The private clients service will provide access to some of the rarest whisky reserves in the world, and its launch comes amid continuing market growth in rare whiskies.
William Grant is donating a lot from each of its distilleries to The Distillers One of One charity auction - Glenfiddich: The 1950s, Ladyburn 1966 David Bailey one-off John Lennon edition and The Balvenie 1964 single bottle release. Each is said to represent a “once-in-a-lifetime” whisky acquisition from the 1950s and 1960s, which were seen as pivotal decades in the world of Scotch whisky.
The lots, which have never before been made available, are expected to reach in excess of £285,000 in total sales, making a significant contribution to the combined auction takings.
Jonathan Driver, a leading authority on whisky, holding the dual position as master of the Company of Worshipful Distillers and managing director of William & Grant & Sons’ Global Private Clients, said: “William Grant & Son’s rich legacy of giving back to its communities comes from the heart and over generations – it is integral to the way we do business.
“The Distillers One of One is hugely significant because it is the first time that these precious whisky stocks have been made available. These liquids are beyond rare, they are truly ‘one of one’, and their sale is historic as it represents the future legacy held in these liquids.”
The private clients personal service will build “direct to-distillery client relationships” by offering access to incredibly rare and precious family stocks. Rare whisky expressions, experiences and access to generations of knowledge and expertise will form the proposition, bosses said.
Family-owned Wiliam Grant & Sons added: “This service will provide unprecedented, privileged access for international connoisseurs and collectors to some of the finest and oldest whisky reserves in the world from six generations of whisky-making tradition, for enjoyment, personal legacy or as an alternative investment.”
Its launch comes amid expectations that the rare whisky market is set to rebound and break all previous records this year, following a strong first-half performance.
A recent report revealed that during the first six months of 2021, nearly 85,000 bottles of single malt Scotch whisky traded on the secondary market with a total value in excess of £36m.
Based on the current rate of growth, Rare Whisky 101 - the whisky analyst, broker and investment specialist - expects the full year to reach 172,500 of bottles traded, an increase of almost a fifth on 2019’s record (143,895 bottles), with a value of £75m, which would be up on 2019’s record £57.7m.
The firm noted that trading in the rare whisky market had been subdued by a succession of lockdowns during 2020, mirroring other physical asset classes.
The overall number of recorded bottles of single malt whisky sold at auction in the UK in 2020 fell slightly by about 3.4 per cent to 139,044, while the recorded value decreased by 7.5 per cent to some £53.4m, compared with 2019.