£100,000 Jubilee whisky decanted
Published 06/02/2012 | 01:18
Whisky which has been maturing for 60 years and costs £100,000 a bottle has been decanted to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Only 61 decanters of the blended malt and grain whisky were made at the Royal Lochnagar Distillery on the Balmoral Estate in Ballater, Aberdeenshire.
One will be gifted to the Queen and the others will be sold around the world for £100,000 each, with all the profits going to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (Qest), a charity which provides grants and training to craftspeople in the UK.
The whisky's creation was overseen by master blender Jim Beveridge at John Walker & Sons. He said: "The whisky was first distilled in 1952 and there was a great deal of care and attention at that stage. It was then stored in our distilleries until about the beginning of last year when we started to think about what whiskies we would use in the project."
Mr Beveridge, who has worked as a blender with John Walker & Sons for 30 years, said it was a "privilege to be involved in such a unique project". Each crystal decanter is accompanied by two hand-engraved lead crystal glasses, enclosed in a wooden cabinet made from oak and pine from the Queen's Sandringham and Balmoral estates.
Qest chairman Richard Watling said: "The creation of this beautiful work, a monument to the skills of its craftspeople and the definitive tribute to 60 years of Her Majesty's reign, is of enormous significance to Qest.
"Someone asked how we define craft, and I said: Look at the royal wedding and Westminster Abbey. Take out all the things that would not be there were there not a craftsman to do it, like the pews, the dresses and the uniforms, and you are left with nothing.
"Craft has a really important role in the culture and success of our country and someone has to make all these things that we all see and enjoy, and it's these people we aim to help."
David Gates, who grants the Royal warrant for John Walker & Sons, said interest among buyers was high. He said: "We are talking to people all across the world, whisky lovers and people with an affection for the Royal Family. The level of interest has been quite extraordinary."
Meanwhile, another whisky specialist is selling an £8,000 60-year-old single malt to mark the Queen's Jubilee. Gordon & MacPhail in Elgin, Moray, has produced 85 bottles called Glen Grant 60 Years Old which were distilled on February 2 1952, four days before the Queen acceded to the throne.