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.
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 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.
This unique liquid from the home of the legendary No.1 Vaults, the oldest maturation warehouse in the world, has spent 20 years maturing in a single sherry cask, developing deep layers of flavour. Bowmore ® 1997 offers a rich nose with notes of malty biscuit, dried flowers and a hint of white pepper alongside buttery toffee, freshly roasted coffee and vanilla sponge cake.
On the palate, flavours develop into sweet peat with burnt wood and light barbecue ash notes alongside lemon zest. Gentle vanilla and dried wood complement the peated malt character, with a sweet and smoky finish and lingering herbal and floral notes. Just 198 numbered bottles of Bowmore 1997 will be available to global travellers exclusively from Heathrow T2, T3, T4 & T5 in World Duty Free’s “World of Whiskies” stores, at an RRP of £295.
The expression will be launched on 7 December, when Bowmore® Distillery Manager, David Turner, will be in the World of Whiskies stores in Heathrow T2 and T5 to sign bottles of this limited release. Along with overseeing the day-to-day running of the distillery, David acts as guardian of the precious whiskies that lay maturing in the legendary No.1 Vaults. Using a portfolio of skills developed over his 25-year career at Bowmore®, David carefully hand-selects casks for maturation, keeping a watchful eye on the ageing spirits to determine exactly the right time to bottle the liquid gold inside.
Speaking about the expression, Ed Stening, Global Marketing Director of Beam Suntory Global Travel Retail, says: “Bowmore is a Single Malt with an incredibly rich history rooted in our legendary No.1 Vaults, which has shaped the distinctive character of whiskies made here for over 200 years.
As a brand, Bowmore is growing fast in Travel Retail and is very popular with travellers looking to take home a slice of this history and character. We are very excited to be working with Dufry, a long-term supporter of Bowmore, to offer this unique and brilliant single cask expression to their discerning,passionate customers.”
Matthew Scott-Fairweather, Liquor Product and Promotions Manager UK and Central Europe of Dufry adds: “We’re thrilled to be working with Beam Suntory to offer this exceptional whisky from Bowmore exclusively to our customers. We are confident that this will become an instant collector’s edition.”
For more information, please contact LDR CREATIVE
Each month we like to share with you the results of recent Whisky-Online auctions. As with every month there is always a great deal of excitement and intrigue as to how each featured lot will fair and featured below are just some of the results from their August online auction which Whisky-Online have been kind enough to share with us.
Our latest auction closed with more than a few surprises. Not least around the upper end of the sale where the top lot was, unsurprisingly, a hogshead of 1989 Macallan. However, with a hammer price of £70,200, it suggests that prices are beginning to cool off a little for bonded stocks of whisky, certainly in comparison to other recent results we’ve achieved for Macallan casks. Although, it’s worth remembering with this cask that the ABV was rather critically low, which no doubt was reflected in the price. Putting this in perspective, £70,200 is still way above what would have been, until very recently, considered standard market value for such a cask in bond.
On the flip side, £25,600 for a cask of 1994 Tobermory seems surprisingly expensive, even in today’s market, for a less widely lauded make such as Tobermory. Somewhat understandably cask 5015 was a butt and cask 39, which fetched £17,100 a hogshead, even though, that’s still a hefty price for 1994 Tobermory. Further evidence that no matter what cask you’re sitting on, if it’s got a bit of age to it, you could be in for a pretty nice surprise at auction. It’s certainly an easy way to capitalise without the hassle and cost of bottling.
On to the bottles and it was good to see Bowmore back at the top of the sale. The ‘coulours’ trilogy of Black, Gold and White seem rather unstoppable these days with respective prices of £18,700, £11,900 and £14,100. All of them outstripping even the Macallan 1946 at £11,100. If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to taste one of these bottlings of Bowmore, it’s not hard to see where such intense prices come from. These are some of the best and most distinctive spirits ever made by human hand in these bottles.
