Bringing the Exceptional to Light
Every bonded warehouse in Scotland houses secrets, casks containing whiskies that have been maturing quietly for over twenty years. They may look the same at first glance, but if you look closer, they have been adorned with a star emblem, branded as the rare and exceptional.
Whisky of Distinction | Port Ellen & Brora: Casks From A Bygone Era
Two ultra-rare Casks of Distinction of Brora and Port Ellen are being sold in a one-off sale by Sotheby’s as part of their Platinum Jubilee Season on Tuesday 14th June 2022. Each cask up for auction comes with a bespoke piece of artwork related to the cask and its distillery of origin, from a globally renowned creative. The Brora 1982 is in collaboration with photographer Trey Ratcliff and the Port Ellen 1979 with artist Ini Archibong. For more information visit sothebys.com/en
Master Whisky Makers
The Casks of Distinction master whisky makers have the privilege of seeking them out dedicating more than 4,200 hours of every year to uncovering the gems nestling across the over 50 warehouses of Diageo’s extensive Scottish collection. Their goal is to bring them out from obscurity so each cask can be experienced and celebrated for the qualities that make each distinct.
Only a small number of fully mature casks are selected for inclusion on the Casks of Distinction List, and the casks are only offered to Diageo’s private clients, being carefully matched to suit whisky palate and personal preference. The moment that ownership begins marks the start of a special legacy as the keeper of a singular liquid history.
of a Cask of Distinction
The master whisky makers bring decades of judgement and knowledge to bear as they assess the worthiness of the casks to bear the Cask of Distinction star, recognised by auction houses and whisky connoisseurs alike as a sign of quality and rarity. They convene once a year at the liquid library inside the Diageo Archives to debate and discuss until they unanimously agree.
All the Casks of Distinction are kept and attended to at the beautiful Royal Lochnagar distillery in Royal Deeside. This presents a unique gathering of casks, chosen from any of Diageo’s distilleries, including Talisker from the Isle of Skye, Speyside’s Mortlach, Caol Ila from Islay, and Clynelish representing the Highlands. There are no limits to the distilleries on offer with rare casks from the dwindling stocks of fabled names like Brora, Port Ellen, Glenury Royal and Pittyvaich.
Here, Cask of Distinction owners are able to visit their still maturing casks, as well as enjoying exclusive access to private spaces across Diageo’s distilleries and brand homes across Scotland including the private suite at Johnnie Walker Princes Street, Edinburgh.
Each owner has the freedom to further age their cask for up to five years, can personalise the labels, and can commission one of a roster of artists to transform their cask-end into a work of art, blending patronage with passion, with a precious single malt as the point of inspiration.
Unique, remarkable, one-of-a-kind. These casks were made to be known. Thanks to the skill and expertise of the Casks of Distinction master whisky makers, now they can be.