Rare Malts Selection Glen Albyn


This image was included in the materials I received from the Diageo Archive and is reproduced with their permission.

The 26 year old is the only entry from the distillery in the Rare Malts series, which is now extremely collectable and growing in price. I actually have this bottle in a stash somewhere and it'll form part of a Glen Albyn specific tasting, or an Inverness closed distillery event.

What's interesting is that the solitary appearance would suggest that stocks weren't there (or standards) for further releases. Through my Glen Mhor research, I know there were around 40,000 casks removed when both of these distilleries closed as they shared warehouses - which could accommodate 60,000 casks in total. So, either DCL lost or sold a few (unlikely given the average support from indies) or the majority of Glen Albyn when into blending, which was its original purpose and why it was attractive to DCL in 1972. That's what I'd put my money on, if I was a betting many, which I ain't.

Bottled in 2002, the outturn was an impressive 6000 bottles which means you'll see these appearing now and again on the secondary market. It is a lovely whisky if you get the opportunity to experience its wares.

As for the history summary that appears above, it is good to see the mention of John Birnie as a figure of importance. This talented distiller was hired from Speyside where he had learned his craft at Benrinnes mainly, but no doubt other distilleries in that neighbourhood. He is recognised as transforming the fortunes of the Glen Albyn distillery into a whisky that was widely respected. When the then owners decided against giving him a share of the business, he left to co-found the Glen Mhor distillery across the road. The rest as they say, is history.

What's amazing about his story (other than its not really been told by the Scotch whisky industry), is the fact that this talented distiller when from humble beginnings, to a successful co-owner and Lord Provost of Inverness and other positions of importance within the community. He is also remembered for his charity work and I hope to uncover more of his story across Glen Albyn and Glen Mhor.


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