Whisky Illuminati launches educational Scotch series

Aug 22, 2019by Amy Hopkins

Independent bottler Whisky Illuminati has released a series of single cask Scotch whiskies that gives drinkers insight into how the liquid evolves in oak casks over time.

The Solaria Series is a "first of its kind" three-part release of five Speyside single malts. The first edition of all five expressions will launch this month, followed by a second release in 2021 and a third in 2023. As such, drinkers will be able to witness how the liquid evolves in oak over the course of four years. The range includes: ·      Solaria Series distilled at Royal Brackla Distillery (68.0% ABV, outrun of 150 bottles) ·      Solaria Series distilled at Aultmore Distillery (67.5% ABV, outrun of 120 bottles) ·      Solaria Series distilled at Glentauchers Distillery (63.4% ABV, outrun of 150 bottles) ·      Solaria Series distilled at Craigellachie Distillery (67.9% ABV, outrun of 100 bottles) ·      Solaria Series distilled at ‘Artis Secretum’ (67.1% ABV, outrun of 150 bottles) The final bottling’s distillery has been kept secret due to “sensitivities around the rights to the brand name". ‘Artis Secretum’ translates as ‘trade secret’ in Latin. Each expression is a 2011 vintage and is bottled at cask strength. Every bottling in the series was matured in first-fill Spanish oak Sherry butt casks, with the exception of the single malt from Craigellachie Distillery, which was matured in a first-fill Spanish oak Sherry hogshead cask. “This is a unique opportunity for whisky drinkers to buy into a developing cask of single malt Scotch whisky, and to fully appreciate how the character evolves in the wood over a period of four years,” said Keith Bonnington, co-founder of Whisky Illuminati. “We selected 100% first-fill ex-Sherry casks from Spain to mature the new make spirit, with the aim of drawing out maximum impact from the wood to deliver the depth of flavour and colour desired over time.” The Solaria Series will be available to purchase from select specialist whisky retailers from this month, with an RRP of around £120 each (US$146). Whisky Illuminati was launched in 2018 by Bonnington and digital marketing entrepreneur Stephen Gorman using insight from a group of anonymous industry experts. Its first range was called the Candlelight Series.