Discontinued Flora & Fauna Collection
Since confirmed as discontinued, the Flora & Fauna bottlings have become increasingly hard to find. So when a small number re-appeared at prices that were too good to resist, we decided to pass our good fortune onto subscribers. As direct imports, several are considerably cheaper from years ago when we were purchasing from local suppliers. There's everything to gain and nothing to lose in this cornucopia of exotic and hard-to-find malts!
As a front runner in the blended Scotch whisky market, you need to manage growth without compromising the standard and style of your products. In short, you need access to single malts of definition and quality - often, the highest calibre possible. It’s why giant multi nationals like Diageo now have about thirty operational single malt distilleries, as well as some mothballed too. Their acquisitions guarantee supply for their mega-brands (Johnnie Walker, the company's mainstay, J&B, Vat 69, Haig, Dimple and others). They include some of the 'Premier Crus' and 'Grand crus' of the Scotch whisky world - often with odd, unpronounceable names like Dailuaine, Pittyvaich, Teaninich or Auchroisk, rarely marketed, but highly prized by blenders and industry insiders for their ability to distinguish products.
Decades ago the novel idea of introducing single malts to a larger audience was beginning to bear fruit - hence the "Flora & Fauna" bottlings. One story (and there are a few) tells that increased awareness of the breadth of Scottish malts (largely via the offerings of the independent bottlers) resulted in a surge of distillery tourism in the early to mid-nineties. Devotees would travel to their favourite distillery, enjoy the warmth and hospitality on offer, get an education but at the end of the tour find the staff had nothing to offer in the way of a dram. So the Flora & Fauna series of limited editions was gradually introduced to showcase the arts of the lesser known distilleries, including those that had been bulldozed, mothballed or otherwise accessed by blenders only. In some cases less than one percent of total output was reserved for bottling as malt.
Flora & Fauna was not originally an official title, but a name coined by legendary drinks writer, 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, then four more expressions in September 2001. Gradually the collection made its way onto the shelves of whisky purveyors like ourselves.