No one needs a Montegrappa pen to write. Or a Bugatti Veyron, a Vacheron Constantin Tour de I’lle watch, a Montecristo No.2 cigar, a 1945 Chateau Petrus.
Connoisseurs can do without them, of course, but why would you want to? Luxury is desired, not needed. It makes life richer, more worth living. And so it is with this unique, first release, Rare & Prestige Collection of whiskies.
In the mid-1960’s Whyte & Mackay began to lay down a small selection of their most exceptional whiskies to mature. In the intervening 40 years these ageing barrels have been carefully nurtured and transformed; from fine quality whiskies with great promise into a collection of true magnificence.
Now the time has arrived to savour the fruits of such meticulous selection and labour. Never before have such fine whiskies been available, together, in a single, ongoing collection.
This historic release represents the rarest, aged stocks of Scotch whisky anywhere in the world. Whether in single bottles or as a collection, each selection combines exceptional ingredients, taste and quality with peerless marrying expertise and provenance.
Whyte & Mackay 40
In 1844 when most of Scotland was drinking cognac, James Whyte and Charles Mackay decided to invest in whisky. Taking over 35 specially selected single malts and single grains, from the four whisky regions they blended them together to form a distinctive “Special” whisky.
Today, the Whyte & Mackay 40 Year Old blend is part of that pioneering spirit. It is the oldest Whyte & Mackay blend released to date. Not only is time needed to study and appreciate this masterpiece, but time was essential for its creation.
Unusually, 70% of this whisky was made of rare, aged single malts, while the remaining 30% was a choice selection of single grain whiskies. These were selected by Richard Paterson, our Master Blender who, along with nature, was at the very heart of the art of creating this 40 year old blend.
Over time, he nudged, balanced and enticed the spirit to take on a rich and rounded flavour.
Then by using the unique Whyte & Mackay double marriage process, where after blending, the whisky is returned to sherry butts to “marry” fully before bottling, he was able to create a blended whisky of indefinable smoothness.
A whisky of this age must be drunk with respect.
First you’ll nose aromas of chocolate cake and thick vanilla toffee then sweet sherry and old oak come through. The taste is spicy orange liquorice and crushed peaches on the palate, which dries steadily leaving an elegant aftertaste of Java coffee and bitter almond chocolate.
Such luxury has its limitations.
Isle Of Jura 40
Only 180 people live on the island of Jura, and rather more deer. It has one shop, one pub and one malt distillery. But it does have two famous dates in its history. One is 1984, the book written on the island by George Orwell who was briefly a resident. The other is 1966, when on the 12th November, the distillery, under the watchful nose of the Master Blender, distilled what has become the most exclusive bottling of Jura ever released.
This was always going to be rare since the intention was to produce a Highland-type malt different from the typically peaty whiskies of the western isles. Pure spring water, tall elegant stills, American White Oak with some Oloroso sherry casks, a unique microclimate, and the skill of our Master Blender, combined to make this difference.
The result is just 98 bottles of a rich golden amber, very rare malt.
You’ll initially detect pine nuts on the nose. Heather and hazelnuts are also present, with marzipan coming through. The taste is complex and intriguing being medium-bodied, nutty and spicy with liquorice and a hint of cinnamon. Isle of Jura 40 years old is a malt which not only reflects the character of the island of Jura, but captures its spirit of 40 years ago.
Crafted by the Men of Jura
The Dalmore 1973
The King of Malts meets the King of Grapes. That’s the exciting prospect we have here. Initially matured in American White Oak, this whisky has subsequently spent several years gathering complexity in Cabernet Sauvignon casks.
Not ordinary casks. But those from a rare vintage Chateau Haut – Marbuzet (Saint Estephe) and specially selected by our Master Blender, Richard Paterson. So their pedigree is faultless.
The aim was to retain as much character of the malt as possible, and not to rush the various stages, allowing the whisky time to harmonise. Taking an age to reach perfection, but only a few seconds to recognise, this is a deserved masterpiece.
The nose is initially far from a typical Dalmore, with notes of grape pulp, prunes and fudge, leading to aromas of soft fruit and honey.
However, the taste does have the citrus orange character of Dalmore which is combined on the palate with blackberries, liquorice and a distinct suggestion of richly mellow, vintage red wine.
The finish is long and spicy with plums and ripe autumn berries right to the end.
Very much an intriguing whisky with true elegance and refinement, the Dalmore Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most distinctive, 33 year old limited edition releases.
The Dalmore 40
In the 13th Century a member of the Mackenzie family risked his life to save Scotland’s ruler, King Alexander III, from a charging stag. As a token of his appreciation the grateful monarch bequeathed the stag to the Mackenzie family where it became a symbol of valour and courage.
The 12-point stag’s head has also come to symbolise the regal pedigree of this rare Highland malt as it sits proudly on every bottle, the King of Malts.
For well over a century a variety of fine Dalmore single malts have been crafted by a small band of local stillmen. In particular, on 21st March 1966, Col. H. A. C. Mackenzie distilled and filled to cask what has now become the Dalmore 40 Year Old masterpiece.
Different woods, from American White Oak to the specially selected casks from the Bodegas of Gonzalez Byass in Jerez de la Frontera, all made their distinctive contribution.
But most importantly, so did our Master Blender, Richard Paterson. Only his sixth sense judged when the balance between wood, air and spirit was perfect for creating a whisky this rare, this sensational.
How rare? Only 1,000 bottles of this superb malt are in this, the first release.
Orange marmalade combines with Christmas pudding on the nose. Faint notes of wood linger in the background. Brittle toffee and bitter chocolate combine skilfully on the palate with spicy orange and almonds.
And the finish goes on forever. GET IT