In seventeen hours on the road he and a team of supporters visited a total of 60 distilleries, beginning at sunrise at the Balblair distillery in Ross-shire and ending at sunset at the Aberfeldy distillery in Perthshire.
— The Whisky Challenge (@tgwdc) May 8, 2017
Bottles were collected from all 56 of the distilleries that bottle their own products, and the entire collection will be raffled as a main prize, with the World Whisky Day draw taking place on Friday 2 June. Raffle tickets cost just £1 and can be purchased up until the draw date.
The challenge was in support of the international water development charity Just a Drop, which works with communities to deliver accessible, clean, safe water, and health and sanitation programmes to where they are needed most. All proceeds from the raffle will go to the charity.
A suitably exhausted Blair said: “It’s was an incredible event. As far as we are aware, no-one has even attempted to set a record like this before and, despite meticulous planning, there was always a risk that we might not get to all 60 of the distilleries on the day.
"We couldn’t afford for a single thing to go wrong. It just needed a few tractors or caravans to hold us up and we would have been under pressure.
“All the money raised from the raffle is going to Just a Drop, which brings clean water to some of the poorest communities in the world. The word ‘whisky’ means ‘water of life’ in Gaelic, so it felt like a fitting challenge. We’re hopeful that it will help raise a lot of money for such a deserving cause.”
The idea for the challenge came from Willie Wallace, who has been running whisky tours in Scotland for 20 years, he said: “It’s been many years in the planning.
"With the amazing support of the distillers and our other sponsors, we can hopefully make a difference to the fantastic work of Just a Drop. We certainly had fun along the way on the day.”
Scottish Routes, a tour company based in Edinburgh, has also kindly donated two four-day whisky tours for two people to Speyside as additional prizes.
Ten more raffle winners will receive copies of Blair Bowman’s new book, The Pocket Guide to Whisky.
As Fiona Jeffery OBE, Founder and Chairman of Just a Drop, explained: “The more money raised, the more communities we can support by providing access to one of life's absolute necessities: a supply of clean water, which empowers people to lead healthier, safer and more productive lives, so please dig deep and support this great event.
“As a fellow Scot and founder of a water charity, I also couldn’t be more proud for Just a Drop to be associated with this awesome challenge, as the relationship between water and whisky is so unique.”