Just 11 bottles of this rare Glenfiddich have been created
There’s still time to lend your support to a unique charity auction launched by leading malt whisky producer William Grant & Sons in honour of a truly remarkable woman. Eleven bottles of one of the company’s rarest-ever whiskies, a Glenfiddich 55yo, have been produced to celebrate the life of Janet Sheed Roberts, the head of the Grant-Gordon distilling family who died recently at the age of 110.
Janet was the granddaughter of William Grant and Scotland’s oldest living woman at the time of her passing on 6 April. Her life spanned much of the history of the famous Glenfiddich whisky distillery established by the Grant family in Dufftown in 1887.
Each of the 11 bottles of the Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve produced is destined for auction, with all money raised to benefit a series of charities. The first bottle was sold at the Bonham’s whisky auction in Edinburgh on 14 December last year, fetching an amazing Â£46,850 which was donated to international charity WaterAid. Bottle number two was sold on 10 February for Â£44,000 at an event hosted by the UK’s “˜Walking with the Wounded’ charity.
Even those sums were topped at an auction held in New York on 15 March, at an event hosted by actor Adrian Grenier. There, the Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve sold for US$94,000 (Â£59,252), breaking the record for the most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold at auction. The proceeds benefited Grenier’s sustainability charity SHFT Initiatives.
Now, the travel retail industry has a unique opportunity to make history. William Grant’s Global Travel Retail division, headed by Rita Greenwood, has been allocated a single bottle of the Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve, and an auction open to travel retail companies and their customers closes this Sunday.
All money raised by the auction will benefit the Lotus Flower Trust, whose efforts to build schools for disadvantaged children in the remotest parts of India have attracted support from across the travel retail industry, notably the Women in Travel association.
Mrs Janet Sheed Roberts: The William Grant family matriarch was Scotland’s oldest woman
The money raised by the Glenfiddich auction will help the Lotus Flower Trust to complete the opening of a new school for physically disadvantaged children in the Northern Indian town of Ramnagar. Women in Travel raised around €12,000 for the project during the Cannes show last year and the Glenfiddich auction will provide a major boost as Lotus Flower seeks to complete the school and provide nearby housing for its pupils.
“I am delighted that such a rare and precious bottle will be offered for auction through global travel retail and that we can play our part in raising money for some outstanding charities.“
Managing Director Global Travel Retail
William Grant & Sons
The auction remains open, and bids will be accepted until Sunday 29 April at 2pm UK time. For details of how to place a bid on the auction, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be sent a bidding form. The guide price for this remarkable whisky is Â£45,000 – Â£50,000 and the reserve has been set at Â£40,000.
The successful bid will be announced before invited guests at a special event on Tuesday 1 May at London’s Mall Galleries, where celebrated painter John Wonnacott will unveil his portrait of Janet Sheed Roberts, her nephew – and Wm Grant & Sons President – Charles Gordon and her beloved dog Freuchie. The Moodie Report will be on hand to provide coverage of the event.
William Grant & Sons Managing Director Global Travel Retail Rita Greenwood said: “It is very rare that an opportunity arises when you get to be a part of something that is purely for the benefit of others and is not driven by a commercial need. I am absolutely delighted that one of these opportunities should present themselves in the form of a truly remarkable milestone, celebrating the life of Janet Sheed Roberts, the granddaughter of our founder William Grant, an incredible woman who was at the very heart of William Grant & Sons throughout her life.”
She added: “It was an honour to be entrusted with one of only eleven bottles of the Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve. I am delighted that such a rare and precious bottle will be offered for auction through global travel retail and that we can play our part in raising money for some outstanding charities. All of the profits from every sale of the Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserves are being donated to charities closely linked to William Grant & Sons; in our case for The Lotus Trust and Ramnagar Disabled Home and School in India.
“I cannot thank the global travel retail team at William Grant & Sons enough for its decision to choose The Lotus Trust and, specifically, its school and home building project for mentally and physically disadvantaged Indian children in Ramnagar as the charity that they will support.“
Business Relations and External Affairs Director
World Duty Free Group
“We see a rather appropriate link between this initiative, travel retail and the charity in question. Not only are we celebrating Mrs Roberts’s life – a great woman in the history of Scotch whisky, and arguably also one of the first “˜Women In Travel’ – we are also supporting Women in Travel, which has become quite an influential group of women within the travel retail industry, raising significant sums of money for various worthy causes – and I am proud to count myself as one of its members.
“It’s therefore very fitting this bottle should be auctioned on behalf of The Lotus Flower Trust whose chair of trustees is World Duty Free Group’s Sarah Branquinho – one of the original founders of Women In Travel. The Lotus Trust also happens to be one of the TFWA supported charities this year and our own Erik Thomsen is, of course, one of the board members there.
“The bottles auctioned to date have raised really quite incredible sums of money for charity and I am sure that, through the travel retail industry, our own bottle will fetch sufficient funds not only to enable the school to be finished, but also to cover the cost of an accompanying home.”
Sarah Branquinho, Business Relations and External Affairs Director at World Duty Free Group and a founding member of Women in Travel, said: “I really cannot thank the global travel retail team at William Grant & Sons enough for its decision to choose The Lotus Trust and, specifically, its school and home building project for mentally and physically disadvantaged Indian children in Ramnagar as the charity that they will support.
“When Women In Travel (WIT) was set up five years ago as a networking group for all women involved in travel retail, whatever their position or length of service, we decided from the outset to use our contacts and influence to raise money for charity. Each year we nominate a charity for fund raising, which is done at various travel retail events throughout the year, with our major effort at TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes.
“The Lotus Trust and the Ramnagar project were nominated last year and a wonderful fund raising effort in Cannes raised almost €13,000. If the money raised from Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts auction enables us to finish the project – we need a minimum €40,000 to complete the school and a further €35,000 to build the home as well – then it really will be a dream come true for at least 100 children.
“The plight of these children really is heart-breaking. Ramnagar is in Uttrakhand State where there are nearly 11,000 children aged between 6 and 18 with special needs and currently there are simply no educational facilities for them – and without this they have very little hope for any meaningful future. This school will simply change lives and it makes me extremely proud that my fellow colleagues in WIT, William Grant & Sons and the travel retail industry as a whole are helping to do exactly that.”
About William Grant & Sons and Glenfiddich
William Grant & Sons, Ltd. is an independent family-owned distiller headquartered in the UK and founded by William Grant in 1886. Today, the luxury spirits company is run by the fifth generation of his family and distils some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the world’s leading single malt Glenfiddich, The Balvenie range of handcrafted single malts and the world’s third largest blended Scotch, Grant’s, as well as Hendrick’s Gin, Sailor Jerry, and most recently, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey.
About Lotus Flower Trust
Lotus Flower Trust is a UK-based charity (reg. no. 1127316) which over the past three years has changed over 1,000 children’s lives by building schools, homes and skills centres, typically in remote rural areas. Three of these projects have been financed by TFWA Care. Lotus Flower Trust has few overheads – no office premises, no paid staff, so almost all the funds raised go directly to the projects. U.S.R. Indu Samiti is a charity that has been working in the field of integrated education since 1999. It is registered under the Society Registration Act 1860 and handicapped People Act 1995/52 with FRCA granted in 1976.