The initiative which was launched when lockdown first took place will now benefit from a cash injection from a special whisky bottling.
The Feldy-Roo initiative, which saw more than 230 vulnerable people be fed twice a day for free when the coronavirus pandemic first hit, has teamed up with a local distillery to create its first whisky.
Dewar’s Distillery in Aberfeldy was one of the first firms to come to the aid of Feldy-Roo in offering free hand sanitiser and has now reached out to the team to give them the chance to raise funds for the project while creating a legacy product.
Bottling the 20-year-old Dewar’s Scottish malt whisky on Friday, 13 lucky volunteers visited the distillery in Aberfeldy to bottle around 150 bottles which will go on sale tonight at 5pm on the Feldy-Roo Facebook page.
Spearheaded by Gavin Price and Julie Roy, the initiative now delivers free meals to 130 vulnerable people across a 30-mile radius from Fearnan to Aberfeldy, and everywhere in between.
#FeldyRoo Lock Down 2, Day 28:With Burns Night and the launch of the Dewar's Aberfeldy Distillery 2001 #FeldyRoo Aberfeldy Single Malt Scotch Whisky just one sleep away, Iain Struthers Photography brings you a short promotional video, giving details on how to get your hands on this rare whisky.150 bottles have been prepared and will go sale via a link ONLY available on this Facebook Page at 5pm tomorrow (to those who have liked the page). For whisky buffs out there the cask used was a 2001 ex bourbon cask 51.5% abv. Generally bourbon gives Aberfeldy lovely red fruit, floral and creamy flavours. 🥃🥃 The purchase price will be £120.I hope many of our followers will be succesful, but I think you will need to be quick off the mark!To coincide with this Burns Night Celebration our residents are tomorrow being treated to a traditional Haggis Neeps & Tatties meal cooked by the The Fountain Bar & Restaurant. In the spirit of this community occasion, kindly, Macdonald Bros Butchers are supllying the Haggis for around 120 of our residents. 👏👏👏Tonight 118 of our residents from Acharn to Tullimet are set to enjoy their traditional Sunday Roast Chicken, as ever lovingly prepared by Paul & Davey at Thyme to EatTune in tomorrow and good luck to all the buyers! 🤞#FeldyRooFunded by SSE Renewables, Foundation Scotland, Highland Action Partnership, NHS Tayside CIF, Northwood, The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland
Posted by Feldy-Roo on Sunday, January 24, 2021
Gavin Price said: “The distillery contacted us out of the blue, although I think someone from Feldy-Roo may have suggested last summer that it would be nice to have a Feldy-Roo malt. They came to us and said they were going to bottle a prototype of 20-year-old single malt for Feldy-Roo and wanted to donate it to us. I thought we were getting one bottle but it turns out they have prepared a whole cask for us.
“We’re going to get around 150 bottles which is just great. They are going to donate a substantial proportion of the profits to us and to have a Feldy-Roo keepsake whisky is just amazing.”
Filled by the volunteers, there will be around 100 bottles for the public to get their hands on with 60 already claimed by volunteers who have helped support the project since its inception.
Gavin also says there are specific numbers he believes will prove to be extra special to people, with numbers like 20, which is associated with the year 2020 in which Feldy-Roo was established, in high demand.
“I think they will sell pretty much instantly as we’ve had loads of interest,” said Gavin.
“We have around 60 volunteers who we have allowed to pre-reserve their bottle, so there will be around 100 for the public to purchase. People can only purchase it from the Feldy-Roo Facebook page and there will be a link posted at 5pm on there tonight. The whisky will be priced at £120 and bottled at 51.5%.
“We bottled the whisky on Friday and got some of the volunteers involved. We put everyone’s names who was interested in being involved into a lottery draw and drew out 13 names. I think they will be real collector’s items these bottles, so I think the numbers will be really special for those interested in whisky. I think number 20 will be quite significant with the year 2020 when Feldy-Roo started, and 14 and 16 I think will be special as those are the numbers of the bars where Feldy-Roo started from.
“Everyone plays such a vital role with us, so it is going to be pretty special.”
Building a future
Looking to what the future holds, Gavin is certain there is a place for Feldy-Roo once lockdown restrictions have been lifted and feels the initiative will continue to be community focused and led.
He added: “We don’t know how long we’ll be going with Feldy-Roo, it depends entirely on how lockdown lasts and we’re prepared to go on for as long as we can. We’ve been really lucky with different funders that we have the finances to do it, but we need to keep going with it.
“We’re servicing around 130 people at the moment. That can potentially still rise. Because it hasn’t been as strict a lockdown as before the numbers aren’t as high, as the last time we were delivering to 230-240 people twice a day. People can get to the shops more this time, but we’re still very much here for anyone who needs us. We’re just delivering an evening meal a day and we’re delivering to the same area from Fearnan, Fortingall, to Aberfeldy in the east, so it’s a 25 to 30 mile area we’re covering.
“A lot of the same businesses are still all involved but the Schiehallion Hotel is a new addition.
“In between lockdowns we’ve tried to support other initiatives too and we teamed up with a local charity who were trying to get the message out about donating Christmas presents for kids – it was just amazing the amount of presents that ended up coming in. I do think there’s a role for us in helping charities and the community market their initiatives and help fulfil projects.”
The first pour
Julie Roy, co-founder of Feldy-Roo, was the first person to pour one of the bottles of whisky.
Speaking about the experience, she said: “It was very emotional doing it. I didn’t cry but I did get a bit teary. I’ve been involved since the start and it was Gavin and I’s idea to start it. It was a really overwhelming moment and the fact that the distillery had come forward with this cask and we were going to be filling it to get some profits for Feldy-Roo, and the fact I was pouring the first bottle out of the Feldy-Roo cask was just quite touching.
“We allowed our volunteers to pre-order a bottle. I picked number 25 and bottled it myself. It is being launched today (January 25) and my grandmother died on January 25, 40 years ago. It just seemed really poignant that the dates all lined up so I picked number 25. I poured it myself and wrote the label myself. I’ll be passing it onto my son in due course.”