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Inaugural auction dedicated to women in whisky launches

Ahead of International Women’s Day, OurWhisky Foundation has launched an auction dedicated to the “vastly under-recognised” role of women in whisky.

Inaugural auction dedicated to women in whisky launches

OurWhisky Foundation has launched the inaugural Demeter Collection, named after the Greek goddess of grain, with all lots up for sale crafted and inspired by women.

The 2024 auction will run from 29 March to 8 April on and comprises 18 lots.

Funds raised from the auction, including buyer’s fees from Whisky Auctioneer, will be donated to the OurWhisky Foundation in support of its work providing initiatives and projects to support women working in whisky. The foundation’s work includes a mentorship programme and a stock image library dedicated to depicting women and whisky.

All 18 lots in the inaugural Demeter collection have a link to women working in the whisky industry. For one of the exclusive expressions, a 31-year-old blend from House of Hazelwood, blender Eilidh Muir has incorporated whisky originally used to create the Hazelwood Centennial blend released in honour of Janet Sheed Roberts’ 100th birthday — granddaughter of the founder of William Grant & Sons.

A 44-year-old commemorative bottling of Dalmore is also up for sale, celebrating whisky maker Margaret Nicol’s 50th anniversary. A 20-year-old Ardbeg created by master blender Gillian Macdonald to celebrate 20 years in the industry is also on the list.

Becky Paskin, founder of the OurWhisky Foundation, argued that women’s “contributions to whisky have been vastly under-recognised”.

Not only this, but women in the whisky industry are also often made to feel unsafe, according to a survey conducted by OurWhisky Foundation last year.

The survey found that a third of women working in whisky have been inappropriately touched and 87% feel they experience more challenges in the workplace than their male counterparts.

The problem is also not a historic one. More than a quarter (27%) of consumer-facing women who have been working in the industry for less than five years reported being inappropriately touched.

In light of current and historical challenges to women in the industry, the Demeter collection was created to honour “the untold stories of women in whisky”, while raising funds to enable the OurWhisky Foundation to “support, recognise and empower future generations of women in the industry”, Paskin said.

The auction’s full list of lots includes:

Aberfeldy 40 Year Old

Ardbeg Twenty

Arbikie Farm Experience + Hand-filled Rye Whisky

Atonia’s Legacy: The Sarah Burgess Edition

Cooper King Cask No. 1: Inaugural Release

Cotswolds Distillery One of One


House of Hazelwood: The Long View

JJ Corry x Tipperary: The Founders Bottles #1

Laphroaig 25 Year Old: The Bessie Williamson Story

Loch Lomond Sonata Collection

Nc’nean Aon 17-302

SMWS Christmas on the Beach

Strathearn Single Malt Scotch Whisky: One of One

The Borders Distillery IWD Quarter Cask

The Dalmore 44 Years Old

The GlenDronach 30 Year Old Single Cask

Wire Works Love, Sweat & Tears

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