The registration is now open for collectors around the world to secure the second release of Prima and Ultima, Diageo’s series of magnificent, incredibly rare Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. An unequalled gathering of cask-strength bottlings, the second release comprises eight bottles that have been drawn from the historic stock of Diageo’s finest distilleries across Scotland including Talisker, Mortlach, The Singleton of Glendullan, and Brora.
The growing Prima and Ultima collection gathers highly limited single vintage malts that are either the first or last bottling of their kind – each a piece of distilling history offering collectors and connoisseurs the opportunity to build an expertly curated liquid library over time. Taken from Scotland’s reserves of exceptionally aged Single Malt whisky, the ultra-rare spirits are drawn from casks that can never again be experienced by the world.
Each release is curated by one of Diageo’s most celebrated master blenders and for this year Maureen Robinson takes up the mantle from the curator of the inaugural Prima & Ultima, Dr Jim Beveridge OBE. With over 40 years at Diageo, Maureen Robinson hand-selected each whisky to make up the second release of Prima & Ultima. With a heightened knowledge of its Single Malt portfolio, Maureen curated this year’s edition to celebrate some of her most outstanding spirits that beckon a flavour and history rarely encountered.
Maureen said: “This is a selection of very special Single Malts – some that have never before seen the light of day and others that are the fleeting and final examples of their kind. Each bottling shares a glimpse into the history of Scotch and one that I am honoured to have witnessed in person. I remember choosing to hold back the cask filled at Auchroisk knowing it would be special for the future and the anticipation and excitement of the maturation trials we undertook with Linkwood and The Singleton, now realised in these releases. Some of these casks I helped to lay down, and have taken great pleasure in tending to them since, so I chose them with rich memories in mind. Each has its own unique style, which you can now explore for yourself.
Honouring the sunrise and sunset in whisky history of some of Scotland’s most prestigious distilleries, this year’s gathering represents a wide breadth of single vintage malts from Diageo. This year includes new appearances from ghost distillery Convalmore, a piece of history from Auchroisk, and a very rare Lagavulin.
Other additions include a Brora 1980, distilled during the golden age of peated Brora, taken from the very last of the distillery’s casks from that year. An extraordinary maturation from The Singleton also joins this year’s Prima & Ultima. Having been personally involved in its creation in her role as Master of Malts for The Singleton, Maureen has selected The Singleton of Glendullan 1992, part of a one-off trial that saw spirit first kept in refill wood, before double-maturing in two small ex-Madeira barriques for further fourteen years. This has imparted a sweet richness to the malt that complements the light and elegant distillery character.
Another whisky personal to Maureen is the Linkwood 1981, part of the first pioneering trial exploring different maturation processes at the distillery. The rich flavours and aromas of a PX/Oloroso-seasoned cask are deeply integrated with the creamy texture and spicy, toasted characters brought by the new American Oak.
Each full set of eight Prima & Ultima single vintage malts is accompanied by eight unique glasses, each engraved with a bespoke design that reflects the story behind each cask, created in collaboration with two glass artists. Individual 20ml samples of each whisky are also included with a booklet of personal stories told by Maureen.
Only 376 full sets of the Prima & Ultima Second Release are available for purchase, directly through appointed Prima & Ultima agents, at a recommended retail selling price of GBP23,500 (including tax and duty) in the UK. An online registration page is now open at www.theprimaandultimacollection.com for whisky collectors across the globe to register their interest.
Once registration ends on the 23rd August 2021, there will be an opportunity to own the elusive set #1 of the second release of Prima & Ultima, each signed personally by Maureen Robinson when it goes under the hammer in an online auction at Sotheby’s from 15th – 24th September 2021 in Hong Kong, with all proceeds of the sale going to leading humanitarian charity, CARE International. Funds from the auction will support CARE International UK’s work to empower women and their communities around the world through encouraging entrepreneurship, building livelihoods, improving access to education and healthcare, and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.