Two new single malt Scotch whiskies hit the market, both designed to celebrate Scotland’s Grand Slam winning rugby squads of 1984 and 1990.
But more importantly, sales of the limited-edition whiskies will help raise money for rugby players who have suffered life-changing injuries.
Gavin Hastings, a rugby icon of Scotland’s, recently unveiled the Loch Lomond whiskies at Myreside, home of his former club, Watsonians.
He was joined by Struan Kerr-Liddell, a former rugby player who has been wheelchair-bound since dislocating his neck while playing for Edinburgh’s Lismore RFC in 1999.
The non-profit organization Hearts + Balls, which came about from an appeal to raise money to support Struan, has since raised more than £700,000 for rugby players and their families, providing everything from carers to wheelchairs to vehicles.
A statement from Hearts + Balls explained that every bottle of the limited-edition 10 year old and 18 year old single malts from Loch Lomond will help the charity provide more support for the cause.
“In the more than 20 years since the charity was founded, I’ve been overwhelmed by the support from Scotland’s rugby community,” Struan said, in the prepared statement. “The charity provides a lifeline to those who experience a life changing injury. Hearts + Balls is there to make sure that nobody goes through that experience on their own.”
British and Irish Lion Gavin Hastings won 61 caps for Scotland and played a key role in Scotland’s win against England to secure the Grand Slam in 1990.
In 2022, he joined with his former teammates and members of the 1984 squad for a fundraiser, which brought in more than £48,000 for the charity.
“Hearts + Balls plays a vital role,” Hastings said. “We as players who have been fortunate to experience all the benefits of rugby while avoiding some of the major risks have a duty to do our bit to help those who have not been as lucky. The rugby community is special, and there’s no better evidence of that than the fact that this charity has now been going strong for almost 25 years.”
Hearts + Balls Chairman Kenny Hamilton said the group is “extremely grateful to Loch Lomond Whiskies, and the players of Scotland’s Grand Slam winning squads for their support in making this charity whisky a reality.”
“Both single malts are absolutely first class. We’re proud that our cause continues to mobilize Scotland’s rugby community to go above and beyond,” he added. “Every penny raised will go towards improving the lives of players who have suffered life changing injuries.”
The Loch Lomond 18 year old whisky is now available for £125, and features a fruit character with toasted oak, vanilla and soft smoke.
The 10 year old single malt, priced at £50, has an underlying fruit character with honey sweetness and soft smoke.
Both whiskies were chosen by Loch Lomond’s team and can be purchased on the Loch Lomond website at www.lochlomondwhiskies.com/collections/hearts-and-balls.
Read the full article at Gavin Hastings Launches Charity Whiskies To Support Injured Rugby Players