New Singleton 39-Year-Old Whisky Finished In Bordeaux Wine Casks Comes To Retail

By Gary Carter / November 23, 2021

Diageo’s The Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery is releasing its second chapter in an epicurean journey, a 39-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky with a special French wine cask finishing.

Less than 1,700 bottles available globally, the rare vintage whiskey is The Singleton’s longest secondary maturation to date. Having aged in a blend of casks, including those which had previously matured port, red wine, Pedro Ximénez & Oloroso, it was then finished in French Bordeaux casks.

Through what’s described as experimentation and craft, Master of Malt of The Singleton, Maureen Robinson, said she purposefully pushed the boundaries to create a single malt Scotch epitomizing the intensity and lavishness of elite European wines.

Singleton 39 Year Old

Singleton 39 Year Old (image via Diageo)

Robinson has guided and nurtured this whisky through the duration of its 27-year secondary maturation.

More than a quarter century ago, she took a stock of Singleton which had aged 12 years, and rehoused it in hand-selected European Oak casks which had previously held port wine, red wine and a blend of Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso wines.

She explained in a prepared statement that the layering of texture and flavor creates a decadent topography on the palette. Through its long journey with diverse and nuanced wine casks, the whisky makers discovered this expression of The Singleton has tastes reminiscent of ripe blackberries and muscovado crumble.

“I am in a privileged position to be able to use the skills I’ve acquired over my more than 40 years at Diageo and apply them to experiment with flavor, something The Singleton gives me the freedom to do,” Robinson said in a prepared statement. “This whisky marries my work in Scotland and my own personal experiences of flavor recollections through vivid memories of visiting family-owned wine estates in France where I travelled years ago.”

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She said she was adventurous in her approach over the years with this whisky, drawing on memories of tasting the ripened grapes fresh off the vines, and newly uncorked wine around a table with her friends.

“Tasting a dram takes me back to that time … a shared epicurean adventure and moment of indulgence,” she added.

She noted that the red-hued amber liquid offers a vinous and fruity sensation on the nose that gradually evolves into toasted almonds and butterscotch. Upon first sip, she said, the fruity clove-studded spiciness causes the mouth to water. The slightly waxy texture then becomes richly flavored and balanced.

With just a dash of water, the texture thins and the sweetness sits forward before a shake of salt at the expense of the spicier warmth. She noted that the finish is long, fruity and warming with lingering spicy warmth and a hint of salted plums. A drop of water causes the aftertaste to become unusually menthol-cool with a final note of cherry liqueur chocolates.

The inspiration behind the design of the presentation case comes from Robinson’s travels to the wineries of southern Europe. The metallic swirl across the front of the case is detailed with a series of ripples representing the whisky’s multifaceted layers of flavor. The swirl evolves into a copper foil that runs down the side of the teal bottle.

To celebrate the launch of The Singleton 39-Year-Old, gastronomic experiences will appear across the globe where, it isi said, epicurean enthusiasts and whisky aficionados will be able to explore the flavors themselves. More information and how to book these experiences in gastronomic locations across the globe will be revealed in early 2022.

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The Singleton 39-Year-Old will be available globally from selected retailers and Malts.com. The suggested retail price in GBP is £2,295 including UK Duty and Taxes and $2,680 excluding Duty and Taxes in USD.