World Whisky Day: The best spirits to add to your whisky collection

Whether you’re an avid collector of rare malts, or simply partial to a dram of fine Scotch, whisky investment is a market trend that continues to grow. And with a spring of new launches and releases from impressive distilleries, these could be the perfect pour for your collection

World Whisky Day falls on 18 May this year, a prime excuse – if one were needed – to dust off your decanters and enjoy a tipple or two. To mark the occasion, and with a flurry of new releases this spring from acclaimed distilleries across Scotland and Ireland, these latest limited editions are sure to refresh or replenish your collection.

As the water of life grows in popularity and refinement, so too does its investment potential. Indeed, over the last decade, whisky value has risen by an incredible 582% (according to last year’s Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index) — in fact, in November 2023 a single bottle of 1926 Rare Macallan single malt sold at auction for $2.7m (£2.1m).

Here, we’ve selected five of the best newly available expressions, from a rare 46-year-old Talisker, to a 1997 Lagavulin — a golden year for the Isle of Islay distillery — that we predict will uplift any whisky collection, whether one is looking to the future or enjoying the present. Whether served in simple decanters or bedazzled and bejewelled, each has a story to tell; looking back to whisky’s storied past, or ahead through innovation to the future.World Whisky DayPORT ELLEN GEMINI | ISLAY

A distillery of folkloric reputation, Port Ellen – which shuttered its doors over 40 years ago – reopens this spring. With expectations high, Port Ellen’s reimagining is a bold one; reborn as a modern distillery with an eye on the experimental.

To commemorate the occasion, the fabled distillery has released its oldest ever Single Malt Scotch; Port Ellen Gemini, a pair of whiskies drawn from three 1978 European oak casks. The 44-year-old elixir was selected and separated into two long ago. Half, dubbed The Remnant, has been housed in the original distillery’s historic remnant cask, which was recovered at its closure and since re-seasoned. Having touched some of Port Ellen’s most celebrated whiskies, The Gemini Remnant stands – alongside The Gemini Original – as a tribute to the distillery’s magnificent past, and a first peek into its exciting future.

Presented in two splendid crystal decanters, each featuring sections of the casks, and displayed within an unfolding mirrored case, Port Ellen Gemini is available now from £45,000.


For connoisseurs of Irish whiskey’s creamy triple distillation, Midleton Very Rare stands out like a siren’s call. Created in 1984, nearly a decade after the distillery was founded, Midleton’s Very Rare stands as the pinnacle of Midleton – and, some might argue, Irish – whiskey.

Honouring the 40th Anniversary of Very Rare this year, the Ruby Edition combines three whiskeys, each crafted by one of Midleton’s three historic Master Distillers. Finished in a ruby port cask, a further nod to the milestone year, the blend features exceptional single pot still and grain whiskeys spanning four decades, the oldest dating back to the early 1980s.

Featuring classic Very Rare notes of orchard fruits, citrus and sweet vanilla, the port cask adds a unique layer of rich blackcurrant, raspberry and plum.

For collectors, a luxurious one-of-a-kind bottle is an alluring investment, covered in hand-cut rubies and hand engraved 18-carat gold. The remaining collection of Waterford crystal decanters are each priced at €20,000. Emblazoned with a four-point crystal, they come presented in a ruby case, and housed within a wooden cabinet.

midletonveryrare.comMacallanTHE MACALLAN HORIZON | SPEYSIDE

With a reputation for subverting expectations, The Macallan presents an irresistible excuse for celebration with its 200th anniversary. A Cirque du Soleil tasting experience recently unveiled for the occasion, at the idyllic distillery, is an immersive journey through the landscape.

The latest anniversary release is The Macallan Horizon (£40,000 RRP). Combining cars and whisky might be a surprising choice, but when the marque is Bentley Motors, it suddenly makes sense. Thinking beyond the constraints of tradition, the whisky takes inspiration from the automotive world; uniquely presented in a horizontal bottle, with a visually pleasing 180-degree twist detail.

Featuring whisky from six first-fill sherry-seasoned oak casks, The Macallan Horizon’s encompassing case spotlights materials integral to one or both brands. Aromas of oak and leather echo the Bentley experience, while the innovative design speaks to the years of collaborative craftsmanship behind the limited-edition release.

themacallan.comWorld Whisky DayPRIMA & ULTIMA | VARIOUS

For Scotch whisky lovers looking for a range of tipples to suit the mood or occasion, Prima & Ultima’s impressive selection is an attractive investment. Featuring eight rare and collectible vintage single malt Scotch whiskies, each tells a story of a beginning or an end and offers easy access to a library of some of Scotland’s best, curated by Diageo master blender Dr Emma Walker.

Among the collection are pioneering experiments and recovered liquids from ghost distilleries, such as the final American oak hogsheads from Brora (1977) and the reawakening Port Ellen (1978). Covering the landscape and evolution of Scotch whisky, the set also includes bottles taken from the last casks of Oban (1996), the oldest Talisker ever bottled at 46 Years Old, the forgotten last casks of The Singleton of Dufftown (1985), and an experimental Single Malt from Clynelish. Released in a limited edition of 413 sets, the collection is priced at £45,580.

diageorareandexceptional.comDalmoreTHE DALMORE LUMINARY | ALNESS

The Dalmore’s cultural collaboration, The Dalmore Luminary, is an ongoing partnership in celebration of the arts, with V&A Dundee. For the second instalment, Melodie Leung, associate director of Zaha Hadid Architects, has partnered with the esteemed distillery to offer two new limited-edition whiskies.

The first, The Rare, will be auctioned by Sotheby’s in May, with proceeds supporting V&A Dundee. An exquisite glass amber display sculpture has been designed by Leung and her team for the occasion, of which only three will be made; two topped by a decanter housing a rare 49 Year Old Single Malt. Finished in 1963 Colheita Port, 30-year-old Apostoles sherry and select Bourbon, then completed in a unique 1951 virgin oak hybrid cask – air-dried and hand-toasted by The Dalmore’s master whisky maker Gregg Glass – the single malt is said to offer intense vanilla, patisserie and black fruit notes, alongside chestnuts and subtle smoke.

The Collectible, meanwhile, offers an exclusive one-of-a-kind whisky created for the occasion, including an exceptionally rare peated Dalmore expression lending a note of roasted chestnut to the already elegant house style. Available from April, the limited-edition will be priced from £275.

Read more whisky news with Tempus, and check out this article and more in our Spring Edition here.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop