SMWS creates Vaults Collection for its ‘rarest’ releases

Sep 22, 2017by Annie Hayes

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has introduced The Vaults Collection, a series of “once-in-a-lifetime” single cask malt whiskies.

The Society has kicked off the collection with two bottlings: In A Perfumed Garden, a 26-year-old whisky from a silent Lowland distillery, priced at £875; and Meeting An Old Master, a 27-year-old variant from a “renowned” Speyside distillery, priced at £980. Kai Ivalo, spirits director at the Society, said: “The Vaults Collection encompasses the finest and rarest casks from our treasure trove of single cask whiskies. “These casks have been stored over decades and nurtured through their maturation as the ultimate expressions of their kind – these are once-in-a-lifetime bottling of liquid history.” In A Perfumed Garden has been matured in a refill barrel before being transferred for further maturation in a second-fill Sauternes hogshead for 18 months. It was then moved to a second-fill Bourbon barrel for a final year before being bottled. The expression is one of 170 bottles from a single cask of whisky produced by a distillery that closed in 1993, and falls under the Society's Sweet, Fruity & Mellow flavour profile Of the whisky, expert Charles MacLean said: “This is an exceptional example of this closed distillery’s remaining stock, which is rare and diminishing with every passing day. “Its freshness and vibrant character shine through in a classic example of what was considered the Lowland region’s leading distillery. You’ll never see its like again.” Meeting An Old Master, meanwhile, is one of just 437 bottles drawn from a single cask of whisky that was distilled on 7 May 1990. After maturing in an ex-Oloroso sherry cask, the liquid was transferred to a first-fill Pedro Ximenez sherry butt. It it categorised under the Society's Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits flavour profile. “An absolutely gorgeous dram and a wonderful example of this distillery’s traditional style of classic sherried whisky, as it was made in a previous era," sad MacLean. "It is big, voluptuous and stimulating, with a deeply complex texture. Precious as it is, I wanted to pour myself another dram immediately.” The duo will be made available to EU and UK Society members on 2 October, with key allocations following in the US and Asia.