Two New Collections Land At Mark Littler LTD – Scotch Whisky News

Two New Collections Land At Mark Littler LTD

Mark Littler LTD continues to bring to market unique collections and verticals and this month have listed two new collections, each offering the buyer a unique collecting or drinking opportunity.

The first collection contains something for everyone, featuring bottlings and vintages from a wide range of distilleries. Comprising 44 bottles dating from the 1980s to the 2000s the collection includes a mix of discontinued and now scarce bottlings, with the majority enjoyed by whisky lovers when they were first released. With many of these bottlings produced as the whisky industry sought to revive itself following distillery closures during the 1980’s ‘Whisky Loch’, production from the majority of distilleries was small scale using traditional floor-malting methods and high-quality casks for maturation. A number of these classic bottlings are either early vintage expressions or the inspiration for now renowned single malt whiskies, released at a time when the historic blending powerhouses of Scotland slowly adapted to the newly buoyant single malt market.

The collection features a selection of bottlings from ranges including the Classic Malts of Scotland and the Flora & Fauna collection introduced by blending groups and spirit companies to promote single malts to the mass market. Introduced in 1988, the Classic Malts of Scotland was a selection of six single malt whiskies released by United Distillers (later Diageo) to showcase the range of flavours available in single malts whiskies produced across Scotland’s whisky regions. The Cragganmore 12-Year-Old and Dalwhinnie 15-Year-Old representing the Speyside and Highland whisky regions respectively, are vintage expressions of popular single malts still widely available today. The Glenkinchie 10-Year-Old which originally represented the Lowland region was discontinued in 2007, and replaced by a 12-Year-Old expression.

In the early 1990’s, United Distillers released a new range to showcase whiskies from its lesser-known distilleries whose output was normally destined only for blends. The Flora & Fauna range, nicknamed by the late whisky writer Michael Jackson, was a themed series of single malt releases each depicting the image of a local animal or plant on the label. Gradually as distilleries were commercialised, closed or sold, the Flora & Fauna range contacted with discontinued bottlings becoming increasingly collectable. The collection features two Flora & Fauna early vintage bottlings distinguished by their wooden presentation boxes depicting the same label images, the Dailuaine 16-Year-Old and Bladnoch 10-Year-Old. The Dailuaine 16-Year-Old is one of the few official bottlings released from the distillery, and while still popular amongst whisky enthusiasts later batches are sold without the presentation box. The Bladnoch 10-Year-Old was the only bottling the distillery produced under the ownership of United Distillers, who acquired Bladnoch in 1989 and decommissioned the distillery in June 1993. Depicting a Broad Leaved Helleborine wild orchid on the label which grow behind the Bladnoch distillery, this vintage expression represents a past incarnation of whisky from a distillery which has redefined its malt style since revival under new ownership.

Echoing the Flora & Fauna range, the collection also includes bottlings from independent bottler Signatory’s Scottish Wildlife series. Released in collaboration with the Scottish Wildlife Trust from the early 1990’s to 2000, bottles from each distillery depicted images and descriptions of Scottish wildlife with a donation from each sale going to the Trust. The collection features bottlings released as part of this series from the Strathmill, Balmenach, and Mortlach distilleries all with an age statement of 10 years. Scottish wildlife depicted on these bottles are the Red Squirrel, the Capercaillie, and Hen Harrier bird of prey respectively.

Available now for £4,618

Buy here: https://shop.marklittler.com/product/44-bottle-collection/

This second collection features a number of limited and commemorative bottlings from Islay’s Ardbeg and Kilchoman distilleries, and Campbeltown’s Springbank distillery. Individual special releases from distilleries including Ben Nevis, Glenfiddich and Talisker, ensure this collection offers the opportunity for any whisky collector to acquire bottlings from a diverse group of renowned distilleries.

The Ardbeg bottlings include the first release following Ardbeg’s revival in 1997 when the distillery was purchased by Glenmorangie for £7 million, a 17-Year-Old bottling. As Ardbeg was refurbished to resume full production, Glenmorangie sought to re-establish the Ardbeg brand creating this 17-Year-Old expression from the existing maturing whisky stock distilled prior to Ardbeg’s closure. Ardbeg Renaissance is a conclusion of the Very Young, Still Young, and Almost There series, a quartet of commemorative limited bottlings following the maturation of Ardbeg’s malt first distilled after the distillery revival. Released in 2008 the Ardbeg Renaissance was the first 10-Year-Old bottling of the distillery’s ‘new’ spirit, and the basis for popular core range Ardbeg 10-Year-Old.

