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Littlemill release £8k Testament expression - complete with luxury decanter

Littlemill Testament, the oldest Littlemill expression to be released to date, has launched.

Published: April 5, 2021
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The new release celebrates Littlemill's legacy as Scotland’s oldest licensed distillery and is contained in a luxury decanter, which incorporates remnants of the original distillery manager’s house, giving collectors the opportunity to own a piece of Scotch whisky history.

These pieces, which date back to 1772, include reclaimed glass, slate, wood and stone sourced from the roof, windows, walls and floors of the building.

The liquid for the release has been taken from a single distillation date, on 4th October 1976.

It was re-casked in 1996 into American oak Hogsheads, before master blender Michael Henry matured this liquid further in first-fill Oloroso sherry hogsheads for a final four-month maturation before bottling.

Littlemill Testament – Limited Edition release has an RRP of £8,000, and has an ABV of 42.5%

Only 250 decanters are available of this rare single malt. Each is crafted in hand blown Glencairn crystal, which have been facet cut at the base, mirroring the style of glass cutting during the Georgian period, and housed in a bespoke handmade cabinet.

Each cabinet comes complete with a dress stopper made from the sandstone taken from the remains of the Littlemill distillery.

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Finally, for collectors who wish to leave the decanter untouched, each comes with a unique code allowing the owner to claim a 5cl of the liquid.

An additional 5cl can be claimed at a future date, using the same code, protecting the investment by allowing a second owner to claim their 5cl to enjoy.

These limited release decanters are joined by four unique decanters, which are all accompanied by a pair of specially sourced Georgian glasses, dating back to the 18th century with the facet cut on the stems of each pair and unique engraving around the bowl, replicated on each decanter.

The dress stoppers within the limited editions are each crafted from one of the materials salvaged from the original distillery building, giving collectors the chance to become custodians of a rare piece of Scotch whisky history.

The first decanter’s dress stopper is completed with slate sourced from the roof of the distillery manager’s house, the second with glass from the window, the third with wood from the floor, and the final stopper with stone from the building itself.

Each special decanter contains a wooden disc cut from a stave from the Littlemill barrel, which conceals a unique code which can be used to request two 5cl samples of the Littlemill Testament liquid.

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The first of the four unique decanters was auctioned in China in January, reaching a price of £19,000.

Colin Matthews, CEO, Loch Lomond Group said: "Littlemill Testament is a fitting tribute to the rich heritage that this exceptional whisky enjoys, allowing whisky lovers to own a piece of history.

"I would like to congratulate our Master Blender Michael Henry for crafting such an exceptional liquid which perfectly reflects the Littlemill’s signature floral style.

"In addition to our Limited Edition release, it is a pleasure to also reveal our four unique Littlemill Testament decanters, which offer the ultimate tribute to Littlemill’s fascinating past."

Michael Henry, master blender added: "It is an honour to have been able to play my part, as current custodian of the remaining casks from the original Littlemill Disitillery, and release Littlemill Testament, which pays homage to this whisky’s unrivalled history.

"I’m very proud of the result, which perfectly capture Littlemill’s signature style.

"On the nose there is crisp green apple and zesty grapefruit with notes of fragrant elderflower and ginger.

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"Then, when you taste it delivers a vibrant fruity flavour, with hints of tangy pineapple and juicy peach overlayed with a lime citrus which is complemented by a melted brown sugar sweetness and creamy vanilla, giving way to a deliciously long finish with mouth-watering fruit, gooseberry and watermelon, and a gently warming cinnamon and nutmeg spice.”

For over 220 years a date stone on the gable end of one of the Littlemill distillery’s warehouses carved with 1772 offered the best suggestion as to the age of this distillery.

In 2019, the discovery of the local Justice of the Peace’s records for Dumbarton, dated 2 November 1773, which states that ‘Robert Muir of Littlemiln’ was granted the first ever license by the Government of King George III to “retail ale, beer and other excisable Liquors”, conclusively proved that it was the oldest licensed whisky distillery in Scotland.

For further information on Littlemill Testaments, visit the distillery website. Available to purchase at specialist retailers including The Whisky Shop.

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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.

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