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Glen Spey Flora & Fauna 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 43%
One story (and there are a few) tells that the Diageo Flora and Fauna releases were born from a rather embarrassing situation. Increased awareness of the breadth of Scottish single malts (largely via the offerings of the independent bottlers) resulted in a surge of distillery tourism in the early to mid-nineties. Devotees - particularly of the more obscure malts - would travel to their favourite distillery, enjoy the warmth and hospitality on offer, get an education and at the end of the tour find the staff had nothing to offer in the way of a dram.
So the Flora and Fauna series of limited bottlings was gradually introduced to showcase the arts of the lesser known distilleries, those that had been bulldozed, mothballed or otherwise accessed by blenders only.
Flora and Fauna was not originally an official title, but a name coined by Michael Jackson, as every distillery bottling had its own animal or plant assigned to each respective label. The first tranche was released between 1991 and 1994, followed by a smattering of cask strength releases (discontinued and ultra rare) up until 1998 and four expressions in September 2001.
Initially the series was available only at the malt's distillery of origin. Gradually the collection made its way out of the distilleries and onto the shelves of top Whisky purveyors. Nicks Wine Merchants are now pleased to be able to offer these to Australian whisky lovers.
The Glen Spey distillery would have continued to slip under the radar of single malt chasers, had it not been for a few favorable releases. Formerly known as the "Mill of Rothes", it was built in 1878 by James Stuart & Co (who later went on to buy the Macallan distillery) as an addition to its cereal business.
The rarity of Glen Spey as Single Malt bottling is largely due to its use as an essential component of J&B's blends, however Diageo has produced this rare Flora and Fauna bottling. Bottled as a 12 year old and 43% ABV, the particularity of this Scotch resides in its production method, with Pot Stills equiped with "purifiers", redirecting some vapour to reflux within the still to produce a less feinty and lighter spirit.