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Whisky series highlights cask evolution


Independent bottler Whisky Illuminati has launched a new series of single malts designed to explore how Scotch develops in the cask over time.

Solaria series Whisky Illuminati
First wave: The Solaria series consists of five cask strength Speyside malts

The Solaria series is a collection of five Speyside single malts, distilled in 2011 and matured in ex-Sherry casks – although only a proportion of each cask’s contents have been bottled for the first release.

In a move believed by the company to be ‘an industry first’, further bottlings from the same five casks will be released in 2021 and 2022.

Whisky Illuminati co-founder Keith Bonnington said: ‘This is a unique opportunity for whisky drinkers… to fully appreciate how the character evolves in wood over a period of four years.

‘How they develop in the oak over the duration of the three releases is completely in the hands of mother nature and that anticipation of their natural development is what makes this series so exciting.’

The origins of one of the casks – labelled Artis Secretum, which is Latin for ‘trade secret’ – have not been revealed due to ‘sensitivities around the rights to the brand name’, according to Whisky Illuminati.

The full details of the first run of single cask bottlings are as follows: 

Solaria Series Royal Brackla Cask #900,077 – 150 bottles from a Spanish oak Sherry butt, bottled at 68% abv.
Solaria Series Glentauchers Cask #900,364 – 150 bottles from a Spanish oak Sherry butt, bottled at 63.4% abv.
Solaria Series Craigellachie Cask #900,328 – 100 bottles from a Spanish oak Sherry hogshead, bottled at 67.9% abv.
Solaria Series Artis Secretum Cask #900,284 – 150 bottles from a Spanish oak Sherry butt, bottled at 67.1% abv.
Solaria Series Aultmore Cask #900367 – 120 bottles from a Spanish oak Sherry butt, bottled at 67.5% abv.

All five expressions are available from specialist retailers in the UK, priced at £120 per 70cl bottle.

Buyers of the Solaria series’ first releases will be offered the opportunity to purchase the second and third releases from the series before they arrive on shelves.

Whisky Illuminati’s first range of single cask whiskies, the Candlelight Series, was released in 2018.

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