The final four casks of whisky spirit from what will soon become a “lost distillery” have been donated to a conservation charity to help its ambitious project of planting one million native trees in Aberdeenshire.
The Deeside Distillery company in Banchory will soon be moving into a larger facility, but due to regulations it will be unable to carry forward its name to for future creations – making its final few tipples before the big move more valuable to collectors.
It has handed over its last four casks to the River Dee Trust, which will be auctioned off to help the charity in its efforts to preserve the ecosystems and economies of Deeside for future generations.
Of the four casks of spirit being donated to the trust, three are 25l ex-Oloroso sherry casks, and the fourth is a 200l virgin American oak cask, the only one of its kind ever produced by the distillery.
Whisky writer Charles Maclean described the distillery’s spirit as “better than gold” as an investment, and the trust hopes the auction next year will allow it to help its ambitious tree-planting project.
Sandy Bremner, chairman of the trust, said: “We are extremely grateful for this donation.
“It’s a challenging time for all charities, and we have committed to planting a million native trees to help cool the river as it faces dangerously rising temperatures.
“This donation will help us continue our work to save our iconic wild salmon and restore the whole ecosystem”.
When Mr Maclean tasted the contents of the Oloroso casks, which had been left to mature for only three years, he said: “It’s terrific, I’m amazed, and really astonished at the quality of the young spirit.”
Deeside Distillery manager Liam Pennycook said: “We are developing a new, bigger distillery at Hill of Banchory.
“Due to regulations, we can’t move its name to another site, so this will become another lost distillery.
“In every sense, this will be a very special whisky.”
He added: “We are delighted to be able to help the trust deliver its vital work.
“The Dee is a magical river which touches the lives of so many people.
“We want to help the river through the challenges ahead, to make sure it’s in the best possible shape for those who love it now, and for future generations.”
The first of the four casks will go under the hammer at a special dinner organised by Maryculter House to raise cash for the trust, which will be held on Friday, September 24 next year subject to pandemic restrictions.
For more information, phone Maryculter House on 01224 732124.