Time is running out to place a bid on the latest publicly released bottle of 1980 Bowmore “Queen’s Cask” whisky, which is being auctioned at the end of this month in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. This rare malt originates from a single cask that was presented to Her Majesty during a visit to Bowmore’s Islay distillery in 1980. In 2002, to mark the Golden Jubilee, the cask was then bottled with specially designed, commemorative, individually numbered labels and boxes in a run of just 629. Almost all these bottles were destined for the cellars of the royal household, but five were released for auction, with the Queen’s permission, to raise money for charities.
As any whisky buff will know, vintage Bowmore is regularly a star performer at auction – a bottle sold last year at a charity event for $50,000 – but in the year of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday, a bottle with royal pedigree such as this promises to attract even more interest than usual. As a result, a reserve price of £10,000 has been set, with bids closing at 12pm on June 30.
Proceeds from the auction will go towards the Stop MS appeal, a fundraising campaign that aims to raise £100m for multiple sclerosis research over the next 10 years.
Another highlight of the campaign this year will be a Christmas concert at St Paul’s Cathedral on December 8, featuring performances by opera singer Sir John Tomlinson, lyric tenor John Mark Ainsley, mezzo-soprano Catherine Wyn Rogers, and readings from a new work by playwright Abi Morgan. This will be followed by dinner for 250 in St Paul’s Crypt, concluding with an auction of lots including a once-in-a-lifetime golfing tour of Scotland and a private dinner at Berry Bros & Rudd – the higher the bid, the better the wine. A table of 10 for the dinner costs £10,000, including VIP seats at the concert.