A RARE bottle of single cask Kilchoman whisky is the prize for one lucky bidder in a silent auction being held at Lockett Bros in North Berwick.

It is one of only 252, matured in an American bourbon barrel for eight years, with a cask strength of 58 per cent alcohol.

The auction is part of a fundraiser for Combat Stress, the veterans’ mental health charity, and is being organised by the music group the Flying Aspidistras ahead of their concert of remembrance, Now the Guns are Silent, at Gosford House on Sunday.

The occasion will be a reflection on the harsh reality of war and the suffering felt beyond the battlefield.

Kilchoman distillery on Islay has bottled this special single cask to coincide with the centenary of the end of the First World War.

More poignantly, it is also to commemorate the sinking of two troopships, the SS Tuscania and the HMS Otranto, with the loss of nearly 700 men, in the waters around Islay in 1918.

Ailsa Fortune, the event's organiser, said: "The war affected every community in Scotland, from Islay to East Lothian.

"The end of any war leaves many broken lives. In 1918, the focus was on supporting veterans with physical injuries – soldiers suffering from mental breakdown were often regarded as cowards.

"Thankfully, today, we have a clearer understanding of mental health issues and a charity like Combat Stress working hard to overcome prejudices."

For the successful bidder, Chris Lockett can guarantee a treat in store.

“It’s always an exciting moment when Kilchoman releases a single cask bottling," he said.

"This is a golden opportunity to get your hands on an exceptional single cask release.

"This single barrel is a perfect expression of Kilchoman with delicious sweet peat smoke and oodles of citrus fruit.”

The whisky has been supplied by an anonymous donor and a reserve of £110 has been put on it.

Bids can be made by filling in a card at Lockett Bros or by email to f.aspidistras@gmail.com

Bids must be made by Saturday and the result will be announced at the concert the following day.

All money raised in the auction will go to Combat Stress.