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Diageo’s Prima & Ultima 4th Edition Unveils Oldest Ever Talisker Malt & More

 

 

Diageo has officially announced this year's lineup for its ultra premium Prima & Ultima series of vintage single malt Scotch whiskies made as far back as the 1970s', and with some bottles from Scotland's legendary ghost distilleries.

This fourth edition of the Prima & Ultima collection sees 8 bottles of Scotch, all of them bottled at cask strength and selected by Dr Emma Walker, who is also the Master Blender for Johnnie Walker.

Only 413 full sets are available, although individual bottles can alos be purchased. Interested collectors should register at Diageo's official online registration page, which closes on 11 October 2023. 

Each bottle would be retailing for £45,580 (US$56,846) in the UK.

 

 

This year's collection consists of the following:

  1. 1977 Brora, 45 Year Old, Refill American Oak Hogshead, 48.2% ABV
  2. 1996 Clynelish, 26 Year Old, PX/Oloroso Butts, 52% ABV
  3. 1997 Lagavulin, 25 Year Old, Refill American Oak Hogshead, 50.7% ABV
  4. 1996 Oban, 26 Year Old, Refill European Oak Butts, 55.2% ABV
  5. 1992 Pittyvaich, 30 Year Old, PX/Oloroso Seasoned European Oak Butts, 55.5% ABV
  6. 1978 Port Ellen, 43 Year Old, Refill American Oak Hogshead, 53.4% ABV
  7. 1985 Singleton Dufftown, 37 Year Old, Refill American Oak Hogshead, 47.7% ABV
  8. 1976 Talisker, 46 Year Old, Refill American Oak Hogsheads, European Oak Butts and European Oak Puncheons, 50.9% ABV 

Notably, this lineup consists of the oldest ever single malt released by Talisker at 46 years old - claiming the title of Talisker's the oldest expression from last year's Talisker 44 Years Old Forest Of The Deep limited edition release. 

Let's have a closer look at the details of each bottle.

1976 Talisker, 46 Year Old, Refill American Oak Hogsheads, European Oak Butts and European Oak Puncheons, 50.9% ABV

 

This 1976 Talisker is the oldest release to date from the distillery that stands at 46 years old. It's a blend of 3 refill American Oak hogsheads and European oak butts, then married in European Oak Puncheons.

It has a total outturn of 771 bottles, bottled at 50.9% ABV cask strength.

1976 is an interesting vintage for Scotch whisky due to an intense heatwave experienced by the British Isles, affecting the distillation process of this expression.  

1977 Brora, 45 Year Old, Refill American Oak Hogshead, 48.2% ABV

 

 

From the legendary ghost distillery Brora comes the 1977 Brora expression. We are told to expect classic sweet peat from the last distillation casks of the 1977 vintage, which were matured in 3 refill American Oak hogsheads. It was bottled in 2022, putting it at 45 years old.

It has a total outturn of 794 bottles, bottled at 48.2% ABV cask strength.

1996 Clynelish, 26 Year Old, PX/Oloroso Butts, 52% ABV

 

 

The 1996 Clynelish comes from the first and last experimental cask of the 1996 vintage, aged for 26 years in 2 PX / Oloroso seasoned European Oak butts, and bottled in 2022. European oak maturation is a little more unusual for Clynelish, and adds a more pronounced sweetness and depth to the typically bright Clynelish spirit.

It has a total outturn of 889 bottles, bottled at 52% ABV cask strength.

1997 Lagavulin, 25 Year Old, Refill American Oak Hogshead, 50.7% ABV

 

 

This 1997 Lagavulin comes from 3 refill American Oak hogsheads. It is aged for 25 years from "forgotten" 1997 vintage casks, bottled in 2022 with a total outturn of 625 bottles. It is bottled at 50.7% ABV cask strength.

According to Diageo, 1997 is considered the "golden year" for Lagavulin, when very high quality spirit was produced. 

1996 Oban, 26 Year Old, Refill European Oak Butts, 55.2% ABV

 

 

The 1996 Oban comes from the last ever 1996 vintage casks, matured in 3 refill European Oak butts. It was bottled in 2022, at 26 years old, with a total outturn of 428 bottles, bottled at 55.2% ABV cask strength.

Once again, the use of European Oak is unusual for Oban Distillery and is said to enhance the dryness of the spirit. Master Blender Walker also added that this expression was selected for its pronounced coastal character.  

1992 Pittyvaich, 30 Year Old, PX/Oloroso Seasoned European Oak Butts, 55.5% ABV

 

The 1992 Pittyvaich comes from 2 experimentally matured PX / Oloroso-seasoned casks from the last ever 30 Year Old casks from the 1992 vintage of butts. It is bottled in 2022 at a 55.5% ABV cask strength, with a total outturn of 609 bottles.

1978 Port Ellen, 43 Year Old, Refill American Oak Hogshead, 53.4% ABV

 

Coming from another legendary ghost distillery, 1978 Port Ellen is of the last ever 1978 vintage of 3 refill American Oak hogsheads, aged for 43 years, and bottled in 2022 at 53.4% ABV cask strength. It has a total outturn of 413 bottles.

1985 Singleton Dufftown, 37 Year Old, Refill American Oak Hogshead, 47.7% ABV

 

The 1985 Singleton of Dufftown comes from "forgotten" last 1985 casks, which the distillery workers chanced upon when moving into a new warehouse.

Bottled in 2022 at 37 years old with a total outturn of 511 bottles. This comes from 3 refill American Oak hogsheads, bottled at 47.7% ABV cask strength.

Kanpai!

88 Bamboo Editorial Team