Glen Scotia Distillery unveils its oldest and rarest expression yet with release of 45-year-old single malt

Popular Campbeltown distillery, Glen Scotia, has unveiled its oldest and rarest expression yet with the release of a new 45-year-old single malt.

Published 25th Oct 2019
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Limited to only 150 bottles world-wide, the 45-year-old is not only the oldest expression to be
released by Glen Scotia distillery but also one of the rarest.

Distilled in December 1973 before being filled into refill Bourbon casks, the rare liquid was carefully
re-casked into first-fill Bourbon over three decades later in 2011.

Described as having all the signature characteristics of a Campbeltown single malt, the liquid is
dominated by maritime influences, master distiller Michael Henry, who finally bottled it this year, said the new whisky presents bold coastal elements, as well as sweet notes of ripe pineapple, crisp green apple, rose and vanilla, on the nose.

Glen Scotia 45 year old

The whisky comes in a striking hand-crafted walnut wood box. Picture: Glen Scotia

He said: “Glen Scotia 45-year-old is one of the most magnificent expressions to be produced by our Campbeltown distillery and we are excited that after 45 years we are now able to unveil it to the world.

“Distilled in 1973, this single malt is steeped in history and is extraordinarily rare. The liquid has been maturing in refill bourbon casks, tucked away in our bonded warehouses, for over three decades before being finished in first fill bourbon.

“It embodies all of the unique elements which Glen Scotia is known for, delivering a long mouth watering finish with notes of sea salt and lime citrus. On the palate, the liquid presents caramel sweetness at first, then juicy fruit with pineapple, mango and water melon rounded by vanilla and honey.”

Bottled at 43.8% ABV and non-chill filtered the whisky is encased in a handcrafted walnut box, created by family-owned, UK-based luxury packaging manufacturer, Moran’s Wood Components.

Paul Moran, director, Moran’s Wood Components, said: “It was an honour to create such a beautiful box for the Glen Scotia 45 year old, a very rare and historic whisky. Inspired by the intrinsic link between wood and whisky, we also drew from Glen Scotia’s vision of incorporating quality materials and craftsmanship, to reflect the same principles that go into the distillery’s award-winning single malts.

“We constantly strive to push the boundaries, and everyone at Moran’s is extremely proud of this project.”

Campbeltown is Scotland’s fifth and smallest malt producing region. Throughout the Victorian era it was known as the whisky capital of the world and home to more than 30 working distilleries.

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To raise awareness of the importance of the region to Scotland’s whisky heritage, Glen Scotia distillery has been campaigning for Campbeltown to be recognised the “whiskiest place in the world.” In July 2019, a parliamentary motion on the issue lodged at Westminster received cross party support.

Iain McAlister, distillery manager, said: “It might be the smallest region, but the contribution Campbeltown has made to Scotch whisky is incomparable.

“For over 100 years, our coastal town has been crafting some of the world’s most exciting expressions and Glen Scotia 45 year old exemplifies everything you would expect of a fantastic Campbeltown single malt. It truly is the perfect addition to any collection.”

Glen Scotia 45 year old will be priced at £3,795 and available from specialist retailers from October.

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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