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Auction for limited edition

Young to benefit from ‘whisky and polar ice’

Steve Thom and Craig Mathieson
Steve Thom and Craig Mathieson: unique malt

A new single malt whisky, which includes the purest water from the polar ice cap, is to be auctioned for charity.

The limited edition 12 year-old Port Charlotte single malt Islay whisky has been distilled using drops of millennia-old iceberg water from the Sermilik Fjord in Eastern Greenland.

Polar explorer Craig Mathieson, collected samples of the water while exploring the remote fjord by sea-kayak.

Bids for one of ten individually numbered bottles of the new whisky are expected to start at £100 when they are auctioned on Friday.

All money raised will directly benefit the work of The Polar Academy, a Scottish charity that supports young people through adventure expeditions.

One of only 12 explorers in the world to have skied to both the south and north poles, Mathieson founded the academy in 2014 to help young people afflicted by low self-esteem.

It takes them on life-changing adventures to unlock their potential and has already engaged more than 50,000 young people across Scotland.

Donations can also be made directly to the charity for one of an additional 190 bottles of the whisky.

Mathieson, who is also the first Explorer in Residence of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 129 years, has signed each individually numbered bottle of Polar Explorer. 

Designed by Wolffe in Edinburgh, Polar Explorer is presented in a wooden box and wrapped in an eye-catching sketch map of Arctic Greenland.  The necktie and illustrated label tell the story of the explorer’s bonds to both the wild waters and landscapes of the Isle of Islay and Arctic Greenland.

Mr Mathieson said: “The Polar Explorer is truly unique, a bottle that reflects both its spiritual home in the Isle of Islay and bond with the wild Arctic landscape.  Both are close to my heart.

“To support the work of The Polar Academy, I invite purveyors of this fine single malt Scotch whisky to bid at auction, or subsequently make a donation to the charity for a bottle of the whisky and share my taste for a fine malt and adventure. Slainte!” 

Whisky expert Charles MacLean described the Polar Explorer as ‘a cracking dram’.

He said:  “It is a very interesting whisky with real depth and a very good texture.  It’s an exceptionally good Port Charlotte with a base note of smoked honey glazed ham and salty seaweed.  It was a real honour to meet Craig and learn more about his Polar exploration.  I have scored the Polar Explorer an impressive 8.1 out of 10.” 

The journey to producing the whisky began when a single sherry cask of matured Port Charlotte single malt was gifted to Mr Mathieson by Steve Thom, a director of Edinburgh-based Cornhill Building Services.

A heavily peated single malt whisky with a long finish, Port Charlotte is an expression crafted by the Bruichladdich Distillery on Islay.   

From the single privately owned cask of Port Charlotte, a limited number of bottles subsequently received the addition of pure iceberg water. 

A small amount of ice was carefully hand harvested in the same way the local Inuit population has collected ice for water for centuries.

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