Distillery produces Queen’s Jubilee whisky

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A special £100,000 bottle of whisky which has been maturing for 60 years has been created for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by a Royal Deeside distillery.

At Royal Lochnagar Distillery, on the edge of Balmoral Estate, David Gates, Grantee of John Walker & Sons’ Royal Warrant, has overseen the filling of The Queen’s decanter, as well as 60 further editions for sale around the world.

John Walker & Sons’ profits from the sale of these editions are being donated to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) with a guaranteed amount of at least £1 million and will support the excellence of craftsmanship as symbolised by the Royal Warrant of Appointment.

David Gates said: “John Walker & Sons was first awarded a Royal Warrant in 1934 by King George V. We are extremely honoured that the quality of our whiskies is recognised by this symbol and our commitment to this calibre of quality and service is unwavering.

“Today in 2012, we are privileged to be able to celebrate The Queen’s remarkable achievement with this fitting tribute, Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons, the sales of which will help to create an enduring legacy for the supreme craftsmanship that it represents.”

The creation of Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons has been a once in-a-lifetime privilege for Master Blender Jim Beveridge and his apprentice Matthew Crow who have overseen the search, selection and expert blending of the whiskies from the beginning.

The final, traditional step of marrying has been carried out in casks made by the John Walker & Sons coopers using oak provided by kind permission of The Queen from her private Sandringham Estate.

Master Blender Jim Beveridge said: “Along with Master Cooper David Taylor, who I have worked alongside for more than 30 years, and all those at John Walker & Sons, I feel an immense sense of pride to be involved in this project.

“An extraordinary amount of care and attention has gone into every stage of crafting this Scotch Whisky a there has been a great sense of excitement building towards today, when the full character and flavours of Diamond Jubilee by John Walk & Sons will be revealed for the first time.”

John Walker & Sons has harnessed the skills of more than 60 fine artisans, including fellow Royal Warrant Holders and QEST Scholars are creating bespoke pieces to present and accompany the whisky.

The diamond shaped Baccarat crystal decanters stand on a crystal ball with six radial legs to reflect the decades of The Queen‟s enduring reign, and are adorned with Britannia silver, selected for its purity.

Leading Scottish silversmiths, Hamilton & Inches, has fashioned the collars set with a half-carat diamond, the Royal Arms, John Walker Sons monogram and individually numbered seals.

Each edition also includes a pair of lead Cumbria Crystal glasses engraved by Philip Lawson Johnston and a commemorative artefact book hand bound by Laura West at her Isle of Skye bindery and personalised for each owner by Sally Mangum, Calligrapher By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen.

All the elements will be housed in a chest made by the cabinet makers at N.E.J. Stevenson, incorporating oak from Sandringham to echo the whisky marrying casks and Caledonian pine from The Queen’s Balmoral Estate.

Chairman of QEST, Richard Watling, said: “The creation of this beautiful work, a monument to the skills of its craftspeople and the definitive tribute to 60 years of Her Majesty’s reign is of enormous significance to QEST.

“The donation will enable us to significantly increase the number of scholarships we award, helping to secure the preservation of vital craft skills for generations to come.

For this, QEST is extremely grateful.”

Two further editions created for the John Walker & Sons archive, will embark on a tour around the world in Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee year.

Ballater School draw

The winners of the Ballater Primary School January draw, for the 200 Club, were as follows: 4) 93 Gillian Fowler £10, 3) 170 Fiona Reid £10, 2) 150 Sandy Esson £25, 1) 23 Patricia Hazley £50.

Ballater Whist

The interest afforded by the weekly Ballater whist drive continues to attract members on Wednesday evenings and there was no exception to this on Wednesday, February 1. The attendance was again very good.

The winners of the whist were as follows: 1) Andrina Robertson and Sandy Esson; Runners-up – Millie Begg and Peter Chalmers. Special prizes were awarded to Maureen Todd and Jimmie Emslie.

The next whist drive will be at 7pm on Wednesday, February 15, in the Beaton-Craigie Room, entrance on Monaltrie Road.

Everyone is always welcome to attend. Admission is £1, including half time refreshments and there will be the usual raffle.