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Scotch whisky raises £90,000 for Japanese relief effort

Published:  05 December, 2011

The 'Spirit of Unity' whisky, created by seven independent Scottish distilleries for the relief effort in Japan following its earthquake and tsunami, has raised £90,000 to date.

The money raised has so far helped set up a market in the village of Utatsu offering local people much needed supplies following the destruction of all the shops in the village and helped house more than 300 people in temporary accommodation.

It is the first time the distilleries; Arran, BenRiach, Bladnoch, GlenDronach, Mitchell's Glengyle, Kilchoman and Springbank have collaborated together.

Each donated a cask of single malt which were then blended to create only 2,000 bottles of the one-off whisky.

Recently, four of the distillers involved visited the Tohuku region, one of the worst affected areas in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami.

Euan Mitchell, managing director of Isle of Arran Distillers, who came up with the idea to produce the drink, said: "Many in our industry, like me, travel regularly to Japan and have made friends and contacts with Japanese whisky enthusiasts.

"It has been our pleasure to create this dram and raise money for people in Japan following the recent natural disaster.

"We are very pleased with the current progress that's taking place through Refugees International Japan and hope the auction of the last four signed boxed sets at the beginning of next year will raise even more money for this very worthy cause."

Four boxed sets of the of the Spirit of Unity, each containing a bottle signed by the distillery manager from the seven distilleries involved, will be auctioned early in 2012 to raise further funds.