Charles Maclean: Whisky writer launches new charity dram with his sons

Charles Maclean: Whisky writer launches new charity dram with his sons

Scotland’s leading whisky writer Charles Maclean has launched a new dram – and every bottle sold will give at least one person clean water for life.

The Ardnamurchan 6 Year Old single Highland malt is the first release by The Maclean Foundation, the Scottish charity founded by author Charles Maclean MBE and his three sons, world record-breaking rowers, Ewan, Jamie and Lachlan.

Charlie, who is one of the Scotch whisky industry’s most respected figures, worked with Ardnamurchan’s managing director Alex Bruce to select the cask, which was then donated to the charity.

The 243 bottles bottled at cask strength (58.6% ABV) are available from today via Royal Mile Whiskies for £115 per bottle, with a limit of one per buyer given the expected interest in the release.

The whisky will cost £115 with a limit of one per buyer.

All profits raised will fund clean water projects in Madagascar, which is among the world’s poorest countries.

‘The Maclean Foundation is my legacy,’ Charlie said. ‘This is just the beginning of a long-term partnership with the Scotch whisky industry to turn donated casks into clean water.

‘The Scotch whisky industry has allowed me to make a living out of something I love, and it has made me very many friends.

‘Inspired by my three sons working together, putting my knowledge and experience at the service of others to create long-term positive change is my way of saying thank you. We believe in our mission wholeheartedly.

‘Big or small, every act of compassion, every act of adventure can make a change.’

The Maclean Foundation’s first release is adorned by a unique wrap-around label created by Edinburgh-based branding agency Contagious.

The label allows Charlie the space to passionately articulate the story of the whisky which the drinker can explore while enjoying a dram.

A unique holographic QR code on each bottle can be scanned for further information, allowing buyers to learn about the clean water project funded by their purchase.

All profits raised will fund clean water projects in Madagascar, which is among the world’s poorest countries.

‘This cask was one of the standouts of our last blending session – we always end up with one or two which are just too individually interesting to go into the vat,’ said Alex Bruce, managing director of Ardnamurchan Distillery.

‘This is a quality limited edition produced in an ex-Bourbon cask with a seal of approval from our longstanding sensory mentor Charles Maclean, so we expect there to be high demand.

‘The boys’ adventurous spirit and Charlie’s considered craft is a winning combination. We’re proud to be able to support them on their journey.’

The Maclean brothers, the first three brothers to row across any ocean, completed a cycle and row to every distillery currently selling whisky in Scotland in August.

Charlie previously raised £67,934.44 for the new family charity through the auction of rare and highly collectable spirits — including a unique Port Ellen from 1979 and a 36-year-old Glengoyne from the Russell Family cask.


Tasting notes

Ardnamurchan 2017 6YO single cask West Highland malt @58.6%ABV (Cask No: 952 ASB)

AppearanceRich old gold; American oak first fill barrel. Moderate beading at this age, in spite of high strength. Good legs. Oily viscimetry.

AromaA mellow nose-feel with some prickle; dry overall. The top notes are maritime (salt crystals, boat varnish, dry seaweed) and mineralic (slaked lime), with notes of linseed oil and outboard engine exhaust. After a while a faint floral note (heather pollen) and a suggestion of vanilla cream biscuit. More maritime, mineralic and oily (light machine oil) at reduced strength.

Palate: A creamy texture and a sweet taste overall, with some salt in mid-palate and a pinch of chilli spice in the medium-length warming finish. Even more mouth-filling at reduced strength; slightly sweeter to start, then more savoury via light saltiness. Spiciness tamed somewhat, and with a mouth-cooling aftertaste (Sichuan pepper).

CommentA classic West Highland flavour profile. Remarkably mature and complex for its youth. The cask has done an excellent job in modifying the inherent character of unpeated Ardnamurchan spirit. Vigorous but appealing.

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