Scotch distillery Brora is honouring its signature animal, the Scottish wildcat, in its unique lot for the Distillers One of One charity auction in October.
Brora Iris comprises a 1.5-litre decanter suspended in a hand-hewn stone sculpture, designed to look like the eye of a wildcat. The decanter holds a 50-year-old Brora single malt – the oldest whisky ever bottled from the Highland distillery. Master blender Dr Craig Wilson described the whisky, which was distilled in 1972, as “a style that has come to define the Brora iconic status”.
The stone sculpture was created by Scotland-based artist and sculptor Michelle De Bruin and is made from limestone, the same material that was used to build the original Brora Distillery in the early 1800s. It is accompanied by a bronze wildcat figure, cast by Jonathan Knight.
The sculptural artwork is expected to achieve a hammer price of £250,000–£500,000 at the auction, which is being co-hosted by the Worshipful Company of Distillers and Sotheby's.
The winning bidder for the lot will also receive an invitation to the distillery for them and five guests to enjoy a guided tour and tasting with distillery host Andrew Flatt.
Brora, which is owned by Diageo, recommenced production in 2021 after a closure of almost 40 years. During its closure, the distillery's whiskies became highly sought after in the secondary market with some fetching record prices at auction.
Jonny Fowle, global head of whisky at Sotheby’s, said: “It is with great pleasure that we are able to introduce Brora Iris. Few distilleries in the world conjure such majesty and awe as Brora and the opportunity that this one off art piece and incredible whisky presents puts this item as one of the top lots within the auction. Having tasted it myself, I can say that this is a truly exceptional Brora.”
The Distillers One of One 2023 charity auction (the second in a planned run of three) is being held on Thursday 5 October at Hopetoun House and will be raising money for youth charities in Scotland via the Distillers' Charity, the philanthropic arm of the Worshipful Company of Distillers.