Whisky Focus - Diageo Prima & Ultima whisky Collection

Diageo Prima & Ultima Whisky Collection


6th July 2020
Diageo announces the forthcoming release of the Prima & Ultima Whisky Collection, a new premium series of vintage, cask strength single malt whiskies.

Diageo unveil Prima & Ultima whisky Collection

Diageo has unveiled the Prima & Ultima Whisky Collection, a new premium series of single malt whiskies which will launch with eight new vintage, cask strength, single malts from eight of Diageo's distilleries.

Each of the whiskies in the new whisky collection have all been selected by Diageo's veteran Master Blender Dr Jim Beveridge OBE who has over 40 years experience creating Scotch whisky. Each whisky in the collection Jim has chosen is the first (Prima) and last (Ultima) of its kind and have been drawn from just a small number casks from Diageo owned distilleries in Scotland including in this first release in the series Caol Ila, Clynelish, Lagavulin, Mortlach, Port Ellen, Singleton of Dufftown and Talisker.

Jim Beveridge commented on the new series saying: "Over the past forty years I have worked intimately with our distilleries across Scotland and I’ve been fortunate enough to witness great change in the whisky industry. Each of the eight whiskies I’ve selected for Prima & Ultima tells a tale of heritage and craftsmanship and I’ve chosen them from distillers of great personal importance to me."

Each of the eight whiskies Jim has selected have been bottled at natural cask strength, non-chill filtered and with no added colour, the whiskies are:

Diageo Prima & Ultima whisky Collection

 

Caol Ila 1984 35 Year Old


Caol Ila 1984 35 Year Old | 50.8% ABV Bottled: 9.12.19 | Cask #5773 – Refill European Oak Butt Number Bottled: 499 | Port Askaig, Isle Of Islay

A 1984 Caol Ila from a single refill cask (#5773) - the first release of a new style at the time, this particular cask was recovered after initially being sold. Mild in aroma, it is rich in texture with a long smoky-spice finish.
 

Clynelish 1993 26 Year Old


Clynelish 1993 26 Year Old | 49.8% ABV Bottled: 9.12.19 | Refill American Oak Casks Number Bottled: 941 | Brora, Sutherland

One of the first casks filled after the mysterious waxiness of Clynelish was understood and perfected. This 1993 small batch release is aromatic and intense, with a waxy, creamy smooth quality that is now the distillery’s hallmark.
 

Cragganmore 1971 48 Year Old


Cragganmore 1971 48 Year Old | 43.7% ABV Bottled: 10.12.19 | Cask #2301 - First-fill ex-sherry butt Number Bottled: 352 | Ballindalloch, Speyside

This is the very last cask of whisky which was made at Cragganmore on coal fired stills – cask #2301 – before the switch to oil-fired steam heating. A remarkable piece of history from a single first fill ex-

Sherry butt, the whisky’s flavours run deep with hints of dark chocolate, it has a long fresh and drying finish.
 

Lagavulin 1991 28 Year Old


Lagavulin 1991 28 Year Old | 50.1% ABV Bottled: 10.12.19 | Refill American Oak Casks Number Bottled: 1013 | Port Ellen, Isle Of Islay

Distilled not long after Lagavulin’s true distillery character was refined and perfected, this whisky comes from a handful of refill American oak hogshead casks filled in 1991. This 28 Year Old is the first to highlight the pure golden Lagavulin spirit, thanks to carefully managed cask influence, and has a terrific depth of flavour.
 

Mortlach 1994 25 Year Old


Mortlach 1994 25 Year Old | 55.1% ABV Bottled: 10.12.19 | Cask #2652 - First-fill Pedro Ximenez/Oloroso seasoned European Oak Butt Number Bottled: 389 | Dufftown, Speyside

One of the last remaining first-fill Pedro Ximenez / Oloroso seasoned oak butt casks from 1994. The result is a 25 Year Old with robust muscularity – the deep, rich style of mature Mortlach that earned its name as ‘The Beast of Dufftown’, by whisky expert Dave Broom
 

Port Ellen 1979 40 Year Old


Port Ellen 1979 40 Year Old | 51.2% ABV Bottled: 11.12.19 | Cask #6422 – Refill European Oak Butt Number Bottled: 436 | Port Ellen, Isle Of Islay

One of the very last 1979 European Oak butts from Port Ellen, selected from the few casks remaining, long after the Islay distillery closed in 1983. It characterises Port Ellen at its peak - expressing to the full the wonderful balance between sweetness, saltiness and smokiness that is elegant and full of flavour after forty years.
 

Singleton of Dufftown 1988 30 Year Old


Singleton of Dufftown 1988 30 Year Old | 48.8% ABV Bottled: 12.12.19 | Refill American Oak Casks Number Bottled: 469 | Dufftown, Speyside

From three of the last remaining casks filled in 1988, at a time when the new grassy, fruity flavours were uncovered from a new slow-craft technique at this Singleton distillery. This complex, rich whisky is the first 30 Year Old released of this kind.
 

Talisker 1988 31 Year Old


Talisker 1988 31 Year Old | 51.4% ABV Bottled: 12.12.19 | Refill American Oak Casks Number Bottled: 721 | Carbost, Isle Of Skye

A 31 Year Old Talisker from the last 6 casks that showed an unusual less peaty, more rounded character, specially put aside in 1988 to mature. A Talisker full of vitality with sweet, smoky and peppery flavours.
 
Availability

There will be 238 of the full sets made available for purchase, each one contains a limited-edition book of stories as well as 20ml samples of each whisky.

As you can imagine you will need deep pockets if you want to get hold of a set of the Prima & Ultima Whisky Collection, it will set you back £20,000. To buy one, you can register your interest on a dedicated site https://www.exceptionalwhisky.com/ which will open up on Wednesday, July 22nd.

The first set in the series will go up for auction at Sothebys online on August 26th and will be available for bidding until September 2. The bottles are each signed by Jim Beveridge personally and all proceeds from the sale will be donated to Diageo’s charity partner WaterAid.

You will find Diageo's current portfolio of Scotch whiskies available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt
 

Where To Buy Whisky Online


Select a country for a list of specialist Whisky shops who delivers to you:

 

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