Loch Lomond Group has launched the Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition (46.8% ABV) in the UK, the oldest expression ever to be released from the now lost Littlemill distillery.
The precious liquid, distilled by what is rumoured to be one of the world’s oldest distilleries, is available now priced at £6,000. Only 250 bottles will be produced in total, making this a much sought-after collector’s item.
Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition celebrates the life’s work of Littlemill owner Duncan Thomas. The spirit represents the culmination of his knowledge and experience and captures the spirit of his pioneering distilling process.
The stunning presentation box captures an exact map of the night sky seen above Littlemill Distillery on the evening that the liquid was barrelled. Inside, the hand-faceted Glencairn Crystal decanter, each engraved with its unique bottle number, is finished with a solid brass stopper made in Glasgow. Each box also contains a 5cl vial of the 40 Year Old liquid, for those who would like to sample the whisky while keeping the bottle intact.
Duncan Thomas was a true pioneer of Scotch Whisky, pushing boundaries and introducing innovation that would long outlive him. One of his more lasting legacies was the introduction of the straight necked pot still with rectifying heads, that made it possible to create variations on each spirit he produced, allowing him to retain control of the character of the final liquid. This philosophy was embraced by Japanese distilleries in the East, and to mark this, the 40 Year Old box shows the star chart on the night that the spirit was laid to rest, charting the two paths of Duncan Thomas and Japanese Whisky experimentation.
Michael Henry, Master Blender at Loch Lomond Group, said: “The Littlemill 40 year old Celestial Edition is a fitting way to celebrate the legacy left by Duncan Thomas, and the truly exceptional liquid is worthy of his name.”
Rumoured to be one of the oldest in Scotland, and possibly even the world, the Littlemill distillery has a long and fascinating history. Officially established and producing whisky legally from 1772 in Bowling on the banks of the River Clyde near Glasgow, the distillery fell silent in 1994 and was subsequently destroyed by fire in 2004, never to produce a drop again.
Littlemill’s rich history includes a number of owners over its lifetime and it was notably one of the first distilleries to have a female licensee, Jane MacGregor, in 1823. In the 1930s, the distillery was known for triple distillation before moving to the more traditional double distillation now associated with Scotch whisky.
In 1931, under the stewardship of the American Duncan Thomas, Littlemill was at the forefront of still innovation with technical designs that could create three styles of single malts from full-bodied to light. These innovative stills provided the inspiration for the Loch Lomond Distillery, which was opened in the 1960s.
Rare amongst the Lowland malts in using a Highland water source, as well as peat from Stornoway and Perthshire, Littlemill whiskies are renowned for a subtly floral, vanilla-rich sweetness.
Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition is available to buy from specialists whisky stockists.
For further information visit www.lochlomondgroup.com
Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition Tasting Notes
Issued by Big Partnership on behalf of The Loch Lomond Group.
Gordon & MacPhail, the single malt Scotch whisky creator, has unveiled a new addition to its ‘Private Collection’: Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery. At 70-years-old, it is the oldest expression from the Speyside distillery ever bottled.
The latest release closely follows the acclaimed 50-year-old Gordon & MacPhail 1968 from Caol Ila Distillery, the oldest single malt ever bottled from the Islay distillery.
The rare and exclusive Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery was matured in Cask 2154, a first fill Sherry butt filled on 11 June 1948 – six years before barley rationing restrictions were lifted following the Second World War. Only 210 decanters of this highly sought-after whisky are available to purchase.
The ‘Private Collection’ comprises a selection of rare single malts from celebrated, little-known, or closed distilleries personally selected by members of the Urquhart family, owners of Gordon & MacPhail.
Members of four generations of the Urquhart family nurtured Cask 2154. John Urquhart selected the cask with his son, George, back in 1948. George oversaw storage of the cask in the fabled Warehouse No. 5 at Glen Grant Distillery. His eldest son, Ian, monitored the whisky and, in May 1968, arranged for the Sherry butt to be moved to Gordon & MacPhail’s Elgin warehouse. Ian’s nephew, Stuart, the company’s Operations Director, selected Cask 2154 for bottling on 19 October 2018.
Stephen Rankin, Gordon & MacPhail’s Director of Prestige and member of the fourth generation of the Urquhart family, reflected: “Our family has matured single malt whiskies for 123 years, each generation passing on its knowledge of how to combine spirit and oak to create exquisite whiskies. Four generations of my family have carefully nurtured Cask 2154 over its 70 years to produce this unique whisky.
