News you can trust since 1817

21 Scottish whiskies that were released in 2021 - from old and rare expressions to new drams

The last year saw many Scottish distilleries release their first expressions, making it an exciting time to be a whisky fan.

Published: December 22, 2021
Categories: ,

From an island whisky and to a historic dram, there's many new whiskies to enjoy. As well as this, we've also seen a few new expressions released from well established names.

Here we take a look at a range of new whiskies to enjoy as we wave goodbye to 2021.

New whiskies

King’s Inch

Courageous Spirits, who are known for their Glaswegin, has expanded its drinks portfolio into the whisky category with the release of its first single malt whisky.

Named after the old imperial measurement of an inch, and a forgotten island in the Clyde, the team said that King’s Inch is Glaswegian through and through, with the spirit described as full of style and character. It has been produced in small batches to create a smooth, fruity and characterful spirit.

Distilled with west coast barley and Scottish water from Loch Katrine by Jack Mayo in Glasgow, the spirit is then aged in Bourbon and Oloroso Sherry casks.

Stobcross

Earlier this year, The Clydeside Distillery unveiled its first official Single Malt Scotch Whisky.Stobcross is a four year old Lowland Single Malt that has been matured in American and European oak casks.

Made from 100 per cent Scottish barley and water from Loch Katrine, the inaugural whisky has a nose of floral notes with sweetness and tropical fruits. On the palate, there’s orchard fruits and a hint of white pepper.

The history of Drambuie - from Bonnie Prince Charlie to modern day liqueur

Owned by Morrison Glasgow Distillers Ltd, The Clydeside Distillery’s Chairman, Tim Morrison, is the great-grandson of John Morrison who originally built The Queen’s Dock in the 1870s.

The project to transform The Pump House into an operational whisky distillery began in 2012 with The Clydeside Distillery opening its doors to the public in November 2017.

Lindores Abbey

The first whisky from Lindores Abbey Distillery to be made available for purchase by the public was released in July – a mere 527 years after distillation was first recorded at the abbey in 1494.

While 1494 bottles of the inaugural Lindores Abbey release were dispatched for the ‘1494’ Society members in the spring, the two new releases were the first to be made available for purchase by the public.

The GlenDronach releases 50 year old single malt - the oldest dram from the distillery

They are the Lindores Single Malt MCDXCIV (1494) Commemorative release and the Lindores Single Malt MCDXCIV, both containing the same Lowland single malt spirit with the Commemorative release being presented with a label marking the occasion.

Torabhaig Allt Gleann

Torabhaig Distillery second release

Torabhaig is the first whisky distillery to be built on the Isle of Skye in 190 years and the second legal distillery ever to operate on the island.

Following the sold-out success of the first ever expression - Legacy Series 2017 - from the distillery in February 2021, the second expression of Torabhaig single malt was Allt Gleann - The Legacy Series.

Named after the burn that flows down the side of the distillery in Teangue, on the Isle of Skye, the eagerly awaited release was bottled in small batches at 46%, and drawn from no more than 30 casks.

Ardbeg to release limited edition Ardbeg Fermutation

Torabhaig Allt Gleann - The Legacy Series was available at specialist whisky retailers in the UK and internationally from 16 July - the first of four batches released throughout 2021 and 2022.

Glenwyvis

The world’s first 100 per cent community-owned distillery, GlenWyvis Distillery, launched its first-ever whisky earlier this month.

3,600 individually numbered bottles of the three-year-old GlenWyvis Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky have been allocated to GlenWyvis Distillery shareholders, whose investment enabled the build and development of the distillery.

A further 2,000 bottles were available to pre-order in October 2020 and sold out almost immediately. 200 bottles will also be available at selected local retailers and on-trade premises throughout Scotland.

Made from a batch of 18 casks, including 15 first fill ex-Tennessee whiskey (80%), two first-fill ex-Moscatel (15%) and one refill Hogshead (5%), the grain-forward whisky showcases the unique fruitiness of extra-long fermentation.

The whisky is 50% ABV, non-chill filtered, and no colouring added.

New expressions

Glengoyne Teapot Dram 008

Glengoyne Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky recently unveiled the latest batch of its coveted Teapot Dram - Batch No. 008. 

As Glengoyne’s most popular limited-edition range, the Teapot Dram tells the story of an old distillery tradition where workers would be given three fingers of whisky, three times a day.  

Most distilleries would give workers a tumbler of new-make spirit, hot off the stills. But Glengoyne would always ensure the team were given tumblers filled with a young, first fill sherry cask whisky.  

The less seasoned members of the distillery team would, to save face, discreetly pour some of their untouched drams into a copper teapot which sat on the canteen windowsill, ready for their older colleagues to enjoy later.  

