Whisky Focus - Royal Lochnagar Scottish Ballet's 'The Sleeping Beauty Cask'

Royal Lochnagar Scottish Ballet's 'The Sleeping Beauty Cask'


3rd September 2021
A unique single cask of Royal Lochnagar whisky, laid down in 1994, has now been bottled ready for auction as part of Diageo’s prestigious Casks of Distinction range. Every pound raised at auction will go to the Scottish Ballet Endowment Fund. All bottling and auction costs have been generously donated by Diageo and Whisky Auctioneer in support of Scottish Ballet.

Scottish Ballet, Diageo and Whisky Auctioneer have announced the release of 470 bottles from a single cask of Royal Lochnagar whisky, which will be sold at auction 9-13 September 2021.

The unique single cask of Royal Lochnagar spirit was laid down on the 4th November 1994 at the instigation of Lord MacFarlane of Bearsden, who was at the time Chair of United Distillers and Vice Chair of Scottish Ballet. 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.

Scottish Ballet dancer Alice Kawalek with The Sleeping Beauty cask of Royal Lochnagar whisky.

After twenty-six years slowing maturing in a European oak ex-sherry butt, cask No. 1289, ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ was awakened and bottled at natural cask strength 56.3% ABV non-chill filtered on the 9th April 2021 as part of the prestigious Casks of Distinction range.

The cask produced 503 bottles which are 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 generously donated by Diageo and Whisky Auctioneer in support of Scottish Ballet.

Royal Lochnagar 26 Year Old 1994 Scottish Ballet's 'The Sleeping Beauty Cask'The first auction lot will include bottle number one and the unique cask end painting by Norman Edgar depicting Princess Aurora, the sleeping beauty. The first ten lots will also include exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences with Scottish Ballet.

HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay and Patron of Scottish Ballet, said:
"It is marvellous to know that this unique gift has been bottled and will now be offered for sale in support of the Scottish Ballet Endowment Fund, ensuring a lifelong benefit to all those who love ballet and who love Scotland.’"

Christopher Hampson, CEO/Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet, said:
"Like all arts organisations, Scottish Ballet has endured a challenging eighteen 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."

Lord MacFarlane of Bearsden said:
"It is deeply gratifying that this Royal Lochnagar cask, which I presented to Scottish Ballet in celebration of its 25th anniversary in 1994, is now being awoken. I am delighted that people will now be able to taste this extremely special whisky, but even more importantly the legacy of our donation will be continued through the funds the cask will raise for the Scottish Ballet Endowment Fund."

Artist Norman Edgar said: "A great fan of the artist Edgar Degas, I had never painted any ballet paintings and enjoyed creating the pose after watching a performance of The Sleeping Beauty in Glasgow, with the shape of Aurora’s dress following the circular barrel ends. As a relatively young man at the time, I would also still be around to sample the result!"

To find out more and register interest in the auction which will be hosted on the Whisky Auctioneer website between 9-13 September 2021 visit: www.scottishballet.co.uk/whisky
 

Royal Lochnagar Scottish Ballet's 'The Sleeping Beauty Cask' Review


William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A lovely gentle inviting sherried nose exuding toffee infused with damson jam, raisin, orange, a little almond and a wee touch of spice.

Taste: Burnt rum infused raisins, treacle toffee with a dark chocolate orange edge, a wee touch of vanilla gives a nod to the 26 years in the cask, some lovely oak spice and ginger.

Finish: The sherry fruitiness and treacle toffee along with what sweetness there was bitters out and leaves some peppery spice in its trail, some lingering oak tannins and a little minty element.

Comment: An outstanding mature expression of Royal Lochnagar, it remains to be seen what these bottles will go for at auction but if your pockets are deep enough you wont be disappointed and it is for a very good cause.

SMW Whisky Score 92/100
 

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