Charles MacLean launches charity whiskies

Whisky expert Charles MacLean has teamed up with his three sons to launch two limited edition expressions for charity, which contain liquid from 17 Scottish distilleries.

MacLean’s three sons, Ewan, Jamie and Lachlan, became the youngest and fastest trio to row the Atlantic last year as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in 2020. The MacLeans also became the first three brothers to row any ocean. The new whiskies, MacLean’s Pillage and MacLean’s Spillage, celebrate the record-breaking transatlantic crossing the trio, known as Broar, made in 35 days. Each bottle contains a small amount of whisky donated from 17 distilleries across the west coast of Scotland, including Ardbeg, Ardnamurchan, Arran, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Girvan, Glen Scotia, Jura, Kilchoman, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Oban, Springbank, Tobermory and Talisker. The whisky was collected during the team’s first training run across Scotland. Charles Maclean said: “To my knowledge, this is the first time that all the distilleries on the west coast have collaborated and we’ve tried to balance the personalities of the different whiskies to create two unique, attractive and very rare blends. “This whole adventure – helping my boys get organised for the row, watching them break three world records and working with them to create these whiskies – has been a life-changing experience for them, and for me. I’m incredibly proud of them.” Charles MacLean led the team of experts who blended the whisky, including Whyte & Mackay master blender Richard Paterson. There are just 168 700ml bottles of blended malt Maclean’s Pillage (46% ABV) available. Blended Scotch MacLean’s Spillage (47.1% ABV) will be limited to 299 700ml bottles and 700 50ml miniatures. Proceeds from the sale will enable Scottish charity Feedback Madagascar to provide clean water for life to more than 3,000 people in Madagascar. The whiskies are expected to raise almost £100,000 (US$126,200), which would allow Feedback Madagascar to build at least 18 new boreholes for clean water. The expressions are available to purchase from Royal Miles Whiskies. MacLean’s Pillage is priced at £275 (US$347) per 700ml bottle, while MacLean’s Spillage will be sold for £95 (US$120) for the 700ml and £25 (US$31.50) for the 50ml. Arthur Motley, purchasing and sales director at Royal Mile Whiskies, added: "Not only is this the first blending project of one of the most respected names in Scottish whisky and a limited edition, but all the proceeds will go to charity. Given those factors and the exquisite taste of both whiskies, we think the bottles could sell out within hours."