Scotland’s oldest licensed distillery, Littlemill, has sold its final Littlemill Testament Special Edition for a new record Littlemill price of S$35,000 (£20,000) at auction in Singapore.
With only four produced worldwide, the Special Edition is a whisky collectors' must-have due to its unique case and liquid which was taken from a single distillation dating back to October 1976, making it the oldest release to date from the now-closed Littlemill distillery once of Bowling on Scotland’s west coast.
Aptly named ‘Testament to the Past’, the original liquid was recasked in American oak hogsheads in 1996 before being matured by Master Blender Michael Henry in first-fill Oloroso sherry hogsheads for a final four months ahead of bottling in 2020.
The remarkable exterior case includes a dress stopper made from treasured fragments of the Littlemill distillery which dates back to 1772. Expert craftspeople have delicately shaped original pieces of stone, glass, slate, or wood, directly salvaged from the old distillery manager’s house, before mounting each in a brass casing atop a crystal peg.
The decanter and dress stopper are accompanied by a pair of authentic Georgina wine glasses from the late 1700s featuring an engraved facet cut band. Custodians of this coveted item also receive a unique code to access two 5cl of the precious liquid allowing them to keep the sought-after cabinet and decanter liquid intact.
Held at Liquid Gold Auctioneers which specialises in rare whiskies, the auction marked the last opportunity for global whisky enthusiasts to possess an incredible piece of Scottish whisky history. With 37 bids and a final price of S$35,000 (approx. £20,000), it was also a record-breaking sell for Littlemill with other Special Editions being sold in China and London (Sotheby’s).
The proceeds will be donated to Food Bank Singapore, the first food bank in Singapore. The charity aims to eradicate food inequality by 2025 by working with donors and beneficiaries to redistribute fresh and cooked food to more than 100,000 underprivileged families and over 300,000 people in Singapore.
Colin Matthews, Loch Lomond Group CEO, said: “This rare piece of Scottish whisky-making history is deserving of the final and record-breaking auction price and we’re particularly delighted that the funds will support such a worthy cause in Singapore.
“For the new owner, Littlemill ‘Testament to the Past’, is an astounding item of memorabilia and they are now one of few proud global custodians of the treasured remains of Scotland’s very oldest licensed distillery. Littlemill Testament was created through a passion for craftsmanship, and the Special Edition pays homage to this incredible era in Scottish whisky through the liquid and its packaging.”
The Littlemill distillery was officially established in 1772 on the site of an old brewery that had been founded during the 14th century in Bowling on the banks of the River Clyde near Glasgow. The distillery closed its doors in the 1990s and was further lost to fire in 2004. What precious few casks remain are owned and cared for by Loch Lomond Group which is located a short distance from where Littlemill distillery once stood.