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Glen Scotia Launches Its Oldest Expression, A 46-Year-Old Whisky

Glen Scotia Distillery, of Campbeltown, Scotland, recently unveiled its oldest and rarest whisky yet, a 46-year-old single malt. Only 150 individually numbered bottles will be available worldwide.

Originally, the whisky went into refill bourbon casks and matured for 36 years before being re-casked in first-fill bourbon casks in 2011. And since then, the whisky finished an additional four years in Oloroso sherry butts.

The distiller’s notes show the whisky to have the aroma of tropical fruits, subtle maritime nuances and creamy notes that speak to Glen Scotia’s signature distillery profile.

Glen Scotia 46-Year-Old
Glen Scotia 46-Year-Old (image via Glen Scotia)

In the winter of 1974, the Glen Scotia distillery team finished their last production in the four-year program of investment. Those final years would also mark what’s described as the end of an era for Glen Scotia defined by tradition and craftsmanship.

It was these final casks that quietly matured for nearly five decades under the care of distillery managers … until this new unveiling.

Presented in a handmade oak display case, an oak tile rests beneath the bottle holding a plaque with the individual bottle number and tasting notes. In partnership with glassmaker Glencairn, each bottle has been etched, a gold metallic coin bears the traditional Glen Scotia knot, and a metal stopper tops the bottle presentation.

The Glen Scotia 46-Year-Old clocks in at 41.7% ABV, and has an estimated retail price of £6,750 per 70cl bottle.

And to mark its release, Glen Scotia also partnered with whisky expert Dave Broom on a short new film, shot at the distillery’s dunnage with Master Distiller Iain McAlister, that dives into the history of the whisky and its roots in Campbeltown.

“This is such a remarkable liquid. More than just age, it is a time capsule that tells you about how Campbeltown and Glen Scotia have changed over the years,” said Broom in a prepared statement. “The whisky has the tropical fruit funkiness which only comes from long aging in refill casks – evidence of that original intention of using it while young, filled with those Glen Scotia oils and salinity. The subtle, sweet, toffee elements mid-palate reflect the change in direction when mature, elegant single malts were desired, while the rich sultana like fruit harks back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when sherry casks were the preferred choice for Campbeltown’s whiskies.”

Glen Scotia’s Master Distiller Iain McAlister, said, “It’s wonderful to contemplate that we have inherited these last remnants from those who have helped shape Glen Scotia’s journey and been part of our history. The release of the Glen Scotia 46-year-old is a toast and a thank you to the craft of all those who have come before us.”.

Gary Carter

Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether that be a novel project, a start-up, an organization, a fresh-face to the journalistic world, or even something as simple as a short story. A native Texan and a Pacific Northwest convert, he is a whiskey enthusiast who cut his teeth on it ... literally!

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