Whisky Illuminati, an independent bottler specialising in premium single cask Scotch whisky, today unveils what it believes to be an industry first with the launch of the Solaria Series: a three-part bottling of five Speyside single malt whiskies.
Offering something genuinely unique to whisky enthusiasts, the Solaria Series will give consumers the opportunity to explore how Scotch whisky evolves in the cask over time, thanks to its three-part bottling which will be released over the next four years. Following the first edition (1:3) release in 2019, there will be a second release in 2021, with the final batch set for release in 2023.
In edition one of the Solaria Series, only 150 bottles from three of the Sherry Butts, 120 from another lower fill Butt and 100 from the Hogshead will be released. The remaining whisky will stay in the cask for a further two years before Edition 2:3 is released, followed by Edition 3:3 in 2023.
The Solaria Series comprises five single malt Scotch whiskies from Speyside distilleries:
Each release was matured in first-fill Spanish Oak Sherry Butt casks, with the exception of the Solaria Series from Craigellachie Distillery, which was matured in a first-fill Spanish Oak Sherry Hogshead cask. Described by Whisky Illuminati co-founder, Keith Bonnington, as a “rare first for the Scotch whisky industry”, each of the 2011 Vintage Single Casks bottled as part of the Solaria Series were hand selected by a panel of experts with over 200 years of industry experience.
Bonnington noted: “This is a unique opportunity for whisky drinkers to buy into a developing cask of single malt Scotch whisky, and to fully appreciate how the character evolves in the wood over a period of four years.
“We selected 100% first fill ex-Sherry Casks from Spain to mature the new-make spirit, with the aim of drawing out maximum impact from the wood to deliver the depth of flavour and colour desired over time.”
Bonnington added: “Our policy of bottling at natural cask strength without adding colour or chill-filtering means that each whisky is bottled at between 63% and 68% alcohol by volume, exactly as they appear right now in the cask. To fully enjoy the multitude of complex flavours, gradually adding water to taste is encouraged.
“How they develop in the oak over the duration of the three releases is completely in the hands of mother nature and that anticipation of their natural development is what makes this series so exciting.
“What is certain, is that these 2011 Vintage casks are made from the highest quality European oak, sourced from one of Spain’s finest Sherry Bodegas, and I’m confident that the whisky will develop and mellow marvellously over the next few years”.
The launch of the Solaria Series follows Whisky Illuminati’s inaugural Candlelight Series, which was released in 2018 to high acclaim from many leading whisky writers and experts², and sold internationally in markets including China, Taiwan, South Africa and the United States.
The Solaria Series will be available to purchase from select specialist whisky retailers this month, August, including Master of Malt and Selfridges, at a UK RRP of around £120 each. Buyers of the first release will automatically be offered the opportunity to purchase the second and third editions upon release.
Single malt Scotch whisky creator Gordon & MacPhail has released two stunning new additions to its ‘Private Collection’ range: a 64-Years-Old single malt from Glenlivet Distillery and a landmark 50-Years-Old from Caol Ila Distillery – the oldest Caol Ila single malt ever released.
The newly redesigned ‘Private Collection’ range encompasses rare and exclusive single malt whiskies from celebrated, little-known, or closed distilleries, all of which have been specially selected for bottling by a member of the Urquhart family that owns Gordon & MacPhail.
Gordon & MacPhail 1968 from Caol Ila Distillery was matured in a refill Sherry hogshead and bottled at a cask strength of 52.5% ABV. Warming spice leads on the palate, followed by fruity flavours with a gentle Sherry influence, before a lingering finish of bonfire embers entwined with lemon zest. Available at a UK RRP of £7,500*, only 199 decanters of this extremely rare single malt are available worldwide.
The dark gold Gordon & MacPhail 1954 from Glenlivet Distillery carefully balances the sweetness of golden syrup, stewed fruit, and dark chocolate with spicy black peppercorn and mature oak. Matured in Cask 1412, a carefully selected refill Sherry butt, the 64-year-old malt was bottled at a cask strength of 41.0% ABV. Only 222 bottles are available globally, at a UK RRP of £9,950*.
These ultra-rare single malts were selected for bottling by Stuart Urquhart, Gordon & MacPhail’s Associate Director of Whisky Supply and member of the fourth generation of the Urquhart family. Beautifully presented in hand-blown crystal decanters, each whisky is encased within a handmade wooden veneer box.
Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige and fourth generation member of the Urquhart family, said: “Our ’Private Collection’ range allows discerning whisky enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy some of the oldest and rarest single malts in the world. These latest releases epitomise the expertise and commitment that has gone into pairing spirit and cask over 123 years and four generations of the Urquhart family. Thanks to the foresight of my forefathers, we have one of the most extensive single malt whisky libraries in the world, with expressions from over 100 Scottish distilleries.”
The latest ‘Private Collection’ releases will be available to purchase from specialist whisky retailers.
For more information on Gordon & MacPhail’s ‘Private Collection’ visit www.gordonandmacphail.com.
*Prices in international markets may vary due to local taxes and import duties.
As we continue to develop our whisky shops, bars and distilleries directory, Malt Marketing introduces independent bottler Bartels Whisky.
Bartels Whisky is a UK based and family run independent bottler. Their team chooses only the finest, hand selected single malt whisky casks available and bottle them under their ‘Highland Laird’ label. With their own online shop, they are the only UK distributor for the award winning ‘Malts of Scotland’ range.
All the whisky supplied is only available in very limited quantities and generally cask strength, single cask bottlings with completely natural colour.
So whether you are looking to boost your collection, get someone a gift they will never forget or you are a retail outlet in either the UK or overseas, please take a look at Bartels Whisky and get in touch. They would love to hear from you.
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