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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 August, 2003, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Whisky cheer for charity
The whisky goes under the hammer next month
A children's charity is to benefit from the auction of a rare bottle of whisky.

The distiller Bowmore hopes next month's auction of the Islay single malt scotch whisky will eclipse the 25,000 record price fetched for a bottle.

Bottle 631, The Queen's Cask, is one of the rarest to go under the hammer from the Glasgow-based distiller.

The money raised from the sale will go to the Children's Hospice Association Scotland (Chas).

It is aiming to raise 10m to open its second Scottish hospice, Robin House, on the banks of Loch Lomondside, Argyll and Bute, next autmun.

Whisky consultant Martin Green said he expected the auction at McTear's Auction House in Glasgow on 2 September to generate global interest.

'Auction interest'

He said: "The estimated auction value is 3,000 to 5,000 but I hope we will exceed expectations and maybe even break the world record.

"This very rare Bowmore will attract great interest throughout the world of collectors."

Bowmore already holds the world record for an Islay whisky, which fetched 14,300 in May 2001.

But it is hoping to beat the top price of 25,877, fetched by another single malt, a 62-year-old Dalmore, at McTear's in Glasgow, in December last year.

Ewan McGregor and Sharleen Spiteri with Robyn Watterson
Ewan McGregor and Sharleen Spiteri support the charity

Mr Green said the whisky was top of the range.

He added: "It's full and mellow. On nosing, one may find rich dark chocolate with hints of liquorice and sherry.

"The finish is long and fruity.

"One is also reminded of wonderful aromas of mountain pine trees."

Bottle 631 was casked in the presence of the Queen during her 1980 visit to the Bowmore Distillery on the southern Hebridean island of Islay.

'World-record bid'

Chas' Morag Rhodes said it would be fantastic if a world-record bid was made for the malt.

She said: "We were delighted when the Palace granted permission to auction The Queen's Cask Bottle 631.

"It would be wonderful for the children, our staff and volunteers if Chas was to achieve a world-record bid and boost to our appeal to open Robin House."

Chas has several high-profile Scots who support its bid to build a second hospice including film star Ewan McGregor and Texas singer Sharleen Spiteri.

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