As part of its centenary celebrations, Highland Rugby Football Club (Highland RFC) is auctioning a 29-year-old Balblair whisky, generously donated by leading malt whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail, housed in a bespoke bronze plinth created exclusively for Highland RFC by fine art, architectural and memorial bronze foundry Black Isle Bronze.
Already open for bids, the unique package will ultimately be sold on August 13th at Highland RFC’s Centenary Dinner, taking place in Inverness with money raised going to charities Mikeysline, Alzheimer Scotland, My Name’5 Doddie and Highland RFC so that the club can continue to promote and deliver rugby to communities across the Highlands.
Just 469 bottles of this wonderful dark gold Balblair Highland Single Malt whisky were created from a single Sherry butt filled in 1990. It is part of Gordon & MacPhail’s famous Connoisseur’s Choice collection. Cask strength, it is described as having a soft cinnamon spice which leads to stewed plum and delicate sherbet aromas. The initial toasted malt flavours give way to light fruitcake with a hint of cashew nut. Hints of aniseed and dried ginger linger on the finish. Valued at around £800, it is expected to be a much sought-after bottle that is very hard to come by today.
The plinth was created by Farquhar Laing and his team at Black Isle Bronze based near Inverness. It took around four months to make and recreates a traditional rugby ball placed on a kicking tee and set in bronze. Designed specifically to display a bottle of whisky, one of the segments of the ball is removed, creating space for the bottle. The plinth is valued at around £4,000 which, when combined with the whisky, is a truly one-of-a-kind package.
Speaking about the exclusive package, Roy Dinnes, Vice President of Highland RFC, said: “This is a unique item, bespoke to Highland RFC, and we are extremely grateful to Gordon & MacPhail and Black Isle Bronze for allowing us to auction something very special in our centenary year and hopefully raise money to support charities particularly close to our hearts at the club. The auction site is live, and I would encourage whisky fans, rugby fans and collectors to take a look.”
Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige at Gordon & MacPhail, added: “We are delighted to be part of the centenary celebrations at Highland RFC. Roy and the team do a phenomenal job promoting the game and coaching and supporting schools throughout communities in the Highlands. I hope this special bottle of Balblair helps raise funds for worthwhile charities, allowing them to continue their excellent work.”
Farquhar Laing, Director at Black Isle Bronze, described his involvement with Highland RFC: “I am a member of the club, a volunteer coach and by son plays for the Under-16s team. You can see our work all over the world, from Dallas in Texas to Dubai and of course here in the UK. Having created the line-out sculpture for Twickenham, we were only too happy to create something special for Highland RFC and hope it goes to a good home and raises a lot of money.”
Anyone wishing to bid for the plinth and the bottle of Balblair whisky can do so by visiting; https://uk.givergy.com/HRCAuction2022/?controller=lots&action=showLot&id=1 or by attending the Centenary Dinner in Inverness on August 13th. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased here and are on sale until August 1st.
Monday 29th March, London: The Famous Grouse, the no.1 Whisky in the UK, has today announced a limited-edition label to celebrate the brand’s role as the Official Sponsor of The British & Irish Lions.
The one-off design sees the iconic label of The Famous Grouse transformed to read ‘The Famous British & Irish Lions’.
Sold exclusively at Tesco from 30th March, the bottle will be available in three variations (35cl, 70cl and 1L) before being distributed to additional retailers and the on-trade from April.
Following more than 30 years of involvement with the sport of rugby, the limited-edition bottle aims to drive engagement with fans across the UK throughout the tour, championing the games unparalleled sportsmanship and camaraderie. It also forms part of The Famous Grouse The Spirit of Rugby campaign, following the announcement that The Famous Grouse will also be the Official Partner of Premiership Rugby, SA Rugby, and Glasgow Warriors.
Chris Anderson, Head of Edrington Brands, said: “The Famous Grouse has been investing in the sport of rugby for 30 years, and we are very proud to reaffirm our commitment to this great game with the launch of this limited-edition bottle. On sale throughout the British and Irish Lions tour the bottle will enable us to celebrate the pride and camaraderie we see on the rugby pitch every matchday.”
As one of the world’s most popular blended whiskies, The Famous Grouse combines a creamy malt and biscuit flavour with a hint of spice and whisper of smoke to create a truly unique blend.
The Famous British & Irish Lions is best served neat or as part of a ‘Grouse and Ginger’ cocktail made using ginger beer. The Famous British & Irish Lions is the ideal drink to enjoy during The British & Irish Lions tour at home or to toast a try with friends once pubs and bars reopen later this year.
For further information or to join the conversation, please visit @TheFamousGrouseUK on Facebook, @TheFamousGrouse on Twitter and on Instagram @TheFamousGrouseUK
 Following a three week exclusivity period at Tesco.
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