District News, June 4 2021

Pat's Whisky Collection is said to be the single biggest private collection of whiskies ever brought to auction.
Pat's Whisky Collection is said to be the single biggest private collection of whiskies ever brought to auction.

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ISLAY:

Whisky auction tops £130,000

A treasure trove of rare whiskies produced by legendary distilleries on Islay have sold at auction for £138,000.

More than 100 buyers from 20 different countries bid for the 268 lots contained in Pat’s Whisky Collection.

The mystery seller decided to part with his 9,000-bottle library last year through a series of auctions to share his passion for whisky by passing his bottles to new owners.

It was billed by auctioneers as the ‘largest private collection of whisky’ it had ever put under the hammer.

It also sees £10,000 of the proceeds raised going to Islay-based charities and projects.

The collection was also sold to recognise Islay’s annual festival of music and malt, Fèis Ìle, and the incredible bottlings the event has inspired over nearly three decades.

The fèis was held virtually this year during the last week of May

Established almost 30 years ago, the festival usually draws visitors from across the globe to experience the island’s community, culture, and world-renowned whisky.

The auction saw limited-edition Fèis Ìle expressions from distilleries including Port Ellen, Laphroaig, Bruichladdich and Ardbeg.

It was conducted by the Perth-based Whisky Auctioneer between Friday May 14 and  Monday May 25.

Whiskies included the 1982 single cask Port Ellen, which was hailed as one of the rarest around with only 220 bottles in existence. It sold for £7,000.

Also in the collection was a Bowmore malt bottled to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Fèis Ìle..

In 2010, Bowmore released 100 bottles of the limited edition signed 25-year-old. It went for £2,500.

Joe Wilson, Whisky Auctioneer’s head of auction content, said: ‘Fèis Ìle is an iconic celebration of whisky and Islay culture that draws people back to the island year after year.

‘From Port Ellen to Bowmore and Bruichladdich to Ardbeg, this collection of Fèis Ìle bottlings is without a doubt the largest and most complete that we have ever encountered.’

Mr Wilson said the collection included ‘incredibly scarce malts’ produced to celebrate the iconic whisky region.

The sale included whisky donated to the Fèis Ìle committee by distilleries in order to raise funds for the island’s Islay Wave Project, which focuses on ways to support culture, artists and youth.

Fèis Ìle committee chairperson Florence Grey said: ‘Fèis Ìle was delighted to be given the bottles in this charity auction from Diageo, plus a signed bottle from the legendary Islay whisky maker Jim McEwan.

‘All the proceeds raised from these bottles will benefit our island community as the funds will kickstart our Islay Wave Project – an ongoing project that will begin after this year’s virtual festival.

‘We are very grateful to Whisky Auctioneer for its support in bringing these bottles to auction.’

WEST KINTYRE:

Funding available for West Kintyre residents

West Kintyre residents heading to further education or trying to set up their own businesses could benefit from a trust’s funds.

West Kintyre Community Council Windfarm Trust is inviting school-leavers going on to university, college or taking on an apprenticeship to apply for a bursary of £1,000 a year.

The trust is also keen to hear from anyone looking to launch a business in the West Kintyre area, who may be eligible for a start-up grant.

For more information and/or an application form, visit www.westkintyrecommunitycouncil.org or email convener Margaret Pratt on margaretpratt@btinternet.com

The closing date for applications is June 30 2021.