Top 50 innovative new spirits of 2018: 10-1

23rd January, 2019 by Melita Kiely

2. Craigellachie 51

A whisky that has been laid to rest for more than half a century could expect to command a price of at least hundreds – if not thousands – of pounds.

That is unless you are talking about Craigellachie 51, of course. The Bacardi­-owned Scotch whisky brand revealed its oldest bottling to date in October last year – a 51­-year-­old single malt.

Distilled on 22 December 1962, the liquid spent 51 years maturing in a refill Bourbon oak cask before it was put into glass in 2014 at 40.8% abv, and then decanted into 51 glass bottles at 40.3% abv in 2018.

But there was no lavish packaging, no crystal decanters or, indeed, a price tag in sight. Bacardi broke all the rules with the launch of Craigellachie 51, giving away drams for free through a balloted event and creating the “world’s most uncollectable whisky”.

The unusual tactic means whisky fans will be granted access to an aged expression that would, in most circumstances, be unobtainable.

A global tasting tour kicked-­off in London last November and will travel to South Africa, Australia and the US in 2019.

While other brands have been vocal about the need to make Scotch whisky more inclusive and accessible, Craigellachie’s actions speak louder than all those words combined.

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One Response to “Top 50 innovative new spirits of 2018: 10-1”

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