The Singleton Has Released A 38-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

By Hannah Kanik / November 23, 2020

The Singleton of Glen Old distillery, owned by Diageo and located in the Highland whisky region of Scotland, recently released a 38-year-old single malt scotch whisky. The cask-strength whisky went through the longest secondary maturation in The Singelton’s history: 26 years.

This whisky was drawn from just eight casks and only 1,689 bottles are available worldwide. 

The story of this malt goes back a quarter of a century. Diageo Master of Malts Maureen Robinson is said to have discovered a 12-year-old single malt 26 years ago. She decided to add a second maturation process, rehousing the whisky in casks of ex-bourbon, Pedro Ximenez Oloroso seasoned casks and brand new American oak casks. This combination was left to mature for over 25 years.

The Singleton 38-Year-Old

The Singleton 38-Year-Old (image via Diageo)

“The Singleton 38-year-old was crafted during an era that was very exciting at The Singleton — a time of flavour experimentation and innovation across our whisky-making,” said Robinson in a prepared statement. “Selecting new American oak casks was very new for us at that time at the distillery, and we decided on a lengthy secondary maturation to continue to unlock the decadent layers of flavour in this single malt. I remember tasting cask samples just three years into the secondary maturation and I was struck with how even at such an early stage, we could identify the richness of flavour the new casks had presented.

“To mature those casks for more than two decades further was an exploration of how it is possible to unearth exceptional flavour within whisky, and it feels a real privilege to now share this truly delicious single malt with the world.”

The presentation case this whisky comes in has a red apple design that’s said to draw inspiration from the flavours of the malt, including warm autumnal spices and caramel. An abstract apple has 26 lines on it that represent the 26 years spent in its second maturation.

The Singleton 38-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is available globally for £2,100, or around $2,800 USD. You’ll find official brand tasting notes below.

  • Appearance: Rich, deep amber with copper lights. Outstanding beading and good viscosity.
  • Nose: Mellow and generous overall. The immediate top notes are rich, fruity and sweet, with aromas of red apple, mango, pineapple and candied citrus fruits. These fruity tones are soon succeeded by almond oil and vanilla pod, and later vanilla fudge, on a base of sandalwood. A drop of water opens the nose a little, while keeping the same profile.
  • Body: Full.
  • Palate: At natural strength, a thick, creamy texture and a vibrant, sweet start in which rich opening notes of fudge lead smoothly into a lightly spicy, intense and fruity taste suggesting cinnamon-spiced baked apple, drying gently into an autumnal peppery warmth that envelopes the palate. Appreciably deeper in taste than its younger siblings, it shows the classic Singleton smoothness, being richly flavoured, well balanced and easy to drink straight. The palate opens to reveal hints of orange citrus while with a dash of water more sweet flavours of vanilla ice cream and caramel fudge are perfectly balanced by just a trace of salt, still with a light touch of that Szechuan pepper warmth.
  • Finish: Really long; a sweet warmth suffuses the whole palate and leaves the palate tingling as a trace of gingery spice lingers. With water lighter and longer, still leaving the memory of that rich warmth.

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