Diageo debuts second Prima & Ultima whisky release

Spirits giant Diageo has unveiled the second release of its collectable Prima & Ultima single malt Scotch whisky series, retailing for £23,500 (US$32,720).

The eight-strong collection features cask strength bottlings that are either the first or last of their kind, taken from the reserves of Diageo's top distilleries, including Talisker, Mortlach, The Singleton of Glendullan and newly restored Brora. Diageo introduced the Prima & Ultima series in June 2020 with a set of single malts selected by whisky maker Dr Jim Beveridge OBE. This year, master blender Maureen Robinson, a 40-year Diageo veteran, was chosen to curate the whiskies in the release. “This is a selection of very special single malts – some that have never before seen the light of day and others that are the fleeting and final examples of their kind," Robinson said. "Each bottling shares a glimpse into the history of Scotch and one that I am honoured to have witnessed in person." Among Robinson's picks are a rare Lagavulin; a bottling from Brora, drawn from the last of the distillery's casks from 1980; and The Singleton of Glendullan 1992, from a unique trial in which the spirit was kept in refill casks before spending fourteen years in two small ex-Madeira barriques. She also included the Linkwood 1981, from the first trial implementing different maturation practices at the distillery, which saw the whisky aged in PX- and oloroso-seasoned casks, as well as new American oak. Just 376 sets are available to purchase exclusively through appointed Prima & Ultima agents. Collectors can register their interest at www.theprimaandultimatecollection.com until 23 August. After registration closes, set number one of the second release – with each bottling signed by Robinson – will be auctioned online through Sotheby's from 15-24 September in Hong Kong. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to humanitarian charity Care International.