The cask, named ‘The Sleeping Beauty’, was laid down in 1994 at the instigation of Lord MacFarlane of Bearsden, who was chair of United Distillers and vice chair of Scottish Ballet at the time.
Scottish artist Norman Edgar was commissioned to paint the cask end portraying Scottish Ballet principal dancer Nicci Theis in the iconic role of Princess Aurora, the sleeping beauty. It was to be a donation with a difference, an investment in the future of Scotland’s national dance company.
Now, 26 years on, ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ has been awakened and bottled as part of Diageo’s Casks of Distinction range. This highly collectible bottle is now ready to be shared with whisky lovers and ballet fans alike, with every pound raised at auction contributing to the Scottish Ballet Endowment Fund. All bottling and auction costs have been donated by Diageo and Whisky Auctioneer in support of Scottish Ballet.
The first auction lot will include bottle number one and the unique cask end painting by Norman Edgar depicting Princess Aurora. The first ten lots will also include exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences with Scottish Ballet.
Christopher Hampson, CEO/artistic director of Scottish Ballet, said: “Like all arts organisations, Scottish Ballet has endured a challenging 18 months unable to perform live, and this income will be vital in ensuring the company’s long-term future and capacity to inspire future audiences, on stage and beyond. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has played their part in bringing this whisky fairytale to life.”
James Mackay, head of rare & exceptional spirits at Diageo, said: “It is with great pride and pleasure that we have bottled ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ Cask of Distinction, beginning a new chapter in this beautiful story, and to offer lovers of Scottish craft and fine arts a chance to appreciate this unique single malt Scotch whisky, while benefiting Scottish Ballet.”
Joe Wilson, head of auction content at Whisky Auctioneer, said: “It’s a privilege to support the Scottish Ballet Endowment Fund by hosting the online auction of this incredibly distinctive Royal Lochnagar release. This whisky has a story to tell and an important cause to support, so we are sure that both whisky and ballet lovers, as well as collectors around the world, will be excited to have the opportunity to acquire such an interesting expression.”