The Rare Malts are a now-discontinued series of cask-strength releases designed by Diageo to showcase some of the hidden treasures in their portfolio. This particular dram is all the more precious for having come from a distillery closed in 1985.
A very rare bottling of 1973 vintage Garnheath Single Grain. The distillery, which was located in the Moffat complex but closed in 1986 and was demolished in 1988. Aged for 24 years before being bottled by Signatory as part of a gift pack containing 2 glasses to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Signatory in 1998.
A 1970 vintage Dallas Dhu released by Diageo as part of their now defunct cask strength Rare Malts Series. Dallas Dhu was one of the casualties of the 1983 cull of distilleries and today is run by Historic Scotland as a museum of distillation.
A single cask 24 year old Port Ellen selected by Whisky Magazine editor Rob Allanson and contributing editor Dave Broom for Whisky Live New York and Tokyo. Distilled in November 1982 and bottled in December 2006 at cask strength.
A very rare bottling of 1969 Glen Esk released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their onsite maltings in the early 80s. The distillery closed in 1985, shortly after the release of this whisky, and now operates purely as a maltings.
An old 1972 vintage bottling of The Glenrothes from the mid-1990s with the official short description 'Rich, Spicy, Fruitiness'. That'll be sherry, then, from a period during which Glenrothes produced some of their very best whisky. These early vintage bottlings are getting pretty scarce these days.
A very rare 1979 vintage release of Port Ellen whisky. This special bottling by Douglas Laing has been matured for 24 years and was approved by Alambic Classique, Germany. Bottled at cask strength in March 2004.
A very special whisky from one of Scotland's great, closed distilleries. This 1977 vintage whisky has been specially selected for the Rare Malts range. This was bottled at cask strength after an extensive 24 years of maturation.
A 1972 vintage bottling of the extremely rarely seen Glen Flagler. The stills for the whisky were set within Moffat Grain Distillery in Airdrie and the single malt was only produced for 21 years (1964-1985). This was bottled at 24 years old by independent bottlers Signatory as part of their Silent Stills range.
The eighth release sold out in a few days and the first edition now commands about a grand if you can find it, so this is a bargain. Classic PE kippers 'n' slippers character, with plenty of grunt from the high alcohol.
The first Port Ellen Annual Release goes for much more these days, but for many people (including at least one TWE staff member) the second release, bottled at 59.35% in 2002, remains at the top of the pile for official PE. A magnificent whisky.