Looking for the perfect Christmas present for that lover of luxury spirits and gastronomy? The Cream of the Crop Auction is now live on Whisky.Auction and is raising money for valuable causes such as Equal Measures UK and the Emergency Energy Crisis Initiative.
Amongst the lots on offer are some “unicorn” Foursquare Rum Distillery bottlings, a sold-out batch of 20-year-old Caroni, a first edition copy of Tomas Estes’ seminal book The Tequila Ambassador, a rare bottle of Sierra Negra Corte Vetusto Ancestral Mezcal, and much more.
On 27th November, The Cream of the Crop Auction will go live via Whisky.Auction to raise money in support of Equal Measures UK’s vital work uplifting marginalised individuals within the drinks industry.
Lots have been donated by brands and individuals and will open to bids from 27th November until 6th December. These include some exceptionally rare bottles, tasting packs, and gastronomical experiences – the perfect Christmas presents for all lovers of fine food and drink.
What is Equal Measures UK?
Equal Measures was founded by Deano Moncrieffe to support marginalised and underrepresented people within the drinks industry through Education, Mentorship, Opportunity & Community. The initiative enriches possibilities for those from Black, Asian, and other minority ethnicities, or who have faced systemic barriers to their career progression for other reasons such as gender non-conformity, sexuality, or neurodivergence.
The cornerstone of Equal Measures is one-on-one, six-month-long mentorships with leading figures in hospitality, as well as a program of industry-relevant education (WSET Level 2 & 3 Spirits, Personal Licence, Bar Management etc), shaped and realised by Equal Measures’ partner The Mixing Class. We also offer businesses bespoke, tailored DEI Workshops that deep-dive into drinks industry relevant workplace scenarios, inclusive and supportive hiring & management practices, and policy change.
Through the Education and Mentorship Project we aim to give participants the tools they need to create and sustain rewarding careers. By challenging existing hiring practices, we hope to build awareness of obstacles faced by marginalised groups, and to collaborate with the drinks and hospitality industries to resolve existing biases.
Some highlights of the Equal Measures Lots include:
A genuine, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own one of the rarest bottlings released by the inimitable Foursquare Rum Distillery. This is one of three in existence and was bottled by Master Distiller Richard Seale as a gift to Sly Augustin (owner of globally renowned rum bar Trailer Happiness) after his bar was devastated by the London flash floods in July 2021.
Sly has kindly donated this amazing lot to raise money for Equal Measures UK. This is an exclusive opportunity to own a piece of history from one of the most prestigious distilleries in the world.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label is an exquisite blend made from some of Scotland’s rarest and most exceptional whiskies. Its powerful flavour is incomparably rich and smoky, with a velvety smooth texture. The winner of this bottle will have the name of their choice custom engraved for the quintessential personal experience.
The ultimate collector’s item for an agave lover. Written by internationally renowned tequila expert, Tomas Estes, this book is the preeminent guide to Mexican agave spirits and includes a definitive history, production, and a series of interviews with some of tequila’s most influential producers and personalities. It also includes just short of 100 tequila cocktail recipes. Originally published in 2012, this book sold out almost immediately and is incredibly hard to come by. Two copies have kindly been donated by Tomas’ son, Jesse Estes of Tequila Ocho, alongside two back-vintage bottles of Ocho single estate tequila.
Join either Dawn Davies (Master of Wine & Head Buyer at The Whisky Exchange) or celebrated author & whisky ambassador Billy Abbott, for a tutored tasting of up to 8 different delectable treats including a welcome glass of Champagne. The winner will choose the subject – from wine to whisky – and be expertly led through a bespoke tasting on their favourite tipple. The tasting can be themed around a country, category or a region of their choosing. Dawn or Billy will choose the products that will best tantalise the tastebuds.
Funds raised by the auction will allow Equal Measures to enrich possibilities for those who have experienced systemic barriers to their career progression.
Donor Sly Augustin – a staunch supporter of Equal Measures’ mission to deliver greater equity in the drinks industry – says,
“My community helped me through some pretty dark times, so it feels only right to help bring light and raise awareness of some of the challenges facing the hospitality industry”.
Equal Measures UK’s Founder, Deano Moncrieffe, adds:
“We are so grateful to all of our incredible donors. There are a number of rare and exclusive lots that are sure to excite collectors of fine spirits and lovers of luxury experiences. Being able to offer such unique lots and raise money for a noble cause, is wonderful and will ensure that we can help many more people through our work at Equal Measures.”
The Cream of the Crop Auction is run by The Drinks Trust and facilitated by Whisky.Auction. Those wishing bid on can do so by signing up to Whisky.Auction here. The Cream of the Crop – Wines & Spirits Auction will go live on 27th November and run until 6th December 2022. A full list of lots raising money for Equal Measure UK can be found below. The auction will also be raising money for The Drink Trust’s Emergency Energy Crisis Initiative.
A full list of lots raising money for Equal Measures UK in The Cream of the Crop Auction:
- Two Back-vintage Tequila Ocho bottlings, plus The Tequila Ambassador book by Tomas Estes (privately donated by Jesse Estes)
- The Tequila Ambassador book by Tomas Estes (privately donated by Jesse Estes)
- 2 x Personalised Johnnie Walker Blue Label Whisky
- 2 x Talisker 44 Mini Gift Box
- Foursquare ‘The Sly’ Single Blended 15yo Barbados Rum, Bottle number 3 of 3 (privately donated by Sly Augustin)
- Black Tot Rum Master Blender’s Reserve 2022
- Royal Salute 21-Year-Old Signature Blend Whisky
- Foursquare Sovereignty Exceptional Cask Selection Mark XIX, 14-Year-Old Single Blended Rum
- That Boutique-y Rum Company Caroni Batch 2, 20-Year-Old Rum (privately donated by Floating Rum Shack)
- Private Tasting at The Whisky Exchange by Dawn Davies
- Private Tasting at The Whisky Exchange by Billy Abbott
- Corte Vetusto Mezcal Ancestral Sierra Negra, Bottle 48 of 80
- Foursquare Exceptional Cask Series Rare Vintages Tasting Pack: 2004 -2009 (privately donated by DarkBear – this lot will go live during the next Whisky.Auction auction, date TBC)
- Foursquare Sagacity Exceptional Cask Selection Mark XI, 12-Year-Old Single Blended Rum (privately donated by anonymous)
- Trio of First Edition Capreolus Distillery Eaux de Vie
- 2 x Limited Edition Plantation Single Cask Rum
- Fire-cooking Masterclass with Adam Purnell a.k.a. Shropshire Lad
- Private “Dream Dram” Whisky Tasting for Two at Milroy’s