Glenfiddich, The 1950's

1 November 2021


William Grant & Sons makes historic donation to inaugural Worshipful Company of Distillers’ charity auction, The Distillers One of One, taking place with Sotheby’s at Barnbougle Castle at 1.00pm on 3rd December 2021

William Grant & Sons today announces the historic donation of three one-of-a-kind lots to the inaugural Distillers One of One charity auction which hopes to raise in excess of £1 million for Scottish charities. A leading Rare Whisky House, which combines Glenfiddich, The Balvenie and ‘lost gem’ distillery, Ladyburn, it is providing a unique lot from each distillery to mark the launch of its Private Clients business. This service will provide unprecedented, privileged access for international connoisseurs and collectors to some of the finest and oldest whisky reserves in the world from six generations of whisky-making tradition, for enjoyment, personal legacy or as an alternative investment.

As a founding partner to The Distillers One of One charity auction - formed by The Worshipful Company of Distillers – the William Grant & Sons Private Clients business will make a significant contribution to the combined auction sales. The lots, which have never before been made available, are expected to reach in excess of £285,000 in total sales. They exemplify the ongoing Private Clients business proposition to reveal unseen wonders of the whisky world - rare whisky expressions, experiences and access to William Grant & Sons’ generations of knowledge, expertise and learning - for the world’s most discerning collectors.

As one of the oldest independent family-owned whisky distilleries in the world, the Private Clients business is anchored in authenticity and generations of care and custodianship of some of the oldest and rarest whisky reserves. These are shown in this never-to-be-repeated selection of auction lots bringing together the most coveted liquids in six bottles, across three one-of-a-kind items created by the Private Clients division: Glenfiddich: The 1950s, Ladyburn 1966 David Bailey one-off John Lennon Edition and The Balvenie 1964 Single Bottle Release. Each represents a once-in-a-lifetime whisky acquisition from the 1950s and 1960s which were famously pivotal decades in the world of Scotch whisky.

Glenfiddich: The 1950s

A four-decanter prelude set of one-off bottlings from Glenfiddich distilled in the 1950s – some of the oldest reserves in the William Grant & Sons stocks. Nurtured over generations directly by the family and Master Distillers, these expressions from 1955, 1957, 1958 and 1959 are housed in a cabinet fitted with a high precision thermometer and hygrometer from world-renowned instrument makers, Fischer, allowing for careful control of internal environmental conditions. Each liquid is bottled in a Baccarat crystal decanter with a 24-carat gold neck and encased in a cabinet designed and made by HM The Queen’s royal warrant holding cabinet maker, NEJ Stevenson. The cabinet is created using figured sycamore, maple and hard wood and features an innovative mechanism to lay the whiskies flat to prevent the cork drying. The cushioning within the cabinet consists of lamb nappa and goat suede, some of the softest natural materials in existence.

Jonathan Driver, a leading authority on whisky, holding the dual positon as Master of the Company of Worshipful Distillers and Managing Director of William & Grant & Sons’ Global Private Clients, comments: “William Grant & Son’s rich legacy of giving back to its communities comes from the heart and over generations – it is integral to the way we do business. The Distillers One of One is hugely significant because it is the first time that these precious whisky stocks have been made available. These liquids are beyond rare, they are truly ‘one of one’, and their sale is historic as it represents the future legacy held in these liquids”.

Beyond The Distillers’ One of One auction, the global Private Clients personal service will build direct-to-distillery client relationships by offering ongoing, tailored access to incredibly rare and precious family stocks. Rare whisky expressions, experiences and access to generations of knowledge and expertise will form the proposition.

For further information about William Grant & Sons Private Clients and to register to bid at The Distillers One of One auction, please contact Jonathan Driver’s team at William Grant & Sons Private Clients at




Nina Plowman, Georgina Farley and Oliver Pickford
Cultural Communications
+44 (0)20 3286 6980

Notes to Editors

About Wiliam Grant & Sons:

William Grant & Sons, Ltd. is an independent family-owned distiller headquartered in the United Kingdom and founded by William Grant in 1887. Today, the luxury spirits company is run by the fifth generation of his family and distills some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the world’s favourite single malt Glenfiddich®, The Balvenie® range of handcrafted single malts and the world’s third largest blended Scotch Grant’s® as well as other iconic spirits brands such as Hendrick’s® Gin, Sailor Jerry®, Tullamore D.E.W Irish Whiskey, Monkey Shoulder and Drambuie.



This whisky is silky smooth with creamy vanilla and a touch of smoke. Tropical fruits are balanced with sweet oak and a wonderful antique parchment.

COLOUR: Pale Straw
CASK TYPE: Plain Butt
AGE: 66 Years Old

Brian Kinsman, Malt Master at Glenfiddich for William Grant & Sons comments

“The colour is intriguing. It is indicative of the delicate touch from the cask, which has almost simply cradled the spirit, enabling the distillery character to shine decades on; yet its paleness belies the fact that this is a phenomenally vibrant, flavoursome whisky. The hint of smoke too is curious for Glenfiddich, an echo of the era in which it was distilled.”



This whisky is wonderfully rich with layers of flavour that come in waves; baked fruit, waxy citrus peel, aged soft leather, wood sugars.

COLOUR: Dark Amber
CASK TYPE: Sherry Butt
AGE: 64 Years Old

Brian Kinsman, Malt Master at Glenfiddich for William Grant & Sons comments:

“This whisky is as rich and resinous as its beautiful, dark amber hues suggest. The DNA of Glenfiddich – overt fruit notes and sweetness – is woven with layer upon layer of cask character, from polished oak to soft leather. Emerging from these traditional flavours is an unusual hint of spearmint, an interesting nuance from the wood, a late appearance in this long maturation.”



This whisky is intensely oaky on first taste with a velvet mouth coating viscosity. Wood spices, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon all develop with time as the whisky evolves in your glass.

COLOUR: Mahogany
CASK TYPE: Sherry Butt
AGE: 63 Years Old

Brian Kinsman, Malt Master at Glenfiddich for William Grant & Sons comments:

“There can be a mysterious occurrence in whiskies matured in sherry casks when the flavours, intensified over many years, reach a moment of such abundance that they cannot be contained any longer and vanish, lost forever. We draw on all of our experience and instincts to predict this finely balanced moment of perfection. This makes it immensely rewarding and a rare privilege to bottle this whisky of great age at this peak, with the most complete, classic sherry cask character and magnificent richness of flavour.”



This whisky is incredibly complex with so much flavour in every sip. Oaky, spicy, cloves, dates, walnuts, Christmas pudding and dark chocolate. The flavour meanders from sweet to dry and back again.

COLOUR: Mahogany
CASK TYPE: Sherry Butt
AGE: 62 Years Old

Brian Kinsman, Malt Master at Glenfiddich for William Grant & Sons comments:

“Some whiskies truly capture a sense of place; this has notes that are unmistakably reminiscent of the warehouse, and in particular warehouse eight, where it laid surrounded by the solera vats, marrying tuns, and every size of cask – so atmospheric, and the absolute essence of Glenfiddich. It is an extraordinary whisky on the palate: from moments of incredible liveliness and sweetness, it swings to dryness and back again – so many sensations, all in one sip.”

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