The oldest release to date from Scotland's Littlemill Distillery has been announced.
Littlemill Testament is designed to celebrate the distillery's legacy in the Scotch whisky industry and is presented in a decanter that includes remnants of the original distillery master's house, which dates back to 1772. These fragments include reclaimed glass, slate, wood and stone from the roof and parts of the building's windows, walls and floors.
The liquid for the release has been taken from a single distillation date in October 1976. It was re-casked to American oak hogsheads in 1996, before a final four-month maturation in first-fill Oloroso sherry hogsheads that was overseen by master blender Michael Henry.
Just 250 of the Glencairn Crystal decanters will be made available, with a recommended retail price of £8,000. Each comes housed in a bespoke handmade cabinet, complete with a dress stopper made from sandstone taken from the remains of the Littlemill distillery.
For collectors who wish to leave their decanter untouched, each comes with a unique code allowing the owner to claim 5cl of the liquid. An additional 5cl can be claimed at a future date using the same code, should a second owner wish to sample it.
Alongside these limited-release decanters, there are four unique decanters accompanied by specially crafted stoppers and a pair of glasses dating from the 18th century. The first of these four decanters was auctioned in China in January for £19,000.
Michael Henry said: "It is an honour to have been able to play my part, as current custodian of the remaining casks from the original Littlemill Distillery, and release Littlemill Testament, which pays homage to this whisky's unrivalled history. I'm very proud of the result, which perfectly captures Littlemill's signature style.
"On the nose there is crisp green apple and zesty grapefruit with notes of elderflower and ginger. Then, when you taste it delivers a vibrant fruit flavour, with hints of tangy pineapple and juicy peach overlayed with a lime citrus which is complemented by a melted brown sugar sweetness and creamy vanilla, giving way to a deliciously long finish."
Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group, said: "Littlemill Testament is a fitting tribute to the rich heritage that this exceptional whisky enjoys, allowing whisky lovers to own a piece of history. I would like to congratulate our master blender Michael Henry for crafting such an excpetional liquid."
Littlemill is claimed to be the oldest licensed distillery in Scotland, with records from Dumbarton (discovered in 2019) stating that 'Robert Muir of Littlemiln' was granted a government licence to "retail ale, beer and other excisable liquors" in November 1773.
Littlemill Testament (42.5% ABV) is available to purchase from specialist retailers, including www.whiskyshop.com.