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Whisky distillers support Japan aid

A group of seven independent Scottish distilleries – Arran, BenRiach, Bladnoch, GlenDronach, Mitchell’s Glengyle, Kilchoman and Springbank – have collaborated to produce a unique whisky and donate all proceeds to the disaster relief effort in Japan. Each has donated a cask of their single malt to be blended into a limited edition whisky, appropriately called the Spirit of Unity.
The connections between the malt whisky industry and Japan are strong as few consumers are as passionate about malt whisky as the Japanese and it has been a major export market for many years.
The idea came from Euan Mitchell, managing director of Isle of Arran Distillers. Mitchell explained: “Many in our industry, like me, travel regularly to Japan and have made friends and contacts with Japanese whisky enthusiasts. On seeing the scale and horror of the problems they are facing we were moved to help and other craft distillers immediately came onboard.”
The combined contribution will produce approximately 2,000 bottles with 1,200 available in the UK.  The remainder will be shipped to Japan with some being donated for sale in New Zealand to assist with relief in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake.
It was expected that the release would be oversubscribed as soon as it was made available and, sure enough, within 48 hours 100 of the 1,000 bottles available in the UK have been sold (April 5).
This represents the sale of 10% of the limited edition bottling and a total of £5,900 raised within just 24-hours.
With the support of suppliers and partners, including retailers, a conservative estimate is that at least £50,000 will be donated to the relief effort.
For whisky fans the leading producers each represent acclaimed malt whisky regions in Islands, Speyside, Highland, Islay, Campbeltown and Lowland.
The producers will offer the limited bottling available through two leading online whisky retailers; Royal Mile Whiskies and Loch Fyne Whiskies, and in their respective shops in Edinburgh & London and Inveraray.
Euan Mitchell: “Not a penny of profit will be taken from this project by any of the parties involved with the packaging being donated free of charge by Chesapeake Branded Packaging.
“The Spirit of Unity will be available in store and for despatch by the end of April with details being posted on the websites of the distillers and retailers.”
Pre-orders at £59 per bottle (+p&p) are now being taken at and




1 April 2011 - Felicity Murray