As part of its centenary celebrations, Highland Rugby Football Club (Highland RFC) is touring a bottle of 29-year-old Balblair whisky, generously donated by leading malt whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail, housed in a bespoke bronze plinth created exclusively for Highland RFC by fine art, architectural and memorial bronze foundry Black Isle Bronze.
The tour is a precursor to the club’s Centenary Dinner in Inverness on 13th August where the unique item will be auctioned for charity.
The exclusive piece has already been displayed at the Whisky Shop in Inverness and made a trip to the Balblair Distillery where it was enthusiastically received.
It is currently set at Castle Stuart Golf Links, with visits to Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Skibo Castle and the whisky shop belonging to Gordon & MacPhail.
Just 469 bottles of this wonderful Balblair Highland Single Malt whisky were created from a single sherry butt filled in 1990.
It is part of Gordon & MacPhail’s famous Connoisseur’s Choice collection.
Cask strength, it is described as having a soft cinnamon spice which leads to stewed plum and delicate sherbet aromas.
The initial toasted malt flavours give way to light fruitcake with a hint of cashew nut.
Traces of aniseed and dried ginger linger on the finish.
Valued at around £800, it is expected to be a much sought-after bottle that is very hard to come by.
The plinth was created by Farquhar Laing and his team at Black Isle Bronze based near Inverness.
It took around four months to make and recreates a traditional rugby ball placed on a kicking tee and set in bronze.
Designed specifically to display a bottle of whisky, one of the segments of the ball is removed, creating space for the bottle.
The plinth is valued at around £4,000 which, when combined with the whisky, is a truly one-of-a-kind package.
Speaking about the exclusive package, Roy Dinnes, Vice President of Highland RFC, said:
“This is a unique item, bespoke to Highland RFC, and we are extremely grateful to Gordon & MacPhail and Black Isle Bronze for allowing us to auction something very special in our centenary year and hopefully raise money to support charities particularly close to our hearts at the club.
“We are delighted to take this unique item on tour so that as many people across the Highlands get to see it.
“Any organisations interested in displaying the plinth should get in touch with us via social media. We are more than happy for people to have their photos with it and tag Highland RFC.”
Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige at Gordon & MacPhail, added:
“We are delighted to be part of the centenary celebrations at Highland RFC.
“Roy and the team do a phenomenal job promoting the game and coaching and supporting schools throughout communities in the Highlands.
“I hope this special bottle of Balblair helps raise funds for worthwhile charities, allowing them to continue their excellent work.”
Farquhar Laing, Director at Black Isle Bronze, described his involvement with Highland RFC:
“I am a member of the club, a volunteer coach and my son plays for the Under-16s team.
“You can see our work all over the world, from Dallas in Texas to Dubai and of course here in the UK.
“Having created the line-out sculpture for Twickenham, we were only too happy to create something special for Highland RFC which we hope goes to a good home and raises a lot of money.”
Already open for bids, the money raised will support charities Mikeysline, Alzheimer Scotland, My Name’5 Doddie and Highland RFC so that the club can continue to promote and deliver rugby to communities across the Highlands.
Anyone wishing to bid for the plinth and the bottle of Balblair whisky can do so by visiting; https://uk.givergy.com/HRCAuction2022/?controller=lots&action=showLot&id=1 or by attending the Centenary Dinner in Inverness on August 13th.
Tickets for the dinner can be purchased here and are on sale until August 1st.