One of the biggest surprises of this auction, at first glance, is the Springbank 1965 SMWS 27.7 which fetched a rather staggering £6100. Even for a 60s Springbank, this is eye-catching stuff. However, look a bit closer and do a bit of digging and it becomes a bit more understandable. This bottling hasn’t shown up at auction in years and, at 60.2%, it looks to be a pretty remarkable dram. There are numerous series collectors out there for all manner of SMWS bottlings these days so it’s hardly surprising that when such a tasty rarity surfaces, in today’s bullish market, competition is so fierce.
Other rather striking results which speak to the nature of today’s secondary market include the old 1960s official bottling of ‘Cardow 100% Pot Still‘ which finished up at £5800. Such a rarity in near immaculate condition was always destined to do well so in many ways this isn’t so surprising. Although it is a sobering reminder of just how much of rich man’s game serious old and rare whisky has become.
Joining the Cardhu was the uber rare bottling of Macallan 12-year-old at 100 proof by Gordon & MacPhail bottled in 1971. There is a 15-year-old version of this which is slightly more common, but the 12 is indeed the definition of scarcity. This pristinely preserved version deserved its £5100 hammer price. What’s more, it was nice to see a non-official Macallan take one of the top Macallan spots in the auction for once. For serious whisky lovers, this is a dream bottling.
Speaking of dream bottles, perhaps the most beautiful examples in this sale were the pair of Taliskers bottled in the 1950s by Wolverhampton & Dudley. Examples have shown up in the distant past at auction, but to find two such perfect examples today is really like being handed something out of a time warp. Little wonder they fetched £4600 a piece. The kind of bottle you’d kill to taste.
Other bottles in the upper end of the sale that stuck out were the official Springbank 1965 Local Barley for £3000. Looking at the prices of 60s Springbanks in general, both here, elsewhere and at retail. It seems there is something of a pretty serious upward shift in prices occurring across the board. I doubt it’ll be long before we start to see these kinds of bottles regularly break the five-figure barrier.
The 50-year-old 1949 Glen Grant by Ian MacLeod at £2900 was a solid result for this bottling. While the Glenugie 1966 by The Bottlers for £2700 was also seriously impressive. Glenugie is another name which is currently rocketing skywards in price. For anyone who has tasted some of these 60s Glenugies, it is hardly surprising.
Dalmore 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lagavulin 1979 38 year old by the Syndicate and the Laphroaig 19.0 anniversary bottling all hit the £2000 on the head. For the Lagavulin, it was the first time it had gone this high, which suggests a slow and steady climb even higher from here on out. The Dalmore result shows this distillery still had some serious clout at auction, even for what might be considered less impressive bottlings like the 1973. And for the Laphroaig, it’s generally a case of rarity with this bottling. Most were consumed upon release due to the lottery system under which it was sold. Whenever it shows up at auction there is usually a bit of a scuffle to get it.
Some other notable results above the £1000 mark were the Bunnahabhain 1968 Auld Acquaintance at £1350, how long before this great bottling hits the £2000 mark? A Macallan 1962 Cadenhead Dumpy looks almost cheap at the same price of £1350 however, considering its quality and scarcity. And rounding off the £1350 club was the Ardbeg 17-year-old Cadenhead Dumpy. A natural if slightly soft price for this equally historic bottling.
The Isle of Skye 50-year-old showed good progress cracking the £1000 mark for the first time, while the Bowmore Sea Dragon 30-year-old conversely seemed a tad soft at £1300. Dipping below the four-figure mark it was lovely to see two stunningly preserved old blends, the Benmore Liqueur Scotch Whisky and the Duffs Liqueur Scotch, both hitting an understandable £975 a piece.
Looking through the rest of the auction there were many impressive results. Too many to mention. Notable examples would be the two Oban 16-year-old Bicentenary Manager’s Drams at £925 apiece, outstripping even the official Oban 1969 at £850. Similarly, the pair of Ord 16-year-old Manager’s Drams for £600 a piece lent further weight to the continued upward march of the early Manager’s Drams series.
Beyond that, almost every lot was hitting its market value. Normally it’s possible to pinpoint one or two notable bargains or stand out anomalies. However, on this occasion, it really was a case of slim pickings. It seems that, in this day and age where more and more people are migrating their spending from retail to auction, prices are only solidifying, even at the £30-60 range of an auction. Interesting times…
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