Scotland’s Glenfarclas distillery is known for having some of the oldest existing Scotch single malt whisky aging away in its warehouses. From this inventory they are able to release some rather ancient bottlings now and again, most often targeting high end whisky collectors with these releases (though it used to be you could get a 40 year old Glenfarclas for a relative bargain). A new offering just unveiled seems to be the case, taking the form of a 62 year old whisky housed in a high end crystal decanter encased with rubies.
The new Glenfarclas Pagoda Ruby Reserve, according to those behind it, takes the form of a 62 year old Scotch single malt whisky that was distilled back in 1954. While the whisky is certainly extremely old, the real star of the show here seems to be the decanter. Made from the “highest quality hand blown, 30% lead crystal” by Glencairn Crystal, it features “Chinese Guardian Lions in a carefully selected deep red to compliment the Red Crystal Pagoda shaped stopper. The solid silver and gold plated collars of the two editions are both individually numbered and infilled with a unique design and the Pagoda top is also engraved representing the Silk Road. The total effect is to provide flowing movement across the decanter from base to top.”
Oh, and the encased rubies? It is described as Glencairn as being that the “front age statement features 34 hand-picked and colour matched rubies to construct the number 62, to highlight the significance of the age of the whisky.”
Other specifics of this release include noting that it is the oldest whisky related to date by Glenfarclas and also part of the Pagoda Reserve Series, comprising previously released rare whiskies in their own special decanters that are aged 43, 48 and 59 years old. The pagoda in question all of these decanters take inspiration for their look from is a pagoda shaped kiln at the distillery that was decommissioned back in 1972. All of these whiskies were distilled prior to that event.
“I take great pleasure in releasing this extremely rare 1954, single sherry butt cask 62 year old,” said George Grant of Glenfarclas Distillery in a prepared statement. “The Glenfarclas Pagoda Ruby Reserve is a rare piece of Scotch whisky heritage and one of the oldest whiskies on the market today.”
“It has been an honour to create some of our finest ever decanters to pay homage to and celebrate the exceptional whiskies in the Glenfarclas Pagoda Reserve Series,” added Scott Davidson, Glencairn’s New Product Development Director. “We’re especially proud of the Ruby Reserve decanter as it has enabled us to showcase the talent of our craftspeople, some of whom have over 30 years experience in working with crystal. It has been a huge developmental project for us in aspects such as developing the tall, intricate, magnetic Pagoda top and a first for us in using precious rubies to embellish the decanter.”
Plans call for 700 ml bottles and 1.5 liter magnums to be made available in the following amounts:
- Limited Edition Silver, just 180 bottles (700ml) and 62 magnums available
- Collector’s Edition Gold, only 50 bottles (700ml) and 50 magnums available
Prices ranges from £22,716 (around $29,000 USD) for the Limited Edition Silver 700 ml decanters, to £53,546 (around $68,600 USD) for the Collector’s Edition Gold magnum decanters. A further addition to the Pagoda Reserve Series will be released later this year with the Pagoda Sapphire Reserve 63 years old.
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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...