Macallan and Caol Ila join XOP Black Series

Independent whisky bottler Douglas Laing & Co has released a 40-year-old Caol Ila and a 1989 vintage Macallan under its Xtra Old Particular (XOP) Black Series.

The two expressions will be the last XOP Particular Black releases for 2019. The Caol Ila Vintage 1979 bottling is described as “exceptionally herbal, pelagic and mouth-puckeringly salted”. The hogshead cask yielded 160 bottles at a natural cask strength of 51.2% ABV. Distilled in 1989, the Macallan Vintage 1989 is 30-years-old and is limited to 230 bottles. The expression is said to have notes of muscovado sugar, marzipan and oranges and is bottled at 46% ABV. “This is an exceptional duo unveiled at an incredibly exciting time for Douglas Laing & Co,” said CEO Chris Leggat. “From two of Scotland’s best-known and loved distilleries, our new XOP Black Series releases represent the absolute pinnacle of antique Scotch whiskies, from casks selected at their peak of perfection by Fred Laing himself. “Only a tiny percentage of the whisky-loving community will experience the decades of maturation and impact of quality wood on these two rare gems, and we truly hope those individuals savour every last drop.” The first release under the Extra Old Particular Black Series was a 1994 Springbank single cask Scotch whisky, unveiled in June 2019. Caol Ila Vintage 1979 and Macallan Vintage 1989 are expected to retail at £1,500 (US$1,940) and £4,000 (US$5,170) respectively and are available from specialist spirits retailers globally. Last month, Douglas Laing & Co acquired Perthshire-based single malt Scotch producer Strathearn Distillery.