“My great-grandfather, John, selected the first fill Sherry butt in 1948 to fill with new-make spirit from Glen Grant. My family has patiently watched over this cask, regularly monitoring and sampling the whisky, recognising the right moment to bottle it at its ultimate peak. This masterpiece epitomises the skill and craft involved in matching a cask to new-make spirit, as well as our dedication to creating unique and intriguing whiskies.
“Thanks to the notable influence of the Sherry butt on the spirit over the years, the elegant whisky displays flavours of dried fruit, orange zest, and cracked black pepper whilst maintaining a long, smooth charred oak finish. The remarkable 70-year-old malt also has delicate smoky notes, a reminder that, in 1948, the distillery would have been using traditional practices on their floor maltings and local peat as a fuel.”
Bottled at cask strength (ABV 48.6%), the amber coloured single malt is presented in an exquisitely engraved, hand-blown crystal decanter. The stunning whisky is framed in a striking wooden presentation case, with doors which smoothly slide open to reveal the precious contents.
In April 2018, Gordon & MacPhail streamlined its portfolio of single malt Scotch whiskies. Over recent months, the company has unveiled several remarkable ‘Private Collection’ releases: Gordon & MacPhail 1968 from Caol Ila Distillery and Gordon & MacPhail 1954 from Glenlivet Distillery.
Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery will be available for purchase worldwide from selected specialist retailers* (UK RRP £17,500**).
For more information, please visit www.gordonandmacphail.com.
*Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery will be available to purchase in the US in spring 2019.
**Prices in international markets may vary due to local taxes and import duties.
The Macallan has unveiled a new and remarkably rare limited edition single malt whisky with only 250 individually numbered bottles available worldwide; The Macallan 52 years old 2018, never to be repeated.
This latest classic-aged statement has been slowly matured for fifty-two years in one exceptional, hand crafted first fill European oak sherry seasoned cask from Spain. It is a whisky defined by an unwavering pledge to create peerless single malts and reflects the unrivalled commitment to the mastery of wood and spirit for which The Macallan has been renowned since its inception.
Laid down to gently and quietly mature in a warehouse overlooked by Easter Elchies House, The Macallan’s spiritual home since 1824,The Macallan 52 years old has acquired a robust elegance from the luxury single malt’s iconic curiously small stills.
The quality of the spirit is a testament to The Macallan’s exceptional oak casks, which are sourced, crafted, toasted and seasoned under the watchful eyes of The Macallan masters of wood and delivered through the years to the exacting specifications of generations of master distillers. These casks provide the greatest contribution to the character, natural colour, distinctive aromas and full flavours at the heart of this single malt.
A complex whisky presenting rich fruit and dark chocolate fondant characters, The Macallan 52 years old is a beautiful deep ruby mahogany natural colour. Rich cherry and dark chocolate open on the nose with a hint of antique oak before wisps of floral orange blossom combine with delicate layers of peat smoke. The palate leads with flavours of rich fruit and dark chocolate fondant soon making way for hints of peat smoke that combine with cinnamon and ginger from the wood spices. The finish is long with notes of sweet oak, cherry and blackcurrant mellowing out to a floral and lightly peated finish.
Whisky Maker for The Macallan Sarah Burgess said: “After being left to mature for fifty-two long years in one exceptional, hand crafted European oak sherry seasoned cask, this wonderfully rare single malt is full of rich spicy flavours and has a beautiful ruby mahogany natural colour. Bottled at an ABV of 48% where all the flavours became perfectly balanced, The Macallan 52 years old is an outstanding addition to our expanding range of unique, classic-aged whiskies and is a testament to the harmony created through the mastery of wood and spirit. With only 250 individually numbered bottles available worldwide, this is a highly limited and expertly crafted release which will be desired the world over by whisky lovers and luxury connoisseurs.”
Bottled at an ABV of 48% The Macallan 52 years old is presented in a luxurious solid oak box featuring an etched face inlaid with a matte gold badged age statement, reflecting the intricate designs for The Macallan 25 years old and The Macallan 50 years old of yesteryear.
The Macallan 52 years old 2018 limited edition release will be available from December 2018 and will be limited to 250 individually numbered bottles worldwide, with an estimated retail price of £38,500 / $50,000 per 70cl bottle.
For further information visit www.themacallan.com
Whisky Makers Notes:
Colour: Ruby mahogany
Nose: Rich cherry and dark chocolate layered with antique oak. Wisps of floral orange blossom combining with delicate layers of peat smoke.
Palate: Rich fruit overlays dark chocolate fondant, wisps of peat smoke meet cinnamon and ginger from the wood spices.
