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Family Casks break new ground

Glenfarclas has achieved an impressive first for the Scotch industry, simultaneously launching 43 single cask whiskies from consecutive years. The bottlings cover every year from 1952 to 1994….

…. and are expected to be a big hit with both collectors and gift buyers.

John Grant, chairman and fifth generation of the family that owns the distillery, explains: “This is totally unique in the trade. No other distillery has stocks every year from 1952 to date. My father squirreled away lots of casks from the early fifties, and now we are benefiting from that decision.” The company currently has an inventory of over 52,000 casks maturing in its Speyside warehouses.

The Family Casks range encompasses a broad range of whiskies. Each of the chosen barrels was bottled at cask strength, with abv ranging from 46% to 65.1%, and yields ranging from 111 to 681 bottles per cask. Single bottles are priced between £80 for the 1994 and £1,145 for the 1952. They are presented in an oak gift box with two sides missing, drawing attention to the wide variance in colour across the range.

This unique launch has been designed to tap into two major purchasing trends. Firstly, the collectors’ market is sure to buy into the concept, with the company claiming to have already received advance orders for several full sets costing in excess of £15,000. Secondly, the company expects to be a success with gift givers who want a dated product to commemorate a birthday or anniversary.

Commenting on the launch Bill Gunn MW, managing director of UK distributor Pol Roger, says: “This is such an exciting and innovative project. We think it will create enormous interest not just with whisky specialists, but also with the wider luxury drinks market. There are all sorts of reasons to buy, every year is special to someone.”

© Ben Grant, db 18/09/07

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