We’re well past Christmas season, yet the high end whisky releases just keep on coming. This week, Glenlivet unveiled a gorgeous (and incredibly expensive 50-year-old); Mortlach unveiled a crazy rare (and also pretty pricey) 47-year-old; and Dewar’s introduced us to an entirely new range of ultra-premium offerings.
Glenlivet Winchester Collection Vintage 1967
In 1967, Americans were busy turning on, tuning in, and dropping out during the Summer of Love. Across the pond, former Glenlivet Master Distiller Robert Arthur was busy laying down some phenomenal whisky. (Arthur, like John Wick, is a man of focus, commitment, and sheer will.) Now, for $25k, you can taste what he was working on.
“The Glenlivet Winchester Collection Vintage 1967 is a unique expression that allows the current generation to peek into the rich past of The Glenlivet,” said Sona Bajaria, VPof Marketing, The Glenlivet, Pernod Ricard USA. “This rare release pays homage to The Glenlivet’s accomplished Master Distiller, Alan Winchester, and to the valued heritage of the brand.”
The 1967 vintage is actually the youngest malt blended into this edition of the Winchester, a followup to the previous Winchester ’64 and ’66 releases. Only 150 bottles are slated for release.
Pernod did not choose to send us a sample bottle, but they did offer some tasting notes to publish. “The whisky is non-chill filtered at cask strength, and boasts a rich and fruity nose, notes of apricot jam and sweet ripe peaches, and a hint of toasted almonds,” according to the official writeup. “The smooth taste continues with fondant orange and milk chocolate flavors, velvety texture and a long, and a luxuriously sweet finish.”
Also! That $25k price tag includes a dope bottle created by Brit design star Bethany Gray. The bottles are engraved and hand painted with a Dhow pattern, then deposited into hand-stained, mother-of-pearl inlaid, copper overlaid, birds-eye maple cases.
Mortlach 47 Year Old
If you’re looking for something a little more affordable in the whisky category, consider Mortlach’s 47 Year Old. A mere £10,000 ($13,300) will fetch you a one of the 94 released bottles of this Speyside gem.
The release is the first in the Distillery’s new, ultra-premium ‘Singing Stills’ series. (The name is an homage to the distillery’s notoriously eccentric stillroom—each of the six pot stills are a different shape and size… and they all ‘hum’ or ‘sing’ while distilling.
Three refill American oak hogsheads were used to age the 46.8% ABV spirit. The official tasting notes describe ‘orchard and tropical fruits’ on the nose followed by ‘soft, ripe fruits with an intriguing combination of sweet and sour notes.’ (Historically, Mortlach is also very generous with their peat use.)
To purchase one of the highly allocated bottles, you’ll need to register with the historic London wine and spirits house Justerini & Brooks. (These merchants also dabbled in blending whisky—hence ‘J&B’).
If a full bottle is a little much, you can also check out an April 8 tasting at one of 47 locations spread across London and Singapore. Registration for those events is currently open on the Exceptional Whisky website.
Dewar’s Double Double
No, a groups of Scotsmen and women have not taken a new interest in basketball stats. Rather, the titular Dewar’s Double Double is a reference to the new range’s aging process.
The whisky attempts to distinguish itself by utilizing a four step process developed by Master Distiller Stephanie Macleod. Basically, (1) grains and malt whiskies are distilled and aged separately, (2) then the grains and malt whiskies are blended separately and aged again, (3) then the grain whiskies are blended with the malt whiskies and aged as one, and (4) finally, the juice is dispatched to a sherry cask for finishing.
If that sounds time consuming, it’s because it is. The youngest of the Double-Doubles is the 21 Year Old (finished in oloroso casks). The distiller told us it has “notes of honey, golden syrup, toffee apples and raisins.” There is also a 27 Year Old (finished in-Palo Cortado casks) which promises “floral notes, along with green fruits and malt.” The oldest of the range is a 32 Year Old (finished in Pedro Ximénez casks). We were informed that the 32 offers “rich treacly notes of jam and baking spices, with a touch of smoke.”
The ABV clocks in at 46% for all three. The bottles are 500ml.
The Dewar’s Double Double range is priced per bottle at $90, $160, and $250 respectively. For now, the company plans to sell them at duty free shops beginning with Singapore Changi airport immediately.