What a monumental year it’s been for The Glenturret. Scotland’s oldest working distillery was officially established all the way back in 1763. But in 2022 it’s proving itself to be as relevant as ever. Back in February the Perthshire-based producer became the world’s first Michelin Star whisky distillery. This week it announces the release of its oldest single malt to date—a stunning 50-year-old expression packaged in a specially-designed Lalique crystal decanter.
Only 150 bottles of the sherry cask-matured liquid will be available in total. Each one is set to retail at £40,000 ($47,000). If that’s not exclusive enough for you, Sotheby’s has an even rarer rendering to consider. The legendary auction house has partnered with The Glenturret to place bottle number one under the hammer. That online auction is now live and will remain open until September 9th at 4 p.m. GMT. The high-end estimate for the sale is just over $70,000, which will also include special artwork from Edinburgh-based artist Matthew Draper.
Aside from being the oldest distillery in Scotland, The Glenturret is also one of its smallest. It retains a distinctively fruity house style for a Highland malt, which is generously accentuated in this 1972 vintage, expressed through honeycomb, prunes and sticky toffee pudding. The decanter in which it rests is embossed with barley-like patterns, evoking the essential grain from which the whisky was distilled.
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Lalique ran point on the product design. The French-based crystal house purchased a controlling stake in The Glenturret back in 2019. Since then an emphasis has been place on modernizing the product line and repackaging releases to fit age statement benchmarks, including flagship 12, 15, 20, 25 and 30-year expressions. The aforementioned Michelin-starred outpost, which opened on-site in July of 2021, was even named The Lalique Restaurant.
Leaning into the tie-in, Sotheby’s head of whisky and spirits, Jonny Fowle, worked with his team to source ten lots worth of exclusive whiskies bottled in Lalique Crystal decanters—regardless of distillery of origin. However, what’s left for sale is comprised entirely of The Macallan, whose parent company was coincidentally The Glenturret’s previous owner.
If you’re looking to explore the beauty of The Glenturret in more modest fashion, it’s easy enough to take home a bottle of the 10-year for under $100. The prodigious use of European oak therein lends some soulful dark fruit to its edges. And if you like that, it’s time to consider a recent offering from The Last Drop. Earlier this year the revered independent bottler let go of 163 bottles worth of 44-year-old Glenturret, clocking in at 45% ABV. It boasts a brightness and stone fruit-fueled vitality that legitimizes its £4,500 asking price.
It tastes even better when paired alongside Michelin-caliber cuisine. Which is a great reason to plan your pilgrimage to Perthshire in the near future. And unless you do, you might not learn of the legend of Towser. But that’s a tale for another day…