William Grant & Sons to launch dormant distillery blends

12 June, 2014

William Grant & Sons has announced the launch of Rare Cask Reserves, a selection of dormant distillery blends from private family stocks.

Described as “a concept and a collection of products” rather than a brand, Jonathan Cornthwaite, First Drinks senior brand manager, told DI: “Rare Cask Reserves uniquely offers the whisky enthusiast an intimate and rare insight into the artistry of blending fine aged scotch.”

The Ghosted Reserve is limited to 6,000 numbered bottles per year for the next four years; the Ladyburn and Inverleven is the first in the on-going release launched this September.

William Grant & Sons’ sixth master blender Brian Kinsman selected aged single malts from the two ghosted distilleries, marrying unequal proportions of both.

Kinsman said: “I have selected Ladyburn casks for their intensity and oakiness. And, to complement them I have chosen casks from Inverleven. The Inverleven distillery ran from 1938 to 1991 and produced a wonderfully elegant and ethereal fruity style of malt whisky.”

With up to 12 different expressions within one batch of 300-1,000 9-litre cases, the Rare Cask Reserves single bottle has an estimated RRP of £200.

Cornthwaite added: “As blends are coming back in vogue, the idea of having some sort of ownership, something that can never be blended again, is a unique and one-off event.”

Rare Cask Reserves Gift sets are another product in the Rare Casks Reserves range, the exclusive sets of three blends were created by the Whisky Shop and Kinsman in his Glenfiddich Dufftown blending room.

Five key members of the Whisky Shop team, including Charles McLean, joined Kinsman in Dufftown where they tasted and selected the blend and the blended grain expressions, coming together later to create the blended malt.

The master blender said: “For the first time in our history, we are unlocking these rare casks to produce a finite number of batches, never to be produced again.”

All component whiskies were selected from the Grant family private collection and narrowed to small batches by Kinsman to marry before bottling.

Kinsman added: “It’s an incredibly exciting time in whisky innovation and I’m thrilled that the Whisky Shop team are one of the few to join me to create their own whiskies”.

With a guideline RRP of £250, the set is currently available in Harrods and will be in the Whisky Shop later this year.

Stocks of the Rare Cask Reserves are estimated to last seven to eight years, depending on demand.

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