Finish: Long finish with notes of sweet oak, cherry and blackcurrant mellowing out to a floral and lightly peated finish.
Single malt Scotch whisky creator Gordon & MacPhail has been recognised for its premium portfolio of exclusive single malt whiskies at The Spirits Business 2018 Design & Packaging Masters, securing three ‘Master’ accolades.
Earlier this year Gordon & MacPhail unveiled its streamlined portfolio, comprising five distinct ranges: Discovery, Distillery Labels, Connoisseurs Choice, Private Collection, and Generations. The company’s commitment to the art of Scotch whisky maturation has been passed down through four generations of the Urquhart family, owners of Gordon & MacPhail.
Two Design & Packaging ‘Master’ medals were awarded to the Connoisseurs Choice range which sits at the heart of Gordon & MacPhail’s portfolio. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018, Connoisseurs Choice has two distinct bottle shapes and packaging, both of which have been recognised with a ‘Master’ accolade. The new premium look and feel rewards whisky drinkers with a thirst for knowledge, incorporating a detailed description of the whisky’s provenance on the label. The Gordon & MacPhail branding is also much more prominent compared to previous incarnations.
The newest addition to Gordon & MacPhail’s portfolio, the flavour-led Discovery range was also recognised with a ‘Master’ award. Launched in May 2018, the range segments releases into three flavour profiles, ‘Smoke’, ‘Sherry’, and ‘Bourbon’. Each Discovery whisky displays a bespoke illustration, designed for each profile in a contemporary linocut style, conveying key flavours.
Commenting on the awards Ian Chapman, Marketing Director at Gordon & MacPhail, said: “This year has been a very important one for Gordon & MacPhail Whiskies. Feedback from our discerning consumers has been overwhelmingly positive. Receiving these accolades from The Design & Packaging Masters is a pleasing endorsement from our peers of the inspiration and hard work which has gone into the huge project of streamlining our entire portfolio.”
Matt Chapman, Founder of Contagious, the creative agency that worked with Gordon & MacPhail to redesign the portfolio, added: “We are all thrilled to have the efforts of the team heralded by these awards. It has been a pleasure to work with such a respected brand and immensely fulfilling that, together, we’ve managed to create products befitting of Gordon & MacPhail’s exquisite single malts.”
For more information on Gordon & MacPhail visit www.gordonandmacphail.com.
The Benromach Distillery Company Ltd is releasing an extremely rare and limited-edition Scotch malt whisky matured for 40 years in a single Refill Sherry Hogshead cask.
Building on the popularity of previous vintage releases from the 1970s, 184 bottles of Benromach 1978, from cask number 2608, are available for worldwide sale.
The single cask (56.3% abv) whisky has a deep golden hue with an aroma of honey and vanilla, along with ripe fruits, lime and a touch of butterscotch and fresh ginger, with smooth sweetness balanced by a hint of pepper. To taste, it has notes of pear and kiwi, with chocolate and spices, and a touch of subtle peat smoke on the finish.
Keith Cruickshank, Benromach distillery manager, said: “Over the 40 years that this intriguing whisky was maturing, it drew incredible depth, character and flavours from the wood. Outside the cask, the distillery was evolving and changing. After it closed in 1983, the distillery lay silent for more than 15 years before it was purchased by the Urquhart family in 1993 and reopened in 1998.
“Our carefully chosen Heritage single cask releases give Benromach lovers the opportunity to taste moments in time from the distillery’s rich history. We are confident our 1978 vintage will surpass expectations and are proud to be releasing such a rare and precious whisky during the 20th anniversary year of distilling restarting here at Benromach.”
Benromach 1978 is beautifully presented in a decanter-style bottle with shapes and textures inspired by the distillery. The bottle has a copper-foil embossed label and nestles in a dark oak wooden box, representing the original washbacks at Benromach. The copper cut medallion on the packaging signifies the moment in time when the distillers cut to the sweet heart of the spirit run.
The Benromach 1978 is available worldwide from 5th December 2018 with a recommended retail price (RRP) in the UK of £1,250 (€1,410). Prices in local markets will vary depending on local taxes and duty.
Benromach is one of only a few distilleries in Scotland to use traditional methods, without any automated machinery. The small team of distillers employ all their senses when crafting the classic Speyside single malt Scotch whiskies, managing the process by sight, sound and touch to create the unique, handcrafted and authentic Benromach taste.
For more information on Benromach, and to explore the range of expressions available, please visit: www.benromach.com.
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