Glen Scotia has unveiled a new limited-edition 48 Year Old single malt (40.8% ABV, £11,000), offering a few lucky custodians a glimpse into a bygone era of the illustrious Campbeltown distillery.
Drawn from Glen Scotia’s oldest and rarest reserves, only 250 individually numbered bottles of this exceptionally unique whisky have been made available worldwide.
Aged for forty-three years in a combination of refill and first-fill bourbon barrels, the liquid was then recasked into a first-fill Oloroso Hogshead for a further five years, where it took on a delicate perfumed floral and orange citrus profile, before a final six-month finish in a second-fill ex-Pedro Ximénez Hogshead.
This meticulous process, overseen by Glen Scotia’s master blender, celebrates the distillery’s historical trade ties overseas when Campbeltown was known as the ‘Victorian Whisky Capital of the World,’ and its iconic harbour linking it to Spain’s sherry producing bodega’s – a source of maturation casks for Glen Scotia and many of its historical peers.
Contemplating a moment in time, Michael and the Glen Scotia team pieced together historical records of Campbeltown’s trade links to form a view of what fortified wines and spirits would have been obtainable over the distillery’s history, and therefore, which empty casks would have been available for maturing whisky, which led to this selection of sherry finishing.
The result is a remarkably refined and complex dram, offering hints of sweet Seville orange, green herbal notes, and delicate spice of nutmeg and cinnamon alongside the classic Campbeltown coastal saltiness.
On the palate is demerara sugar and treacle with vibrant hints of orange marmalade, red apple, raisin, and sultana, culminating in a long and indulgent finish of melted brown sugar enriched with stone fruit, apricot and peach.
Beautifully presented, the 48 Year Old comes in a handmade oak display case, which has been inspired by the Spanish ‘Azulejo’ tile designs once found in the bodegas of Seville, and then further afield around Spain and Portugal in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In partnership with Glencairn, the liquid has been encased in a bottle etched and infilled, with gold metal decoration to the body and shoulder. The presentation case comes accompanied by a plaque, with the individual bottle number, tasting notes, and story of this incredible single malt whisky.
Preserved by generations of distillery workers, each drop of this exceptional new release carries the legacy of the distillery and a moment in time for whisky production in Scotland. The launch is an opportunity for whisky connoisseurs and collectors to own a piece of industry history.
Iain McAlister, Master Distiller and Distillery Manager said, “The 48-Year-Old is an exceptional release with a remarkable heritage. It is so intriguing to me to think that different generations of distillery managers and their teams, who would have been testing their casks over time, opted to hold this particular liquid back time and time again, allowing it to continue its journey. What we have inherited today is therefore a real journey through time and a celebration of Glen Scotia’s rich heritage and craftsmanship, which continues to thrive. This is a chance to reflect upon a time in history and be transported to a bygone era of one of Scotland’s most enduring distilleries.”
Michael Henry, Master Blender for Glen Scotia, said, “This expression is a testament to Glen Scotia’s commitment to excellence and preserving the Campbeltown style, handed down by past generations of local distillery workers. It is the first time Glen Scotia has used a combination of oloroso and PX sherry casks on a liquid of such a remarkable age, which has resulted in a Spanish symphony of flavour married with Glen Scotia’s coastal nuances. The result is a whisky quite unlike anything we’ve had the pleasure of crafting to date – it is one that exemplifies luxury and rarity for a very fortunate few and is a true window into the distillery’s past. I have no doubt it will leave an impression that will be as enduring as the distillery itself has been.”
The 48 Year Old is available from the Glen Scotia website and select specialist retailers in the UK, Europe, China, USA, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and South Africa markets