The Cally 40 Year Old

The Cally 40 Year Old
Gold Dust Grain

Like any good secret, some whiskies are just too delicious not to share. Nicknamed “The Cally” by Edinburgh locals and those who worked there, this remarkable 40-year-old single grain was distilled in 1974 and bottled as a Special Release in 2015. There has only ever been two official bottlings of Caledonian; once in 1986 to commemorate the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, and then this bottling in 2015 as a limited run of just 5,060 bottles worldwide. Like gold dust, this has become increasingly hard to find. Just one sip and it is easy to understand why.

Bright brassy gold in the glass and immediately attractive, the nose is reminiscent of long summer evenings at a fairground. Enticing notes of toffee apple, rock and buttery popcorn give way to faint bonfire smoke and oak. On the palate there is all of this and more. A delicious medley of honeycomb, cream and vanilla is complemented by refreshing tropical fruit flavours of pineapple and lime. The alcohol is warming but not overpowering and at cask strength of 53.3% is superbly well-integrated. A supremely fine dram well-suited to anyone who likes the richer, sweeter single malts of Speyside.

Caledonian’s history is about as rich as its spirit. Built in 1855 by Graham Menzies & Co. it was the largest distillery of its time. Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End with close proximity to Haymarket train station and the Forth & Clyde Canal, Caledonian was perfectly positioned for success. Through the boom and bust of the late 1800s Caledonian continuously reasserted itself as one of the top grain distilleries in Scotland and in 1884 it joined the elite portfolio of the Distillers Company. It was run by the Distillers for almost 100 years until it stopped production in 1988.

The Cally’s legacy survives today through its 300ft Victorian chimney stack gracing Edinburgh’s skyline and a smattering of the 40-year-old, of which we are extremely lucky to have secured additional stocks. With no future releases on the horizon this is a fantastic opportunity to secure a little piece of Scottish history.