Glengoyne's 'slow release' going to market

A man walks into a bar and says, "Gimme a single malt, quick."

Chances are the whisky won't be the newest release from Glengoyne. The Scottish distiller plans to launch its slowest-ever bottling over a four-year period from a single cask. It's calling it a "world’s first" small batch release from a single cask, a claim that's hard to dispute.

The Glengoyne Christmas Cask will first be available tomorrow, December 28, and will be released each Christmas until 2014. Just 100 bottles will be released at a time, exclusively available to buy in person from the distillery shop.

Glengoyne says Cask 790, a First Fill Oloroso Sherry Butt distilled in 2002, "is currently rich, with hints of rose hip syrup, cocoa beans, oak and spice. It still clings to the last of its spirited youth, but delivers plenty and promises much more."

Says Stuart Hendry, Glengoyne brand heritage manager,"One day, after a particularly productive tasting session, we got to thinking: What if there is something more? We at the distillery are able to taste casks as they mature, witnessing their highs and lows, their flavor peak and troughs as they wind their way towards maturity.

"Headspace -- the area within the cask unoccupied by liquid -- is normally created through evaporation at the rate of approximately 1.5% per annum. In the case of the Christmas Cask, we will be removing 70 liters from the cask each year, leading to much increased headspace, giving the potential for higher rates of evaporation and interactive maturation.

"We don’t know for sure what will happen, but we’re looking forward to finding out."

Each bottle will be numbered and signed by the Glengoyne Tasting Panel, but will be presented without packaging in order to keep the price down. The first 100 bottles are priced at £100 each, or US$155. They will not be available online.

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