When William Asprey met George Grant, it was a match of whisky and shooting dynasties. Asprey is a seventh-generation member of the luxury-goods family, but after its firm was sold in the late 1990s and its gun-making department closed, Asprey set up his own business, William & Son, which has continued to make firearms for the field. George Grant, a sixth-generation member of the Grant whisky family, is the brand ambassador for luxurious Glenfarclas malt. Together they have married these family heritages to create just 20 leather William & Son and Glenfarclas Whisky cleaning kits (£7,500, available from this week), containing a rare 1963 Glenfarclas Family Cask and William & Son rifle & shotgun cleaning equipment.
The limited-edition cases are exquisite, made in-house at William & Son with the artisanal quality and attention to detail to be expected from a firm that has a royal warrant. Open the bridle-hide case and two sterling-silver cups are housed next to the rare Glenfarclas 1963 Family Cask. “The whisky I selected for this unique gift was distilled by my grandfather,” explains Grant. As traditionally made as when John Grant, George’s three-times great-grandfather, purchased Glenfarclas Distillery for 511 pounds and 19 shillings in 1865, the malt is distilled in copper-pot stills on Speyside, while the 1963 whisky is distilled in a Spanish sherry hogshead that develops the flavour into a silky blend of crème brûlée and coffee notes.
The union between the families stems from a shared passion for the field. “I inherited a love of shooting from my grandfather,” continues Grant, “and I know how important it is to care for your guns.” Indeed, the drawer beneath the whisky houses the finest cleaning rods, wooden-handled brushes, brass hardware and bridle-hide leather holders made in the William & Son workshops.
Each case is personalised with a circular brass plate that William & Son will engrave with the initials of the recipient. When the kit is passed along to the next generation, the plate can be engraved once more.
The traditions and values of a combined 13 generations of luxury style are contained within this limited edition. That it is also a fine example of tip-top contemporary practicality means it is a sure-fire hit.