Bladnoch Distillery, the distinguished privately-owned Scotch Whisky Distillery nestled in the Lowlands, recently introduced its latest and unparalleled assortment of whiskies: The Samhla Collection.
This exceptional range, rooted in the rich Scots Gaelic vernacular signifying ‘symbol’ or ‘likeness,’ is an assemblage of remarkably scarce single malt whiskies, embodying the intricate tapestry of three generations of Bladnoch’s history, featuring vintages hailing from 1966, 1990, and 2008. Just like members of a close-knit family, each variant within this collection bears a striking resemblance – the quintessential hallmark of the Lowlands’ character synonymous with Bladnoch – while also possessing an utterly distinctive persona.
Having woven a narrative spanning over two centuries, Bladnoch Distillery, revived in 2015 by the fervent dedication of David Prior, stands as a testament to his profound ardour for Scotch Whisky. The Samhla Collection stands as a heartfelt homage to the authentic human connections that have moulded the legacy of Bladnoch, once more illuminating the realm of Lowlands whisky.
The culmination of meticulous contemplation and artistic pursuit, The Samhla Collection comprises three truly exceptional whiskies: The McClelland distilled in the vintage year of 1966, limited to a mere 15 bottles; The Prior, originating from the distillation of 1990, presented in an exclusive quantity of 50 bottles; and The Sage, distilled in the year 2008, available in a limited offering of 100 bottles.
David eloquently remarked, “To safeguard and nurture Bladnoch’s heritage is an immense honour, signifying the perpetuation of a legacy that has bravely withstood the test of time. The Samhla Collection stands as a tribute to the incredible odyssey undertaken by Bladnoch. It is both a privilege and a responsibility to ensure its perpetual existence and to carry forth the torch of tradition, innovation, and excellence for the generations yet to grace our legacy.”
As an embodiment of the distillery’s historical roots and a homage to its origin, the remarkable 1966 vintage, distilled on the 14th of July, emerges as the most venerable release to emanate from Bladnoch’s stills. A whisky that narrates a bygone era, this creation encourages contemplation of Bladnoch’s remarkable history. Maturing gracefully within an American Oak cask, it conjures images of the McClelland siblings, John and Thomas, leisurely strolling along the distillery’s watercourse, a sight witnessed across many generations.
Representing the present ethos of Bladnoch, the 1990 vintage is drawn from an extraordinary Spanish Oak cask, a Pedro Ximénez Butt. Distilled in the same year that marked the inception of David Prior’s entrepreneurial voyage, it encapsulates his visionary spirit and leadership in restoring the distillery as the heart of the local community.
With an eye cast towards the horizon, The Samhla Collection proudly introduces a whisky originating from two impeccably crafted American Oak Red Wine Hogsheads, distilled in 2008 – a year that coincided with the birth of David Prior’s daughter, Sage. This particular expression serves as a testament to Bladnoch’s unwavering commitment to sustainable whisky production, ensuring the legacy for the generations that lie ahead. These innovative casks, meticulously nurtured within their warehouses, represent a ‘treasure chest’ of whisky intended to be bequeathed to posterity.
The Samhla Collection seamlessly encapsulates the intricate fabric woven by Bladnoch’s cross-generational exchange of expertise, wisdom, and experiences, even if these threads may never tangibly intertwine. Their mission is to honour the cherished heritage, and the sacrifices made to perpetuate this journey, while conscientiously considering the most effective manner to transmit this inheritance to the generations yet to come. Within this array of whiskies, the personas of the company’s founding pioneers, the present custodian – David Prior, and his daughter Sage, coalesce and resonate.
Dr Nick Savage, Bladnoch’s Master Distiller, aptly captures the essence of The Samhla Collection with his insight: “Two quotes spring to mind that precisely encapsulate the essence of this collection. Isaac Newton’s immortal words, ‘If I have seen further, it is only because I stand upon the shoulders of giants,’ aptly summarise our profound reverence for our legacy and the ongoing narrative. When we peer into the future and contemplate how we bequeath our heritage, the famed adage, ‘The true meaning of life is to plant trees, the shade of which we will never sit,’ impeccably captures the rationale behind our whisky craft at Bladnoch. It is an act of safeguarding and nurturing our whiskies during our stewardship.”
This extraordinary assemblage of Lowlands Single Malts is, without a doubt, an investment – a sentiment articulated by David: “In recent times, we’ve been privy to an unparalleled surge in the appreciation and demand for rare whiskies, as collectors and enthusiasts recognise their inherent value as both liquid assets and cultural artefacts. These extraordinary expressions, painstakingly moulded over time, encapsulate the very essence of craftsmanship, history, and exclusivity that discerning investors fervently seek.”
In essence, The Samhla Collection from Bladnoch Distillery stands not only as a celebration of unparalleled craftsmanship but also as a bridge connecting the past, present, and future of whisky appreciation. With each bottle, enthusiasts embark on a journey through time, embracing the legacy of generations past, the vision of the present custodians, and the promise of legacy for generations yet to come.
This collection isn’t merely about whisky; it’s a testament to the artistry, dedication, and enduring spirit that has made Bladnoch a cornerstone of whisky heritage. As you savour each drop from The Samhla Collection, you partake in a narrative that reverberates with the heartbeats of history, the aspirations of today, and the aspirations of tomorrow. Cheers to Bladnoch’s enduring legacy, encapsulated in every precious bottle of The Samhla Collection.