Last Great Malts Of Scotland Bringing Obscure Scotch Whisky Into Light - The Whiskey Wash

Last Great Malts Of Scotland Bringing Obscure Scotch Whisky Into Light

What do you do when you own a large portfolio of more obscure Scottish distilleries which may have some gems of whiskies aging in them quietly? Combine them all into a new marketing push known as the Last Great Malts of Scotland. John Dewar & Sons is the entity behind this fascinating project, which aims to bring bottlings from five lesser known Scotch makers to retail in phases in the coming months.

Aberfeldy

The Last Great Malts of Scotland will consist of aged whiskies from Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie, The Deveron and Royal Brackla. Unless you really know your Scottish whisky you likely haven’t heard too much of these operations, which is something this campaign aims to address. It is also obviously an effort by John Dewar & Sons to tap into growing international markets wanting older Scotch for their liquor cabinets.

“The single malt category is one of our industry’s great growth opportunities,” said John Burke, John Dewar & Sons dark spirits category director, in a statement. “We are blessed with five of Scotland’s finest, high-quality whiskies. We have great respect for the category and are confident that each of the Last Great Malts will be a fitting addition to the repertoire of the most discerning single malt enthusiast.”

Information on each of the specific distilleries, and what bottlings will herald from them, are below per press materials (which includes at the very bottom of this story a slick PDF if you want more in-depth reading). You can also enjoy the rather entertaining video below that will provide additional details.

As for specific availability, at this time the “retail in phases” plan calls for the single malts to be “available as a complete set of five or in various combinations of the expressions in 10 initial markets around the world including Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States and Global Travel Retail.”

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Aberfeldy, known as the “Golden Dram,” draws its water from the Pitilie Burn. Pure and fresh, its waters are famed for containing deposits of alluvial gold. The dram is much admired for its honey notes, displaying a classic Central Highland style rarely tasted in single malts today. Named “Highland Whisky of the Year 2014” by Whisky Magazine, Aberfeldy is repackaged and available globally as a 12-year-old and a 21-year-old, with an 18-year-old exclusively available in Travel Retail. The Company plans to launch a 16-year-old sherry finish and a 30-year-old in 2015.

Aultmore is a rare Speyside malt known locally as “a nip of the Buckie Road.” The distillery’s water filters down through the misty, mysterious area called the Foggie Moss. AULTMORE is rated top-class and is a dram sought after for its gentle grassy notes. Aultmore will be available from November with a 12- year-old, a 21-year-old in Travel Retail, and a 25-year-old in limited quantities. 

Craigellachie has released a portfolio of single malts for the first time in history. The distillery stays true to its traditions of whisky-making, including the use of worm tubs – so called for their coiled copper tubing – to cool the spirit. A challenging Speyside whisky, it was described as “old-fashioned” even in 1891 as it makes no concessions to modern-day trends. Single malt fans appreciate Craigellachie for its remarkable sulphuric, savoury, meaty character. CRAIGELLACHIE makes its way from the distillery doors this month, with a 13-year-old, 17-year-old, a travel retail exclusive 19-year-old, and a limited 23-year-old. 

Coming in summer 2015, The Deveron, a new range of 12-, 18- and 25-year-old single malts, made where the River Deveron meets the open seas. Offering “calm from the storm,” it’s the perfect fireside malt. Soft fruity notes combine with an easy drinking style to make The Deveron a favourite with the work force of the distillery.

With a previous limited edition release of a 35-year-old £10,000 (US$15,000) a bottle, Royal Brackla is a truly regal malt. Founded in 1812, in the northern Highlands, it hails from the first distillery bestowed with a royal warrant and has since been lauded as “The King’s Own Whisky.” Heavily sherried, rich, fruity and full, Royal Brackla is a fine dram to savour as it slowly reveals its complexity. To be released in March as 12-year-old, 16-year-old and 21-year-old expressions.

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About the author

Nino Marchetti

Nino 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 provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.