The Distillers’ Charity and Sotheby’s today announce a six-year partnership to host three biennial auctions of ultra-rare and unique Scotch whiskies and experiences under the name “The Distillers One of One”. The first Distillers’ One of One auction – comprising one-off, never-to-be-repeated lots specially created and donated by leading Scotch Whisky distilleries – will take place at Barnbougle Castle on the outskirts of Edinburgh on Friday 3 December 2021. There will be over 40 lots, which will showcase the excellence in craftsmanship, innovation and value of Scotch Whisky, ranging in estimates upwards to £250,000.
The Distillers’ Charity is the philanthropic arm of The Worshipful Company of Distillers. Proceeds from the One of One auction will benefit a fund, which has been created by The Distillers’ Charity focusing on supporting disadvantaged young people in Scotland, transforming their life chances and empowering them to create positive change in their lives and communities. Working with charity partners, including The Prince's Foundation which offers education and training programmes, the Youth Action Fund will provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, discover their values and be work-ready.
The Prince’s Foundation’s President, HRH The Prince of Wales, Duke of Rothesay, has sent The Distillers’ Charity a warm message of support saying how pleased he was that the combined forces of the Scotch Whisky industry were standing alongside each other to benefit countless young people and provide them with the tools they require to become vital members of their communities.
Jonathan Driver, Master of The Worshipful Company of Distillers, said: “Our ties with the Scotch Whisky Industry have been invaluable in creating this landmark sale, and the generosity shown has been overwhelming. Across the spectrum of the industry from independents to family-owned and global companies, we have come together in a collective endeavour to support the youth of today in Scotland through practical training and education. We are also delighted to have Sotheby’s on board to help with our philanthropic mission which will have far-reaching benefits for decades to come.”
Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine and Spirits, commented: “Working closely with The Distillers’ Charity and The Worshipful Company of Distillers, we will harness our knowledge and expertise in hosting auctions to create a regular series of sales that will not only shine a light on the Scotch Whisky industry but also raise valuable funds to support disadvantaged young people in Scotland.”
Further information about the contents of The Distillers One of One will be distributed by Sotheby’s and The Distillers’ Charity in the autumn.
Sotheby’s Press Office
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The Princes’ Foundation media team
About Sotheby’s Wine
Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury. Sotheby’s promotes access, connoisseurship and preservation of fine art and rare objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce and retail. Our trusted global marketplace is supported by an industry-leading technology platform and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 50 categories, which include Contemporary Art, Modern and Impressionist Art, Old Masters, Chinese Works of Art, Jewelry, Watches, Wine and Spirits, and Interiors, among many others.
Sotheby’s Wine’s annual worldwide auction sales of wine and spirits totaled an outstanding $92 million in 2020, with over 15,000 lots sold across 41 sales – a nearly 50% increase in the number of auctions held in 2019. Over $60 million of wine and spirits were sold to online bidders in 2020 versus $28 million in 2019, with 85% of all lots offered finding online buyers. Demonstrating continued strength in Asia, Sotheby’s led the market in the region for the third consecutive year, with over 70% of the total bid amount in all Wine and Spirits sales attributed to collectors in Asia.
Sotheby’s Wine’s has had the privilege of auctioning numerous record-breaking wines and spirits in recent years, with 2020 alone witnessing new world auction records for any bottle of Japanese whisky, any bottle of whisky produced by the Dalmore Distillery, as well as any bottle of Cognac. Sotheby’s Wine currently holds the world records for any whisky collection ever sold at auction, any private wine collection ever sold at auction, the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction and the most expensive bottle of spirits ever sold at auction.
In addition to auction, Sotheby’s Wine launched a retail business in 2010. With a retail store located in Sotheby’s New York headquarters and e-commerce at www.sothebyswine.com, Sotheby’s Wine offers a carefully curated selection of wines from the world’s most prestigious producers and important regions. Expertly assembled by our experienced specialists, the selection is built upon lasting relationships with winemakers from across the globe, with bottles that are ready for immediate consumption, in addition to investment-worthy wines from highly sought-after vintages. A second retail location opened in Sotheby’s Hong Kong galleries in 2014.
About The Distillers’ One of One
Launched in 2021, the Distillers’ One of One is a biennial series of auctions of Scottish whisky in aid of disadvantaged young people in Scotland. Led by The Distiller’s Charity, the philanthropic arm of The Worshipful Company of Distillers, and in partnership with Sotheby’s, the Scotch Whisky industry has gathered together to support philanthropy. Participating distilleries are donating ultra-rare whisky and experiences for sale at auction aiming to raise in excess of £1 million during the initial 3 December 2021 auction.
In order to help transform the life chances of young people in Scotland post pandemic, The Distillers’ Charity has created the Youth Action Fund. The proceeds from the Distillers’ One of One auction will be disbursed from the fund to a number of charities that focus on empowering Scotland’s young adults to create positive change in their lives and communities. Sotheby’s will also donate a portion of their buyer’s premium from the auction to The Distillers’ Charity.
About The Worshipful Company of Distillers
The Worshipful Company of Distillers (The Distillers) is an historic City Livery Company with a proud history and 21st century relevance. Established originally, to monitor and regulate commercial distilleries within a 21-mile radius of The City of London, The Distillers have changed with the times. Still at the heart of the distilling industry the focus is now very much on philanthropy and fellowship.
Today, the principal activity is to support relevant charitable causes, underpinned by giving back amongst the Livery, recognising the value of time and talent as well as money. Beyond this philanthropic scope, The Distillers is at the heart of the spirits industry, by inspiring the craft, understanding and enjoyment of distilled products through industry championship and fellowship.
From its formation as a corporation by Royal Charter in 1638, The Distillers were raised to the status of Livery Company in 1672, the 350th anniversary of this is in 2022. There are 110 Livery Companies in The City of London who play an active role in the life of The City.
About The Distillers’ Charity
The Distillers’ Charity (registered no. 1193683) is the philanthropic arm of The Worshipful Company of Distillers. The Charity’s vision is to make a difference especially to young people, and those within the distilled spirits trade, helping them to reach their full potential, improve their life chances and make a positive contribution to their communities. Distillers’ Charity mission is manifested through three distinctive grant-making areas:
Vocational Training & Education: to provide educational and development support to new and recent entrants to the UK spirits trade, encouraging high standards of distilling practice and service.
Livery & City giving: to fulfill our wider civic duties as a Livery, supporting the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, the Master’s charity and other good causes aligned with our vision.
Youth Action Fund: created by The Distillers’ Charity to use proceeds from The Distillers One of One auctions to support young people in Scotland, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds, to reach their potential and make a positive contribution to their communities.
About The Prince’s Foundation
The Prince's Foundation champions a sustainable approach to how we live our lives and build our communities. It runs a diverse programme of education and training for all ages and backgrounds, and it regenerates and cares for places where communities thrive and that visitors enjoy. The Prince's Foundation works nationally and internationally but at the heart of the organisation is the heritage-led regeneration of the Dumfries House estate and wider community. The Prince’s Foundation’s President is HRH The Prince of Wales.