Yesterday, the World Duty Free Group, unveiled the Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve whisky in their Edinburgh airport tax and duty free store. The Group placed the winning bid for bottle No.7, when it was auctioned in London earlier this year, on behalf of The Lotus Flower Trust.
The money raised has been used to help fund the building of a school and home for physically and mentally disadvantaged children in Ramnagar, India.
The 55 year old single malt was created to honour Janet Sheed Roberts, the granddaughter of William Grant, who founded the Glenfiddich Distillery. Roberts celebrated her 110th birthday in August 2011 and was the oldest woman in Scotland.
[Above: Brian Kinsman – Master Distiller at William Grant & Sons with the Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve]
She passed away in April and WDFG believed this exclusive bottling to be an apt commemoration of her “remarkable life”. Eleven bottles of the Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve were released; one to represent each decade of her life.
The bottle is displayed at Edinburgh airport’s departure lounge, in front of the World Duty Free store. “Everything about The Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve is unique,” says the retailer. “The stunning packaging is inspired by some of Janet’s favourite personal items and has been carefully and intricately designed by the country’s finest craftspeople.”
The glass bottle was hand-blown by Brodie Nairn of Glasstorm and the stopper has been hand pressed with Janet Roberts’ initials, monogrammed in gold on an aquamarine Cloisonné medallion.
This is presented in a leather covered case, which takes its inspiration from a travel trunk that Janet used to use. It is finished with a Scottish deer horn toggle and lined with patterned silk. A limited edition print accompanies the bottle and is signed by the artist, Alison Watt OBE, an Associate Artist to the National Gallery in London.
The whisky is being sold at Edinburgh airport for £50,000 and World Duty Free Group will be donating a total of £70,000 to The Lotus Flower Trust.
Rita Greenwood, Global Travel Retail Director at William Grant & Sons says: “We have been touched by the incredible lengths that World Duty Free Group has gone to in support of this fantastic charity.
“It has been a real travel retail effort with World Duty Free Group buying bottle no.7 of The Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve at auction, Women in Travel leading the campaign to gain funds for the Lotus Flower Trust and so many travel retail organisations and individuals involved in travel retail coming together to donate and fundraise, to ensure that the Residential School for Special Needs Children was build in Ramnagar.
“That the story continues in Edinburgh airport is very fitting, as Janet Roberts was the first woman to graduate from Edinburgh University with a law degree. I would like to thank everyone involved, in particular Padraig Drennan and Sarah Branquinho at World Duty Free Group and all of their teams and Edinburgh airport. It has been a great team effort from everyone.”
Sarah Branquinho, Founder of Women in Travel and Chair of Trustees at the Lotus Flower Trust, added: “The opening ceremony of the Janet Sheed Roberts Residential School was incredibly moving. Fifty children with a spectrum of health challenges ranging from cerebral palsy and cleft palates through to Downs syndrome and club foot are already registered to attend.
LEGACY OF A GREAT SCOTTISH WOMAN
“Many of them took part in a fantastic song and dance programme alongside children from the secondary school in the same grounds, where many of the physically challenged will study.
“A further fifty families, some of whom had travelled through the night to get there, came to enrol their children. Women in Travel (WiT), working with Lotus Flower Trust and local NGO USR Indu Samiti, has completed this project which fulfils a desperate need in this remote rural community in a record 13 months – I just wish that everyone who contributed so generously could meet these wonderful children whose lives they have changed”.
Gordon Dewar, CEO of Edinburgh Airport, said: “Edinburgh Airport is incredibly lucky to have the Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve here, not only because the whisky is so rare, but because it also celebrates the legacy of a Scottish woman who had a fantastic life and spirit. It is also very special as proceeds of the bottle go towards helping improve the lives of disadvantaged children in India via the great work of the Lotus Flower Trust”.