SOURCE: StudyMode


September 15, 2014 12:00 ET

Los Angeles Entrepreneur Buys $64,000 Whiskey Shot to Benefit Liberty in North Korea

Proceeds From 64-Year Dram of Macallan Scotch Will Support Underground Railroad and Services for Resettled Refugees

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 15, 2014) - On Saturday, Blaine Vess, CEO of StudyMode, an ed-tech company dedicated to helping students succeed in school, purchased a $64,000 dram of Macallan 64 Year single-malt whiskey to benefit Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), a non-profit working with the North Korean people to accelerate change in their country.

Vess purchased the one-of-a-kind dram from The Macallan's £10 cocktail lounge at Montage Beverly Hills. The Macallan has promised to donate proceeds from the whiskey's sale to the charity of the buyer's choice. Instead of drinking the valuable dram, after toasting with Justin Wheeler, LiNK VP, and Danny Lee, a North Korean rescued by LiNK, Vess returned it to the hotel's safe.

"I want to wait to drink it until the North Korean people are free -- and I believe that will happen in my lifetime," said Blaine Vess, CEO of StudyMode. "I'm honored to support LiNK in promoting freedom and empowerment for the North Korean people, and grateful to The Macallan for their generosity in giving the proceeds from this valuable whiskey to charity. I hope what we're doing here today will raise awareness for what LiNK is doing in North Korea, and encourage others to support their efforts as well."

LiNK, based in Torrance, Calif., rescues North Korean refugees via a 3,000-mile underground railroad, and designs customized programs to empower resettled North Korean refugees to reach their full potential. Vess has supported LiNK since 2012, and recently became chairman of the non-profit's board of directors.

"Our organization is funded by thousands of people who find creative and sometimes crazy ways to support the North Korean people," said Wheeler. "We love that Blaine has decided to hold off drinking the shot and instead stand in solidarity with our North Korean friends. We can't wait to return someday to raise our glasses filled with the world's most expensive shot of whisky to celebrate the freedom of the North Korean people. We won't stop until that day comes."

The 85-proof dram of Macallan scotch that Vess purchased contains three single malts filled in 1942, 1945 and 1946. It is the only mini-bottle of its kind. A decanter of this same Macallan 64 Year single malt was auctioned off by Sotheby's in New York in 2010 for $460,000.

About StudyMode
StudyMode provides a network of practical online learning tools and apps to help students succeed. The flagship site,, allows students to share and review study materials such as research documents, book notes and AP notes. Other sites in the network include, where students can create, share and study flashcards. Founded in 1999, StudyMode's international network features more than 15 properties and reaches 90 million visitors per month.

About Liberty in North Korea
Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) is a nonprofit organization working with the North Korean people to accelerate change in their country. LiNK rescues North Korean refugees through a 3,000-mile underground railroad and designs customized programs to empower resettled refugees to reach their full potential. For more information, visit:

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