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The Ben auctioning rare whiskies to support drinks industry workers in Scotland

Scottish charity The Ben is auctioning off a collection of rare and exclusive whiskies to raise funds for drinks industry workers hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Among the lots donated to the auction, which is being hosted by Whisky Auctioneer, are a Glendronach PX single cask, a rare 22-year-old Hazelburn, a bottle of the first-ever single cask from Ardnamurchan distillery signed by Alex Bruce, and 25 bottles of Ardbeg 14 Years Old from Whisky Cellar. A number of virtual events, including a tasting with Glenfarclas, are also going under the hammer.

The Ben, which gives financial assistance to people who have worked in the licensed trade, has itself been affected by the pandemic and hopes to use the auction to raise much-needed funds to continue its work. All money raised from the auction will go to help licensed trade staff. 

Bidding opened for the virtual auction on in December and is open until 7pm on Monday, 11 January. It follows the success of the Ambassadors' Collection auctions, which in the past two years have raised thousands of pounds for The Ben.

The Whisky Ambassadors said: "The Scottish hospitality industry is what makes Scotland a great place to visit. Our pubs and hotels are legendary, we hear it first hand every time we attend whisky shows across the world. The whisky industry has always worked closely with hotels and pubs across Scotland.

"When Covid hit we could not begin to understand the stress it would put on our friends and colleagues within the hospitality sector. This year, more than ever before, we had to help. That is why Whisky Ambassadors from across the UK collaborated, at short notice, to generously donate one-of-one editions, single cask bottlings, virtual tasting experiences and bottles signed by industry celebrities to raise awareness and funds for The Ben in Scotland."

John Hutchison, president of The Ben, said: "The Ben works tirelessly to help disadvantaged colleagues from the hospitality sector; 2020 has been one of the hardest years for our sector and as a consequence we have helped a record number of beneficiaries. The financial impact on us as a charity is significant, and all monies raised from this auction will go straight to helping individuals in Scotland."

Iain McClune, founder of Whisky Auctioneer, added: "Never has there been a more important time to form partnerships and support those in need in the hospitality industry. We're proud to host the auction of these charity lots, which include an impressive collection of liquid and some incredible once-in-a-lifetime whisky experiences."

7 January 2021 - Bethany Whymark