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£1000 limited edition Tomatin whisky was worth every penny – and more – for Maggie's Highland

By Matt MacPherson

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Maggie's Highlands will benefit from the whisky double.
Maggie's Highlands will benefit from the whisky double.

I’d like to wish all of you a Happy New Year and good health in 2021, I’m delighted to see the end of 2020, the “C” word dominated our lives and it sure was a “C” of a year.

Problems seem to have spilt into this year but I’m optimistic that this time next year we will be recovering from a festive holiday full of socialising with our loved ones.

What seems like a lifetime ago back in 2019, I was kindly invited to the Tomatin Maggie’s golf day at Castle Stuart which was followed by an evening at the Kingsmills.

To cut a long story short, I wanted to make a donation and the post-dinner auction seemed like the logical place to do so. I was a guest of Tomatin and there were two bottles in the auction – lot 1, bottle 001 of a limited edition Maggie’s bottling retailing at £100, and lot 2, a very special warehouse 6 bottle which was in the thousands.

In my head, I thought it might go for double or maybe even triple the retail as it was 001 and it was for a great cause.

I was wrong. The bidding started at £500 and I thought surely no one was going to pay that – again, I was wrong. A hand was raised from the table next to us and I thought, I need to win this as lot 2 is out of my league.

Hoping the auction would be going up in £10 or £20 increments I raised my hand only to hear the auctioneer shout “We have £600!” I ended up winning the bottle for £1000 and after learning more about the work Maggie’s does for those affected by cancer in the Highlands, I do not regret a single penny of it.

Skip to 2020 and a friend in the whisky industry organised a Zoom tasting for 20 folks with no real agenda other than to catch up and enjoy some whisky together.

The auction story came up in the tasting and after a few drams I suggested I would organise a follow-up tasting with the same group and open the Maggie’s 001 bottle.

The idea was that everyone taking part would send a donation that they were comfortable with, very generously some of the group also donated bottles so that we could make an evening of it.

In the end, we had a Mortlach 20-year-old, Glenfarclas 2003 W Club bottling, Tomatin Maggie’s, Tomatin Single Oloroso Cask, Inaugural Raasay and an Adelphi Breath of Islay 21.

Huge thanks to all those who donated bottles and took part, I’m delighted to say that we raised a further £1020 for Maggie’s, who I’m sure have had a really tough year with the lack of fundraising events.

I’ve not made it down to Maggie’s quite yet to make the donation, for obvious reasons, so if anyone would like to add to that in any way shape or form, please get in touch at matt@themaltroom.co.uk

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