordon Dundas)

Tamdhu 10 Year old (Bottle signed by Leonard Russell and Gordon Dundas)

Wolfburn Northland (Bottle signed by Shane Fraser)

Arrran 10 Year Old White Stag 2018 (Bottle signed by James MacTaggart)

Wemyss Peat Chimney 19 Year Old - 1 of 1

Spey 18 Year Old - Limited Release

Ardnamurchan Spirit 2018 - Limited Release (Bottle signed by Alex Bruce)

Glenmorangie Allta - Private Edition Mo 10 (Bottle signed by Bill Lumsden)

Glenfarclas 1981 - The Family Cask - 1 of 1

Paul John Classic Select Cask

SMWS 3.305 The Scents of Perfection Bowmore 1989 - (Bottle signed by Euan Campbell)

Inchmoan 1992 Loch Lomond (Bottle signed by Michael Henry)

Glen Scotia 25 Year Old (Bottle signed by Michael Henry)

Glenrothes Whisky Maker’s Cut (Bottle signed by Gordon Motion)

Port Charlotte 2004 - Rona’s Cask The Islay Boys

Famous Grouse Winter Reserve - (Bottle signed by Kirsteen Campbell)

Bowmore 1997 Distillery manager’s Selection (Bottle signed by David Turner)

BenRiach 1998 20 Year old 120th Anniversary (Bottle signed by Rachel Barrie and Stewart Buchanan)

Kilchoman 11 Year Old Feis Ile 2019 (Bottle signed by Anthony, Kathy, George, James and Peter Wills)

Tomintoul 1977 - bottled 2019 1 of 1

Ladyburn 1973 43 Year Old - Blackadder

Balblair 1990 bottled 2014 2nd release (Bottle signed by John MacDonald)

Glenallachie 18 Year Old (Bottle signed by Billy Walker)

Glen Moray 1998 Distillery Edition - PX Finish

Highland Park The Light 17 Year Old

Aberfeldy 1999 bottled 2019 (Bottle is signed by Stephen Burnett)

Mystery Bottle donated by Elixir Distillers

Brand ambassadors gather together unique whisky collection to auction off for charity

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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