Best Ultra-Aged Single Malts to Drink Now
2. The Glenrothes 36
While not as well known as The Macallan Scotch distillery, The Glenrothes is also an expert at making sherry cask-matured single malt whisky. The distillery has an even older 50-year-old release, but this 36-year-old hits the sweet spot in terms of flavor. It’s a single cask expression that was distilled in 1978, then matured in sherry-seasoned oak. That oak doesn’t overpower the palate, which has big notes of orange, cherry, vanilla, and spice rounding out this very refined whisky. And for those still interested in NFTs, this comes with one designed by New Yorker illustrator Maddie Dai. Fewer than 200 bottles are available.
[From $3,900; reservebar.com]
3. Mortlach 30
Mortlach is one of the many distilleries owned by drinks giant Diageo, and happens to be one of the most interesting. This new “Midnight Malt” also has a fascinating maturation story: It was aged in American and European oak, then finished in Bordeaux wine, Calvados brandy, and rum casks, with a final marrying period in small quarter casks. All of that wood influence has combined to create a complex single malt with equal parts dried fruit, tropical fruit, tannin, spice, and caramel on the palate. The extensive cask finishing at play here is balanced and, thankfully, has not gone overboard.
[From $6,000; reservebar.com]
4. The Glenlivet Sample Room Collection 25 Year Old
The Glenlivet is usually neck and neck with fellow Speyside distillery Glenfiddich as far as popularity, sales, and name recognition—and both have some excellent new ultra-aged expressions available now. The Glenlivet launched the Sample Room Collection a few months ago, and the pinnacle expression in the series is this 25-year-old single malt. What makes it extra special is that it’s finished in a combination of PX sherry and Troncais oak cognac casks, bringing notes of candied orange, tropical fruit, vanilla chai, and a burst of citrus to this well-matured whisky.
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