Charles MacLean unveils rare whisky auction for charity

Charles MacLean unveils rare whisky auction for charity

The 39 lots, from the likes of Port Ellen and Karuizawa, will be auctioned in aid of the MacLean Foundation to support clean water projects

News | 04 Sep 2023

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Renowned Scotch whisky expert and former Whisky Magazine editor Charles MacLean has rallied some of the industry's biggest names for a charity auction of rare and collectable whiskies.


The auction of 39 lots – which is anticipated to raise around £60,000 – will include a 1979 bottling of Port Ellen, a 36-year-old Glengoyne from the Russell family cask, and a bottle of Karuizawa Omoiyari, one of only six still in existence.


Funds raised from the sale will go to the MacLean Foundation, a charity Charles founded with his sons Ewan, Lachlan, and Jamie which is currently supporting clean water initiatives in developing countries. It comes after the younger MacLeans completed a challenge to row and cycle to 121 whisky-producing distilleries in Scotland in aid of the family charity.


Charles hopes the “very rare and highly collectable” lots would appeal to consumers as well as collectors and investors. 


“The auction is unusual in many respects. Assisted by other trustees, who have or had long involvement with the Scotch whisky industry, we approached a number of friends and colleagues, and they have been hugely generous,” he said. “The funds raised from this outstanding and unique auction will allow the charity to get off the ground and to start having an impact through the provision of clean water.”


The auction is being hosted free of charge by auction website Whisky.Auction. The company's auction director Isabel Graham-Yooll said: “This is one of the most remarkable auctions of my career. What is so special is that every single one of the 39 lots has particular significance, not only to whisky enthusiasts, but also to the MacLean family and their generous friends who donated such rare and exceptional bottles from their own private collections. We expect there to be a huge amount of interest in this charity auction.”


Also available through the auction will be a library of 40 whisky books donated by leading drinks writers including Gavin Smith, Ian Buxton, Alice Lascelles, Nick Morgan, Dave Wondrich, Ingvar Ronde, and Charles himself.


For more information about the auction, go to

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