View all newsletters
Have the short, sharp Spear's newsletter delivered to your inbox each week
  1. Luxury
April 27, 2024

Spirit houses mark bicentennials with celebratory releases

Delamain, the Glenlivet and the Macallan have all unveiled investment-worthy bottles

By Jonathan Ray

This year should be a memorable one for lovers of fine, life-enhancing digestifs. It could also herald bumper returns for well-heeled investors in top-notch spirits, with three of the world’s great names in post-prandials – and pre-prandials, too – marking milestone birthdays with stunning, celebratory, investment-worthy releases. I don’t know about you, but my mouth is watering already.

Although its origins date back to 1759 with the arrival of Irishman James Delamain in Cognac, Delamain & Co regards itself as having been founded in 1824, which still makes it one of the oldest houses in the region and one of the last to remain family-run, with James’s ninth-generation descendant, Charles Braastad, the current cellar master.

[See also: Best whisky advisers for collectors and connoisseurs in 2024]

Select and enter your email address The short, sharp email newsletter from Spear’s
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Delamain only produces cognacs of XO quality and above, and its signature cognac, the fabled Pale & Dry, a blend of 25-year-old eaux de vie, is my favourite in that starry category. Crikey it’s good! This year, though, it’s pulling all the stops out with its l’Oiseau Rare release in June and a further hush-hush one in September which I’m assured will knock our collective socks off. 

But we shouldn’t let the Cognacais have it all their own way. I often dither about whether to have a cognac or single malt after a shirt-popping dinner, so I’m delighted that those two titans of Speyside – the Glenlivet and the Macallan – are pushing the boat out with remarkable single malts that will have connoisseurs and collectors all aquiver.

The Glenlivet clearly has investors in its sights with the release of its Twelve Elements Collection, available as it is via a global blockchain-enabled marketplace – the Whisky Exchange Cabinet – which promises to supply transferable digital certificates for reselling along with proof of ownership, authenticity and traceability.

[See also: Berry Bros. & Rudd opens first spirits shop]

Content from our partners
Stoneweg, Icona, and CBH Strengthen Partnership with Cromwell Acquisition, Adding €4 Billion AUM to Stoneweg
Why investors should consider investing in nature
HSBC Global Private Banking: Revisiting your wealth plan as uncertainty abounds

Not to be outdone, neighbouring Macallan is releasing the second volume of its Tales of the Macallan with a 53-year-old single malt of impeccable provenance and stellar quality. Even if whisky’s not your thing, its investment potential might pique your interest.

These three houses aren’t good because they’re old; they’re old because they’re good, and a glass of their wares should be where a fine evening starts rather than ends. Happy birthday to them all! 

Three of the best anniversary spirits

Delamain l’Oiseau Rare Cognac

Delamain l’Oiseau Rare Cognac 

(£1,500; available from June) 

After more than 30 years as cellar master at Delamain, Dominique Touteau has retired and this ultra-rare cognac for the maison’s bicentenary is his parting gift.

A blend of fine old eaux de vie matured for decades in a seasoned oak foudre, it is exceptional – light, fragrant, elegant, with hints of orange, apricot and nuts that linger long in the mouth. 

The Glenlivet: The Twelve Elements Collection 

(£41,000; The Whisky Exchange Cabinet) 

To celebrate the Glenlivet’s 200th birthday, the distillery is launching a remarkable 50-year-old single malt collection, matured in first-fill bourbon barrel and re-fill hogshead, each one-off bottle named after an ‘element’ deemed essential to the Glenlivet.

For those who seek a more modest dram, the Glenlivet 200 Year Anniversary 12 Year Old is available at the Whisky Exchange for £51.95.

Tales of The Macallan: Volume II

Tales of The Macallan: Volume II 

(£77,391; Harrods) 

To mark 200 years since Alexander Reid distilled his first batch of single malt whisky in his small stills on the Easter Elchies estate, the distillery has released the second edition in its series of rare single malt whiskies available in just 344 handmade Lalique crystal decanters.

Specially selected by Macallan lead whisky maker Euan Kennedy, the whisky was distilled in 1949 and bottled at its peak in 2022, and is as special as they come. 

This feature first appeared in Spear’s Magazine: Issue 91. Click here to subscribe

Spear's Issue 91: cover image
Introducing Spear’s Magazine Issue 91 / Artwork: Diego Abreu

Topics in this article : ,
Select and enter your email address The short, sharp email newsletter from Spear’s
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network