New Reserve Cask whisky

New Reserve Cask whisky

The Society’s Reserve Cask Selection No.5 Speyside 1991 is available now. Stocks are extremely limited, so don’t delay!

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Discover our very special range of unrepeatable aged malt whiskies. Video transcript

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30 years in the making, we’re proud to release the first in a series of our Reserve Cask Selection malt whiskies.

This will be the first in a number of bottlings that we’re excited to release to members that really speak to our heritage.

I think they showcase something really special and interesting; we didn’t select them from thousands of casks, these are really representative of fully mature malt whiskies.

Through the 70s, 80s and 90s, we were bottling lots of sherry. The wonderful sherry we sourced from great bodegas in Jerez was bottled and sold to members immediately, but the barrels were not thrown away. Instead, we sent them to Scotland to be refilled with great malt whiskies.

We stopped bottling sherry in 1992 at The Wine Society, and that’s when we also stopped sending barrels, butts and hogsheads to Scotland to be filled.

I was amazed that these stocks of rare whiskies hadn’t been bottled separately before. I had all the barrels dipped, measured and sampled so that I could taste them and exclude anything that wasn’t really exciting.

We had them hand-bottled and hand-labelled. They’re also un chill-filtered and natural colour.

This first release in the series is a 1989 Highland single malt whisky. On the nose of this mature malt whisky there’s a classic sherry note: the honey, hazelnut and citrus that you expect from great-quality Highland sherry whiskies is clearly there. If you add a touch of water all these flavours are amplified, and some more floral, hay notes really come through.

It’s a very rich, concentrated and complex whisky.

I hope you take the opportunity to enjoy these rare malt whisky releases.

They speak to our heritage and history, and are unrepeatable.

Reserve Cask Whisky

A unique and precious inheritance

Until our bottling line closed in 1992, sherry would be shipped in barrel for bottling in the UK. The empty casks would then be sent to Scotland to be filled with new-make spirit for using in our own-label malts and blends. We worked with a great many fantastic distillers over the years, from Mortlach to Glenrothes, Bowmore to Glengoyne.

Such was the quality of these rare malts that we decided to bottle the very best in a special range of small-batch whiskies. The process was painstaking: every barrel, butt and hogshead was tasted with only the finest selected for inclusion. The results provide a fascinating look back in time, showcasing a unique range of malts that may otherwise have been lost in a blend.

Reserve Cask whisky releases

The Society’s Reserve Cask Selection No.5 Speyside 1991

From a single Speyside distillery still in production, this was vatted and bottled in 2021 from one hogshead and five butts, tasted independently before the blend to ensure that the finished bottle would be more than the sum of its parts. We bottled at natural colour, only adjusting the alcohol a little to present a more polished finished product. With a typical sherried sweet note to the nose, this beautiful Speyside has elegance and charm. Apricot, almonds, wheat and caramel notes develop quickly on the nose, all of which are enhanced further by the addition of a small drop of water. The elegant palate has an oily texture but light touch, with bitter orange, marzipan and peach richness developing.

Barrel number: 9345
• Barrel type: Hogshead
• Final Alc% at vatting: 45.5

Barrel number: 12513
• Barrel type: Butt
• Final Alc% at vatting: 56.4

Barrel number: 12514
• Barrel type: Butt
• Final Alc% at vatting: 52.1

Barrel number: 12515
• Barrel type: Butt
• Final Alc% at vatting: 55.3

Barrel number: 12516
• Barrel type: Butt
• Final Alc% at vatting: 54.3

Barrel number: 12517
• Barrel type: Butt
• Final Alc% at vatting: 49.0

The Society’s Reserve Cask Selection No.4 Highland 1988

This limited release represents the last two butts of a specific 1988 Highland malt, vatted in March 2021. Naturally rich in colour, it’s amazingly generous and complex on the nose despite its age, with immediate notes of almonds, cream sherry, citrus peel and vanilla pods. After tasting, we reduced the cask strength to 46% abv prior to bottling, but you may still enjoy adding a little water as the palate has such intense flavours of sweet oak, candied peel, raisin and walnut that last well on the long, rich finish. A rare and very special dram, fully mature and at the peak of perfection.

Barrel number: 637

  • Barrel type: Butt
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 50.1%

Barrel number: 639

  • Barrel type: Butt
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 50.0%

The Society’s Reserve Cask Selection No.3 Islay 1991

This 1991 Islay single malt was bottled in the spring in 2021 following 30 years in a single sherry cask. Bottled non-chill filtered, it shows a natural light-straw colour typical of Islay. It is fully peated with a powerful aroma of wet seaweed, salted cashew nuts and iodine, while on the palate, hay, clove, wet turf and coal flavours open up and last on the long and complex finish. Bottled at 46%, this dram may still benefit from the addition of a little water to taste.

Barrel number: 2253

  • Barrel type: Butt
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 50.8

1991 Reserve Cask Whisky

Our second Reserve Cask release was bottled in May 2021, unfined, non-chill filtered and with its natural colour, although brought down to 46% after tasting. These are the last four hogsheads and two butts of this sublime 1991 Speyside from a single distiller. The malt has an expressive nose of candied orange peel and dried apricots with subtle oak, clove spice and flaked sea salt on the finish. A rare and superlative dram.

Barrel number: 7239

  • Barrel type: Hogshead
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 58.4


Barrel number: 7240

  • Barrel type: Hogshead
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 57.8


Barrel number: 7241

  • Barrel type: Hogshead
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 60.4


Barrel number: 7242

  • Barrel type: Hogshead
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 59.6


Barrel number: 7236

  • Barrel type: Butt
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 52.8


Barrel number: 7237

  • Barrel type: Butt
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 57.3

Highland Single Malt Whisky 1989

Fully mature single malt bottled non-chill-filtered and without colour adjustment. Its complex aromas span candied orange peel, hazelnuts and figs, while its rich full-bodied palate has a glorious sweetness, like honey on toasted brioche, with notes of fruitcake and nuts developing on the long finish. A drop of water will open this up to reveal more floral and citrus notes, showing both its elegance and deep-rooted concentration. 46%

Barrel number: 668

  • Type: Hogshead
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 49.2


Barrel number: 669

  • Type: Hogshead
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 49.6


Barrel number: 670

  • Type: Hogshead
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 48.7


Barrel number: 671

  • Type: Hogshead
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 50.1


Barrel number: 673

  • Type: Hogshead
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 52.6


Barrel number: 674

  • Type: Hogshead
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 53.8


Barrel number: 675

  • Type: Hogshead
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 54.5


Barrel number: 907

  • Type: Butt
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 58.8


Barrel number: 908

  • Type: Butt
  • Final Alc % at vatting: 50.0

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