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Water of Life: Charity Water Raises $600,000 in New York City

This blog post was updated on November 2, 2018.

Any whiskey lover knows the name Macallan. The legendary Scotch distillery has been producing their signature single malts since 1824, but this year, created something very special, for a very special cause. They partnered with the crystal house, Lalique, which is celebrating its own 150th birthday, to create a very special decanter.


Made using a technique called cire perdue or “lost wax,” which Lalique hadn’t employed since 1930, the intricately carved and finished decanter was filled with Macallan 64, the oldest ever bottled in the company’s history, and a unique treat for Scotch lovers. Though all this was certainly fitting to celebrate the history of two major luxury brands, what’s more important is that they were doing it in service of a cause.


The decanter was created to benefit the organization charity:water, which uses 100% of their donations towards creating water sources in rural areas. When news of this project hit the news in April of 2010, it kicked off an eight-month, twelve-city tour (from Paris to New York via Madrid, London, Moscow, Seoul, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Taipei, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo) where 3.3 ounce drams of the drink were auctioned off (you’ll want to take that in your carry-on), raising nearly $140,000, before the bottle arrived at Sotheby’s in New York City last night.


As guests, bidders, and representatives from Lalique, Macallan, and charity:water looked on, the auctioneer started the bidding at $50,000. Less than 15 minutes later, with banks of representatives manning the phones on all sides of the room, the price had climbed to an unanticipated high of $460,000, capping out the total amount raised at $600,000.


According to charity:water, one $5,000 well serves approximately 250 people, which means that upon completion of the sale, they can add 120 wells and 30,000 more people with access to clean water to their roster. And the anonymous phone bidder should be proud to display their well-traveled bottle, which has touched the lives of so many.



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