Tag Archive for: Rare Whisky

Ladyburn 1966 Edition One – Whisky from a Bygone Era

Full collection of Ladyburn 1966 Edition One

William Grants & Sons did exceedingly well in showcasing creativity and the excellent whiskies they own. The latest drop from the company is an exciting project that involves a “lost gem”. Ladyburn 1966 Edition One is the first in a series of rare whisky collection from WG&S. In collaboration with famous photographer, David Bailey, the limited edition collection will be sold through the distiller’s direct-to-consumer sales channels.

Who was Ladyburn?

Well, we assure you that no ladies were harmed in the process! Just kidding! Ladyburn was a single malt distillery that sat in the Girvan grain distillery estate from 1966 to 1975. It operated for only 9 years sadly. It was one of the most technologically advanced single malt distilleries during its time but did not survive. WG&S closed the distillery in 1975 and moved its stills to Balvenie and Glenfiddich distilleries. The only trace left of Ladyburn is the maturing casks at Girvan. The remaining casks became rare family stocks in the various warehouses where they sleep.

Demand for Ultra-Rare Whiskies on the Rise

The Grant family is aware that the demand for ultra rare whiskies are rising, particularly in Asia. As more and more people expressed their interest in old and rare expressions, the family realised that they, too, could offer hidden gems such as the Ladyburn 1966 to keen collectors. Therefore, with the aim to share the ultra-rare whiskies that they own, they began to work on the collection which you now see.

Discussion between Jonathan Driver & Anna Brady, Art Market Editor

During the virtual launch that WhiskyGeeks attended, the discussion surrounded the beauty of pairing art with whisky. They are an excellent pairing, especially when we pair unseen art done by a famous artist with rare, exceptional whisky. The result is a collection that private clients hunting for a great value preposition will be willing to shell out for.

More about Ladyburn 1966 Edition One

The Ladyburn 1966 Edition One is limited to 210 bottles. It is a celebration of cultural and social change of the decade. WG&S collaborated with iconic photographer, David Bailey, to showcase a rarely seen side of his work. Each label of the collection depicts a scene of 1960s London’s East End. Bailey featured a London cityscape that has undergone extensive changes that no longer exists today in these photographs. It is also a piece of work that Bailey did before he hit global fame.

How does the Collection works?

There will be 10 full Collections available, with 11 bottles per collection. These will be available only though private appointments. After the initial offering, single bottles will be released from March 2021. Each collection features 11 label designs, all hand-signed by David Bailey. 10 label designs are in black and white images while the last one is an exclusive colour image. The coloured image is available only as part of the 10 Collections of 11 bottles each. Every bottle is hand-numbered.

The Whisky Itself…

Ladyburn 1966 Edition One is a 54 years old whisky matured in a single sherry butt. The whisky offers dry fruit sweetness, spicy notes and intense oak tannins. The high age also results in a darker and richer whisky in terms of colour. Brian Kinsman, the current Master Blender and Malt Master shared his tasting notes during the launch. In case you are wondering, we did not taste the whisky even though it would be a privilege if we do!

The distiller responsible for the distillation was Hamish Robertson (WG&S’s 4th Master Distiller). The person who chose the single cask is, of course, Brian Kinsman as he is the one who has overseen its slow maturation process.

A note about WG&S’ private sales division

Jonathan Driver is the Managing Director for the division. We understood that less than 200 rare casks remain in the custodianship of the Grant family.

Beyond Ladyburn, WG&S obviously have other rare stocks. The private sales division offers clients a curated portfolio. There are exceptionally rare expressions and customisation. Its products and services include private cask bottlings, rare and collectable whiskies and limited edition collections. Private clients also have privileged access (upon request) to the distilleries at Dufftown, the warehouses and historic family homes.

How to purchase

Anyone who is keen to find out more about the Ladyburn 1966 Edition One Collection can contact James Ting at James.Ting@wgrant.com for prices and all related questions to shipping and delivery.

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    What you need to know about The Swan Song


    We are sure that some of you have heard of The Swan Song (SS) and possibly, already visited the bar more than once. SS is a new whisky bar located at Prinsep Street, just a short walk from Dhoby Ghaut MRT. The owners of the bar are Arun and Kelvin, also known as AK for short. They are veterans in the whisky scene and are not strangers to many of us.

    AK invited us to SS recently, and we appeared that very night! Haha! It was a coincidence that the invitation came on the same day that we planned for a visit with our friends! We enjoyed ourselves so much that we went down to the bar again the following week.

