The Coopers’ Cask Release is the result of a collaboration between The Glasgow Distillery and US based Kelvin Cooperage, launched in celebration of the ancient skill of coopering; the art of creating casks made from wooden staves bound by metal hoops.
The brainchild of two highly skilled coopers, Hugh McMurray from The Glasgow Distillery and Kevin McLaughlin from Kelvin Cooperage, The Coopers’ Cask Release takes the unpeated spirit from an ex-port cask filled by the Glasgow Distillery in 2015, and lays it to rest in a unique hand-built cask which consists of half heavily charred virgin oak staves from Kelvin Cooperage and half ex-Glasgow 1770 Single Malt cask staves from The Glasgow Distillery.
Each set of staves interlocks with the other to form one unique vessel - a perfect Hogshead - which is said to highlight the power of Kelvin Cooperage’s virgin American Oak, balanced against the wonderfully smooth and fruity spirit being produced by The Glasgow Distillery.
The result is a wonderfully balanced single malt with soft notes of honey, summer fruits and toffee, a harmonious marriage of complex sweetness with a long, rich and slightly spicy finish.
The alliance forged between The Glasgow Distillery and Kelvin Cooperage not only seeks to celebrate the relationship between cooperage and distillery, but also embodies their mutual love of Glasgow; the industrious city where both the Kelvin Cooperage and Glasgow Distillery stories began.
The Glaswegian roots of Kelvin Cooperage can be traced back to the year 1963 when, on the banks of the River Kelvin, a local man, Ed McLaughlin, opened his own cooperage and started to repair and rejuvenate casks for whisky distilleries across Scotland and Ireland.
In the early 1990’s, Ed saw that the bourbon trade in the US was booming and, supported by his two sons Kevin and Paul, moved the business to Louisville, Kentucky where they began to service some of the biggest and best distilleries and wine producers in the country.
Despite being located at the other side of the Atlantic, the two brothers never forgot their roots and made frequent returns back to their home city, Glasgow.
Fast forward to 2012, The Glasgow Distillery sets out on a mission to bring single malt distilling back to the city, soon becoming Glasgow’s first independent single malt distillery for over one hundred years.
The distillery then embarked on a journey to find casks of the highest quality within which they could mature their spirit.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the name of a Kentucky-based cooperage was suggested, a familiar name: Kelvin Cooperage.
Paul McLaughlin, owner of Kelvin Cooperage said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with The Glasgow Distillery on The Coopers’ Cask Release.
"The Coopers’ Cask has been launched with the vision to bring our craftsmanship and expertise back to our home city of Glasgow in a way that is truly unique.
"This is Glasgow-distilled single malt, matured in a hand-built cask made by not just one, but two sets of Glasgow hands.
“It is, however, with a heavy heart that we announce that Kevin, my much loved brother, Kelvin Cooperage’s fearless leader and one of the cooper’s who made this collaboration possible, passed away in December 2019 before the launch of this release.
"The Coopers’ Cask Release is therefore launched in honour of Kevin, who was instrumental in bringing this project together and whose memory lives on within the spirit.”
Liam Hughes, CEO and co-founder of The Glasgow Distillery added: "We’re very excited to launch our first Glasgow 1770 distillery exclusive - The Coopers’ Cask Release.
"This unique hand-built cask - cask no 15/87 - is the physical embodiment of the relationship that exists between cooperage and distillery and ultimately, the relationship between wood and spirit - the fundamental elements that come together to make great single malt scotch.
“Kevin and Paul embraced our vision from the outset and we quickly became friends so it is a bitter sweet moment to launch The Coopers’ Cask Release without Kevin here to witness it.
"We are very grateful to the whole McLaughlin family for their continued support throughout this project, especially as it has been a particularly difficult time for them all.”
Glasgow 1770 Single Malt Scotch Whisky - The Coopers’ Cask Release - is The Glasgow Distillery’s first distillery exclusive bottling.
Each of the 403 individually numbered bottles come packaged in an individually numbered presentation carton, each containing a booklet that tells the tale behind the collaboration cask.
The spirit within is non-chill filtered and natural in colour, bottled at a strength of 53.3% ABV and priced at £59 per bottle, exclusively available to purchase on the The Glasgow Distillery website.