Auction benefits The Ben

Andy Bell and Jenny Karlsson with The Ben’s Chris Gardner (centre)

A WHISKY auction to raise funds for Scottish licensed trade charity, The Ben, has generated more than £38,000.

The Whisky Ambassadors’ Collection auction, organised by Isle of Arran Distillers’ Andy Bell and Jenny Karlsson of Whisky Korren, saw bottles donated by over 30 whisky ambassadors go under the hammer, with the ‘mystery bottle’ – a Karuizawa Ambassadors’ Collection Japanese single malt donated by Elixir Distillers –  topping the bill with a winning bid of £20,000.

Other drams sold in the online auction included Clynelish 1981, Springbank 14 year old, Bowmore 1997 Distillery Manager’s Selection, Aberfeldy 1999 Single Cask, Caol Ila 18 year old Darkness and Glen Scotia 25 year old.

Andy Bell, sales manager at Isle of Arran Distillers, and Craig Johnstone, former business development manager at Brown-Forman, set up The Whisky Ambassadors’ Collection auction in 2018 after coming up with the idea of asking their industry friends to donate a bottle from each of their distilleries.

“The way that everyone heard the call-to-arms and collaborated on this, from managing directors and master blenders to sales people and ambassadors, really highlighted the cooperative nature of the Scotch whisky industry at large,” said Andy.

“We realised that as well as raising cash for a good cause, auctioning The Ambassadors’ Collection would allow us to show our collaborative nature to the world.”

The inaugural auction in 2018 raised over £10,000 for The Ben, with the 2019 collection generating £38,075.

Chris Gardner, chief executive of The Ben, said: “It’s a fantastic result. Thanks and well done to everyone involved.”