    Have you visited SS yet? What do you know about the Swan Song?

    The bar at The Swan Song


    The bar is born out of a dream

    AK met a long time ago over whisky, and as time passes, they become close friends who love to drink and talk whisky. As passionate, like-minded whisky lovers, it is no wonder that talks turn into the shared dream of opening a whisky bar. Things moved faster than they thought, and so The Swan Song is born.

    The idea is to share and learn together

    SS houses a great variety of whiskies, from the modern to the vintages. The concept from AK is not to hoard, but to share. They believe in sharing good drams with other whisky enthusiasts to enrich one another. Vintages and rare whiskies are expensive and almost unattainable by most, so by opening rare bottles and sharing them with patrons by the dram, SS make these whiskies attainable and available for those who want to try.

    Education and Accessibility is in the heart of SS

    SS has a noble vision and a worthy mission. Their vision is to educate and spread the word for vintage and rare whiskies while their mission is to make such whiskies available. Both vision and mission are commendable indeed! With a heart to share as many whiskies with other whisky drinkers as possible, SS is a bar which charges fairly and reasonably. AK do not believe in overcharging their patrons for a whisky just because it is rare. They want to charge a price that makes it attainable by the dram and yet be sustainable as a business.

    Price is always a consideration

    Price is essential to any business, especially one which strive to be sustainable. In SS, you will not find overpriced whiskies, but reasonably priced drams. The essence of what The Swan Song stands for is value. They want their patrons to feel that there is value in what they are drinking and what they are paying for. With their heart in education and accessibility, they think that it is pointless if they priced the whiskies beyond the value of what people would pay for. Therefore, they strive to keep the expenses low. Rental is reasonable, and the decoration is simple and practical. What is important is the heart to serve, and the passion for sharing their knowledge with the customers that come through the doors of SS.

    Vintage and rare whiskies are their differentiating factors

    When we spoke of differentiation between SS and the other bars in Singapore, it is evident that SS is not interested to replace the other bars but to co-exist in harmony instead. Many of the bar owners and bar managers in Singapore are their friends, so replacement is never on their mind.

    What SS offers instead is their vintage and rare whiskies which are hard to come by, even by the other bars. There is also the vast knowledge that AK has, as well as their generosity that is known by the regulars. Besides the vintage whiskies, SS also strives to bring in special bottlings that are hard to find in Singapore. For example, the Bruichladdich Oirthir Gaidheal Islay Festival 2009 bottling is a limited release for the Islay festival only. It is so limited that most Bruichladdich fans outside of Islay will never taste it…until SS bring it in! Singapore is a lucky island!

    Check out some of the bottles that we tried at The Swan Song!

    (Old Malt Cask) Port Ellen 1983 (22 Years Old) Bottled for the Whisky Festival Noord Nederland


    (Signatory Vintage) Linlithgow/St Magdalene 1982 (25 Years Old) Bottled for LMDW


    (Whisky-Import-Nederland) Caol Ila 1982 (25 Years Old)


    Bruichladdich Oirthir Gaidheal Bottled for Islay Festival 2009


    (BlackAdder) Bowmore 1973 (27 Years Old)


    Old Style Jura 1970s (8 Years Old)

    As you can see, there are many old and rare bottles which we get to try. It is exciting to try whiskies from the 1970s and 1980s, especially when some of these bottles are distilled during our birth years!

    Plans for the Future

    We spoke of masterclasses and whether AK will eventually hold tasting sessions or masterclasses at the bar. The answer is a resounding “Yes”, but more needs to be discussed before they finalised anything. What we can tell you is this: you can expect an exciting, value for money masterclass that is also sharing rare whiskies! The price tag might not be the cheapest in town, but you know that you are getting a good deal out of it.

    Our impression of The Swan Song

    The Swan Song impressed us with their open conversations and their willingness to impart knowledge to their patrons. Their generosity as a host is also undeniable. The cosy bar reminds us of a home, and the hosts invited us to share what they have with an open heart. We feel the honesty and integrity of the people behind the bar, and we know that they are there to share and learn alongside us. They deliver what they want to offer – a free education about whisky and the accessibility of vintage and rare whiskies. The team works together, lending strength to one another and making sacrifices on the home front. We are so proud of AK because they make Singapore just a little brighter with their bar!


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      New Event: Whisky Fair Takao 2017

      Taiwan is slowly but surely getting the limelight in the world of whisky. With Kalavan winning awards and Omar growing in popularity, more people outside of the country are starting to notice Taiwanese whiskies. WhiskyGeeks is, therefore, not surprised that whisky events are also beginning to pop up in Taiwan.

      Introducing WhiskyFair Takao 2017

      WhiskyFair Takao 2017 is taking place in Kaohsiung this year on 2nd and 3rd December. Held at 85 Sky Tower, it promises to awe visitors with premier whiskies, masterclasses and a good view of the harbour. This event is interesting because of its focus on independent and cask strength bottlings. Imagine a world where you can sample independent bottlings of whiskies from lost distilleries and those that are not easily attainable.

      In this event, visitors can expect to taste drams from official bottlings (OB), independent bottlers (IB) and even rare vintages collections from private collectors. There is no better way to get your thirst cured!

      What to Expect

      The exhibitors’ list for Whisky Fair Takao is impressive. Besides the 39 distilleries and IB exhibitors, there are also 13 bars and whisky shops. Famous IB such as Cadenhead’s, Douglas Laing and Gordon & MacPhail will be there. Even a whisky distillery from Switzerland will be exhibiting! With such an extensive list of exhibitors, visitors to the Whisky Fair Takao are not going to be disappointed. WhiskyGeeks is definitely excited to attend this event.

      Annual Bottlings

      Whisky Fair Takao is also offering visitors the chance to buy annual bottlings. A restriction of one bottle per customer is imposed so you can be sure that it is good stuff. There will be bottles from Cadenhead’s, The Whisky Agency, and special bottlings from Whisky Fair Takao. For interest sake, there is a Littlemill to be snatched!


      Masterclasses may be overrated, but there is one that we should go at Whisky Fair Takao. The exploration of Old and Rare Whiskies by Angus MacRaild should not be missed considering the offer on hand. A tasting of 6 rare bottles from the 1970s is on the line! At a cost of 4800 NTD (estimated SGD$223), you get 6 drams of rare vintage whiskies. Is that worthwhile? You decide. For us, we have decided to go!

      Important dates

      Event date: 2nd & 3rd December 2017
      Time: 10 am to 6 pm
      Venue: 85 Sky Tower, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

      Tips for Visitors to Whisky Fair Takao

      If you are heading to Whisky Fair Takao, you may want to consider staying directly at 85 Sky Tower as it is convenient. You don’t have to worry about getting drunk too! Besides, room prices are surprisingly reasonable for this 5-stars hotel! We got a great deal at SGD$129/night for a deluxe room, so why not indulge yourself and treat it as a well-deserved year-end vacation?

      WhiskyGeeks will love to meet fellow Singaporeans at Whisky Fair Takao. If you are heading there, give us a shout out and we can meet at the show for a few drams and photographs together!


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        Whisky Review #16 – Tasting The Dalmore 50 Years Old

        We just have to share this! Remember that we posted an article sharing the event of Richard Paterson’s 50 anniversary in the whisky industry? Well, what we did not tell you is that WhiskyGeeks was given the rare chance to have a taste of The Dalmore 50 Years Old whisky! This expression is released to celebrate Richard Paterson’s anniversary so all the numbers associated with this bottle have 50 in them, including the price! Launched at £50,000, up to 50 crystal decanters made by French crystal expert Baccarat and housed in cases made by furniture producer Linley will be hand-filled to order. Each bottle will also come with a solid silver stag, designed by silversmith Hamilton & Inches.

        This limited edition was matured in American white oak, Matusalem Oloroso Sherry casks from the Gonzalez Byass Bodega, and Colheita port pipes from the Douro region of Portugal, before it was finished for 50 days in rare casks from Domaine Henti Giraud.

        Tasting Notes:

        Colour: Amber
        ABV: 40%

        Nose: Typical Dalmore Nose – Orange chocolate with lots of fruitiness! Extremely elegant and refined with sweet oak and red cherries, melons with papayas and peaches too! Hints of overripe pears with notes of cedar wood with elegant violet flowers note came through after a while. Felt like a very dark red longan tea!

        Palate: All we can think about was WOW…Orange fizz! A warm sensation of menthol replaced the usual expectations of alcohol when we sipped this precious liquid. The mouth is filled with so many dried fruits – sweet plum with dried apricots and dried longans! We can taste some orange chocolate too!

        Body: Perfectly well-balanced whisky that is extremely easy to drink. The fruitiness of the whisky covers the spice of the alcohol and what comes through is a very pleasant note of menthol.

        Finish: A medium and warm finish that reminded us of juicy fruits! Perfect for any occasions.

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