Honouring this tradition, the Teapot Dram has remained a deliberately bold, sherry matured limited release. Batch No. 008 is matured exclusively in first fill European and American oak sherry casks and bottled at 59% ABV.  

Glen Moray Warehouse 1 additions

Over the course of 2021, Elgin distillery Glen Moray has been releasing expressions from its Warehouse 1 range. 

This year’s Warehouse 1 whiskies all share a common theme, celebrating Glen Moray’s classic Speyside spirit matured in casks sourced from some of Europe’s oldest flavoured wine varieties.

Releases include a Barolo finish, Sauternes cask expression and Manzanilla Finish.

The Balvenie The Tale of The Dog

The Balvenie - Tale Of The Dog

The Balvenie released The Tale of the Dog, the latest addition to the coveted Balvenie Stories range, in late 2021.

Inspired by one of The Balvenie’s longest serving characters, The Tale of the Dog tells the story of one of Coppersmith, Dennis McBain’s clearest memories working at the distillery over 50 years ago. 

Aged for 42 years, The Tale of the Dog is a smooth and honeyed expression of The Balvenie, perfectly balanced with mouth-watering toffee flavours enveloping a nutty honey spice and a lingering oak finish. It’s available now, at an eye-watering £9,000.

Glenmorangie A Tale of Winter

As with all Glenmorangie whiskies, A Tale of Winter began with Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s director of whisky creation, thinking outside of the box.

Snowed in at home, Dr Bill began dreaming of a whisky that captured the cosiness of wrapping up in a winter jumper, while the world outside is white.

The team say that this dram is swirling with wintry aromas and tastes that bring Dr Bill Lumsden’s snug feeling to life.

Finished in Marsala wine casks from Sicily, this 13-year-old single malt Scotch whisky has notes of fruit and honey, cocoa dust and spice.

The limited edition’s flavours have inspired a series of delicious wintry drinks, easy to make at home.

Whisky Barrel Originals Artemis First Launch Edition

Specialist Scotch whisky merchant and bottler, TheWhiskyBarrel.com, has released the first bottling of its ARTEMIS whisky series commemorating the first flight of the Artemis space program.

This is a single cask Scotch whisky was selected from a single cask of Bunnahabhain whisky distilled on the Isle of Islay, Scotland.

The whisky is 30 years old and was selected from a single hogshead cask, yielding 285 numbered bottles at natural cask strength 54.8% abv.

Priced at £220 per bottle, the whisky is available to buy now.

Woven whisky

Woven, an independent blending studio, aims to honour Leith's history as a blending hub, whilst challenging whisky perceptions and launched their first collection earlier this year.

Woven's founders, Duncan McRae, Peter Allison, Nick Ravenhall, Ed Harvey-Jamieson and Alastair Fiddes, have been part of the scene since the early 2000s.

Woven’s first collection, comprising of four limited edition expressions titled, LEVELS, THE SMILING WHISKY, MODERN, NOSTALGIA and SLOW MOTION, is now available to buy online.

Packing is minimal and don't expect age statements. Prices are from £40-£145.

Although the Woven team offer complete transparency into their processes and blend compositions they’re adamant that whisky shouldn’t be defined by title, age or origin.

Aberlour 14 double cask

Matured first in bourbon and then sherry casks, resulting in a sweet and smooth taste with gentle hints of blackcurrant and citrus, this whisky was released in January.

Aberlour 14 is delicious sipped neat, but also has a sweetness and smoothness that lends itself to simple cocktails.

It's available online now priced at £53.95

Eden Mill Limited Release

Eden Mill unveiled an exclusive limited-edition 800 bottles of its 2021 Release Single Malt Scotch last month.

Retailing at £85, the small batch 2021 release is crafted by a marriage of first-fill bourbon casks and ex-oloroso sherry casks, incorporating spirit distilled using pale malted barley.

Speaking of the whisky, Scott Ferguson, Eden Mill’s head distiller said: “The result is a beautifully rich dram, which carries notes of caramelised pears and fruit crumble with undertones of hazelnut praline and a long-lasting peppery finish”.

The 2021 scotch is the fourth annual single malt release by Eden Mill, since releasing their inaugural bottling in 2018.

Wemyss Malts Untold Riches

In January family whisky makers Wemyss Malts launched Untold Riches - created from multiple casks of Bunnahbhain.

The Edinburgh based independent bottlers adoration of this lauded Islay distillery led them to craft this limited edition Bunnahabhain single malt from casks that have been unhurriedly maturing for over 28 years.

To create this malty-sweet Islay whisky, Wemyss Malts blenders carefully selected 31 hogshead and sherry butt casks from several parcels of decade’s old, unpeated Bunnahabhain to blend into a single malt.

Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival

Glen Scotia campbeltown malts 2021

In April the team at Glen Scotia released a Campbeltown Malts Festival 2021 - a 10 Year Old Limited Edition Single Malt with a Bordeaux red wine cask finish.

The expression was created under the watchful eye of distillery manager and master distiller, Iain McAlister, using a series of exclusively unpeated distillations from 2009 to 2011, before being matured in first fill bourbon barrels.

The casks were vatted together before finishing in hand-selected first fill Bordeaux red wine casks from the Medoc region, for a period of five months.

The Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival 2021 Limited Edition was bottled at cask strength and is non-chilled filtered. With an ABV of 56.1%, the expression offers notes of classic fruits and spices.

The GlenAllachie 14 year old

The multi-award-winning Speyside distillery behind the World’s Best Single Malt (World Whiskies Awards, 2021) released a limited-edition created exclusively for the UK - The GlenAllachie 14-year-old Oloroso Wood Finish - which joins the innovative Wood Finish series.

Presented at natural cask strength of 55.4%, the 14-year-old single malt (UK RRSP £89.99) is a small-batch release initially matured in first and second fill American oak barrels, before being re-racked for over two years aging in Oloroso puncheons personally sourced by whisky industry stalwart Billy Walker.

Walker has earnt widespread acclaim for his superlative wood management and blending expertise. After an almost half century in the whisky industry, Walker was inducted into Whisky Magazine’s Hall of Fame earlier this year for his exceptional and lasting contribution to the world of whisky.

Glenfiddich COP26 whisky

Glenfiddich created a limited-edition 26 Year Old whisky – in partnership with Stop Climate Chaos Scotland – to commemorate the climate change summit, COP26, in Glasgow this November.

The partnership enables Stop Climate Chaos Scotland and Glenfiddich to raise awareness of the active steps Scotland is taking to tackle climate change.

These include the brand’s recently launched, pioneering ‘closed loop’ sustainable transport initiative, ‘Fuelled By Glenfiddich’. This involves converting production wastes and residues into Ultra-Clean Low Carbon fuel that is starting to be introduced to some of its transport fleet.

The Glenfiddich 26 Year Old whisky was available to bid on in November via Royal Mile Whiskies:

Bladnoch Vinaya Single Malt

In April, 204 year old Lowland distillery, Bladnoch, announced the global release of the Bladnoch Vinaya Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

‘Vinaya’, a Sanskrit word meaning respect and gratitude, pays homage to the original founders of the distillery who paved the way.

The expression is made with ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, a combination never before released by the historic distillery.

Notes of fresh apple, sweet floral grass and hints of chocolate make the release a great representation of Lowland style Single Malt.

As with all Bladnoch releases, Vinaya is non-chill filtered and natural colour with water sourced from the River Bladnoch which flows alongside the historic distillery.

Highland Park 15 Year-Old Viking Heart

Highland Park 15-Year-Old Viking Heart was available globally from mid-September.

The whisky is presented in a heavily embossed ceramic bottle, created in partnership with renowned specialists UK based Wade Ceramics.

The inspiration for this bottle came from ancient earthenware vessels which the whisky would have been stored a century or two ago at the distillery.

Created from casks hand-selected by Highland Park masker whisky maker, Gordon Motion, the 15-Year-Old contains a high percentage of first-fill European oak sherry seasoned casks which delivers a warm, dry spicy note whilst first-fill American oak sherry seasoned casks back this up with notes of vanilla and crème brûlée.

Benromach 40 Year Old

In August Benromach Distillery in Speyside unveiled the first annual batch release of its 40 Years Old, with just over 1,000 bottles available worldwide.

Bottled at a cask strength of 57.1%, this rare single malt whisky is natural in colour and was laid down in 1981 before spending four decades maturing in the finest first-fill Oloroso sherry casks.

The result is the oldest expression released in Benromach’s new look line up which was launched in June 2020.

Fettercairn Warehouse 2 Batch No. 002.

Following the success of the first release from its new, small batch collection, Fettercairn Distillery unveiled Warehouse 2 Batch No.002 in August, showcasing the treasures of its 14 dunnage warehouses.

Limited to just 6,000 bottles, this spirit was distilled in 2009 and matured in a combination of first fill ex-American Rye barrels and first fill ex-Bourbon barrels.

Just 29 casks were hand selected to create this single malt, specially chosen from Warehouse 2.

Bottled at 48.5% ABV to enhance the signature character, Fettercairn Warehouse 2 Batch No. 002 showcases the distillery’s tropical style achieved from the distinctive copper cooling ring distillation process.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

Let us know what you think

comments

©JPIMedia Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cookie SettingsTerms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy
crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram