Prima & Ultima line to feature Port Ellen and BroraBy Nicola Carruthers
Diageo has unveiled the third iteration of its Prima & Ultima series of single malts, including Port Ellen and Brora bottlings from the 1980s.
Johnnie Walker owner Diageo has opened registration for its latest Prima & Ultima releases, which comprise bottlings drawn from casks that are the first or last of their kind.
Diageo introduced the Prima & Ultima range in June 2020 with a set of single malts selected by whisky maker Dr Jim Beveridge OBE. Last year, master blender Maureen Robinson, a 40-year Diageo veteran, was chosen to curate the whiskies for the second edition.
The third iteration of the series includes eight bottlings chosen by Dr Craig Wilson, who played a key role in the restoration of the Brora spirit and oversees new releases from Port Ellen.
As such, the Prima & Ultima range includes a rare bottling from both Brora and Port Ellen, a first for the single malt series.
“I have personally selected each whisky with great care, each an exceptional spirit marking a special time in the distilleries’ history and whiskies that I’ve had the privilege to watch mature,” said Wilson.
“I have also selected whiskies from Brora and Port Ellen. In the year we celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, I have selected the last ever Port Ellen 1980 cask, filled in the year Her Majesty visited the distillery’s maltings.
“The Brora bottling is equally as precious, taken from our last ever 1981 cask, making it one of our rarest Brora whiskies of all time.”
The range will feature a 1987 vintage of The Singleton of Glen Ord, the first and only one to be released from the brand’s remaining casks.
Other additions to the line include debut appearances from Royal Lochnagar, a 1981 bottling part of a pioneering experiment at the distillery, and a ‘uniquely matured, unusually dark’ Mannochmore 1990.
The range also includes a bottle from the last Talisker casks from 1984, while the oldest whisky in this year’s selection comes from the oldest casks of Cragganmore in the reserves. A 28-year-old Lagavulin 1993 marks the beginning of a golden era of awards for the Islay distillery.
The theme of this edition is ‘A Moment in Time’ and the natural preservation of fossils and specimens. Each single malt in the collection comes with an artefact to reflect the whisky’s story and is displayed within the accompanying set of 20ml samples provided with each full set.
Only 317 full sets of the Prima & Ultima collection are available for purchase, directly through Prima & Ultima agents. It is priced at RRP £36,500 (US$45,715), including tax and duty, in the UK.
Whisky collectors can register their interest online until 30 June at www.theprimaandultimacollection.com.
To coincide with the release of the third edition of the range, Diageo is offering two ‘ultra-rare’ casks of Brora and Port Ellen during a Sotheby’s auction in London until 14 June.