A Committee Release bottling, Ardbeg Rollercoaster commemorates the 10th Anniversary of the Ardbeg Committee, a worldwide group of fans and enthusiasts officially founded on the 1st January 2000. The Committee’s aim is to ensure Ardbeg never closes again, with members promoting knowledge and enjoyment of Ardbeg amongst whisky drinkers. The Committee Releases are highly sought bottlings of Ardbeg’s rare or experimental casks only available to members. First released on 15th February 2010, Ardbeg Rollercoaster was meet with considerable excitement as 50,000 Committee members attempted to purchase the limited release of 15,000 bottles, crashing Ardbeg’s website for hours. Ardbeg Rollercoaster was created using a portion of Ardbeg’s malt distilled every year between 1997 – 2006.

The collection features the four earliest bottlings from Kilchoman distillery, which first began production in December 2005. Kilchoman is unique for completing all aspects of the whisky making process, from growing and malting barley to distillation and maturation on Islay. Initially a small-scale artisan distillery with a production capacity of 90,000 – 100,000 litres, the success and demand for Kilchoman’s early bottlings have prompted an expansion to increase capacity. Kilchoman Anticipation was released in 2006 aged 2 years as a new make spirit, as the minimum maturation period for Scotch whisky is 3 years Anticipation cannot legally be termed as whisky. The first Kilchoman single malt bottling is the Inaugural Release, released in 2009 and matured for up to 3 years in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in a sherry cask for 6 months. Kilchoman’s following Autumn 2009 and Spring 2010 releases were both released with 3-Year-Old age statements, and further experimented using ex-bourbon casks for maturation and oloroso sherry casks for finishing.

The Springbank bottlings featured in this collection both date from 1989, the year Springbank resumed full production after being mothballed for much of the 1980s during the ‘Whisky Loch’ period. The Springbank distillery actually produces three contrasting styles of whisky, including the medium-peated Springbank and heavily peated Longrow. An Islay style malt, Longrow was first distilled at Springbank distillery in 1973 and is named after the neighbouring Longrow distillery which closed in 1896. Springbank’s Wood Expressions series experiments with a mix of cask and spirit types on the distillery’s three styles of whisky for maturation to produce a range of limited editions. Springbank 1989 12 Year Rum was matured in a combination of rum hogsheads and barrels, with 5700 bottles filled in April 2002. Longrow 1989 13 Year Sherry Wood was matured in ex-sherry casks, with 2350 bottles filled in November 2002.

The collection features a number of individual limited distillery bottlings, each with distinctive vintages and stories. Ben Nevis 1984 25-Year-Old originates from the Ben Nevis distillery which sits at the base of its namesake, Scotland’s highest mountain. First distilled in December 1984 this limited edition Highland single malt was double matured, firstly in an ex-bourbon barrel for 14 years and re-racked into a sherry cask in October 1998 for a further decade before being bottled in January 2010.

Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix is the commemoration of an extreme weather accident at the Glenfiddich distillery. In 2010, heavy snow caused the partial collapse of Glenfiddich’s warehouse roof exposing maturing casks to the elements, and -19°C temperatures. Glenfiddich staff worked around the clock to save the casks, leading the Malt Master to select and marry oloroso and American oak from amongst the rescued casks to create Snow Phoenix.

A mysterious bottling from Douglas McNiven & Co 80/20 Scotch Whisky is the result of a mistake from Glenmorangie. In 1999, a blending error led to casks of Glenmorangie 21-Year-Old getting accidentally mixed with an undisclosed 3-Year-Old blend at the bottling plant. The proportions were 80% Glenmorangie to 20% mystery whisky.

An annual release from Talisker the oldest distillery on Skye, the Distillers Edition is double matured for up to 6 months in ex-amoroso sherry casks. Diageo’s Distillers Edition range showcase regional whisky styles presenting a new perspective of single malts from popular distilleries through cask finishing, giving a new dimension to well loved drams. As just one batch of each Distillers Edition is produced annually, this Talisker which was distilled in 1988 and bottled in 2001 represents a vintage expression.

Available now for £5,125

Buy here: https://shop.marklittler.com/product/18-bottle-collection/

ABOUT MARK LITTLER LTD

Mark Littler LTD are whisky brokers based in the North West of England.  With a wealth of expertise of the secondary market they are able to provide their clients with the insight and analysis they need to make informed purchases and sales.

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