The Singleton Unveils The Paragon of Time Collection No.1 Release: 53year-old Single Cask Single Malt
Distilled in 1964, The Singleton 53-year-old Single Cask Single Malt is the first release from the Paragon of Time Collection, which offers a rare glimpse into a golden era of The Singleton’s past. The release was presented by The Singleton’s Master of Malts Maureen Robinson on Oct. 24th 2019.
Event attended by Diageo China General Manager Mr. Mark Edwards; The Singleton’s Master of Malts Ms. Maureen Robinson; Marketing Director Mr. Rambo Chang; Sales Director Mr. Michael Song; Johnnie Walker Senior Brand Ambassador Mr. Rin Shen; Whisky collection adviser Mr. Sam Lu; Bonhams fine & rare whisky specialist in Asia Mr. Daniel Lam and the internationally recognized artist (sculptor) Mr. Zhi Cong Cai
The event was exclusively available for Chinese Whisky enthusiasts, where guests like Mrs. Vivi Shen, Single Cask Whisky Collection Advisor, Keeper of the Quaich, were able to share their in-depth observations with all attending guests including Mrs. Vivi Shen.
Left: Mrs. Vivi Shen
Single Cask Whisky Collection Advisor
The Keeper of the Quaich
Right: Mr. Zhi Cong Cai
The internationally recognized artist / sculptor
Breaking Down the “Most” of Two Histories
This rare spirit is the oldest liquid ever released from the Singleton Dufftown distillery since its founding during the reign of Queen Victoria. The stunning 53-year old not only raises the highest age in the brand's nearly 200-year history, but also breaks the record for the highest age in Diageo's history. These two historical "mosts" have laid the foundation for the brand's move to the "The Flavor of Time" and provide a great historical testimony to the impact of the new generation of collectors on traditional craft whisky flavors unique to the Golden Age of Whisky.
The Original Craft during the 60s
Click on the picture to watch a dialog amonge Master Charles MacLean , Ms. Maureen Robinson and Mr. Sam Lu
Mr. Charles MacLean, a world-renowned Whisky Master, gave high recognition after tasting the Singleton 53-year-old.
"This miraculous whisky, quite frankly, is the finest I’ve ever tasted. It’s been gently maturing for over 53 years and the rare liquid reflects really authentic Singleton distillery character, which has over 53 years and the rare liquid reflects really authentic Singleton distillery character, which has succeeded in raising expectations on collectible whisky value tasting."- Mr. Charles MacLean, Whisky Master
Join us in taking deeper look at the wonders of Charles MacLean, which goes back to the whisky golden age in 1960s. Just as the world was very different in 1964, so was whisky making. Each distillery malted its own barley sourced from farms adjacent to the distillery and then malted them on site. Floor malting was very labor intensive, but it gave a distinct character to the whisky. The singleton was case in point in that they still had floor malting in the days of 1964. Another key point was the fact that these stills were directly fired. It was believed that the direct firing played an important part in developing the flavor of the spirit. This is what we call the pre-modern or craft-driven era of whisky making.
When we look back at the golden age of Whisky last century beginning from the barley malt to the brewing process, this was a prosperous period in terms of consumer feedback on whisky quality evaluation. In 1964, the time of distillation for the Singleton 53-year-old, the Singleton’s distilleries had not yet begun to modernize but instead focused on upholding the essence of long fermentation and slow distillation production. It’s because of the traditional craftsmanship making for rare liquids which offers us a rare glimpse into the golden era of The Singleton’s past.
Collision at both ends of Whisky Collectible value
"Collector communities have been quite active in monitoring the value of collections. In addition to that, they also are beginning to find new opportunities in new trends for collectable rare liquids. Now, we have spotted the opportunity through The Singleton 53-year-old. It will bring on a collision at both ends of whisky drinkability and value that will lay a more solid foundation for the future of the entire collection market." - Mr. Sam Lu, Private Consultancy for Rare Whisky Collection Advice & The Keeper of the Quaich
In such super-high-end collections, the identification of the value is inseparable from the distillery DNA (identity), year of age (historical background), year of bottling (age statement), and single cask master. The Singleton’s 53-year-old overall performance exceed our expectations, proving the facts based on distillery flavor characteristics and previous tastings. In an exclusive interview with 《Whisky Magazine》, Mr. Sam Lu said:
This precious liquid has been gently matured over half century and continues the credentials of Dufftown distillery character. If the interaction between the distillery characteristics and the influence of the barrel are not properly preserved, a 50+ year maturation date is rendered meaningless.
Long-term barrel maturation exhibits many uncontrollable factors, which is why so few distilleries have the ability to launch high-vintage single cask single malts. Fortunately for The Paragon in Time Series, Ms. Maureen Robinson, Singleton’s Master of Malts, had accompanied and monitored every step through the maturation of rare liquids. Regarded as a master of deployment through that period of observation, Robinson continued in her oversight of quality assurance.
The most important point for collectors that observe trends for potential items is whether to approach with the expected tasting experience or to exceed them. In the 《RARE WHISKY 101》index, it has been made clear that the standards for drinkability and aged whisky will be higher than we’ve ever seen over the past 10 years. The Singleton 53-year-old provides us with a rare opportunity to explore this collision of ideas at both ends of the whisky collection value - drinkability & collectability.
Crafted By Time
"This is a crucial time for developing exotic flavors. When we first tasted the liquid from this 1964 cask we were pleasantly surprised! I never thought that in my lifetime I would find a single cask bottled for everybody to enjoy that would yield what I’ve found in this whisky. It’s all about when time and greatness come together." – commented by Ms. Maureen Robinson, The Singleton Master of Malts
The Singleton 53-year-old single cask single malt was distilled in 1964 and is bottled at an ABV of 40.6%. Each of the 117 bottles are individually numbered. It features a bespoke crystal bottle encased in a wooden display. In addition, each box is equipped with a piece of oak from The Singleton 53-year-old single cask, making for a cherished memory.
The Singleton still remains loyal to the long-term fermentation process and slow distillation production - creating a “The flavor of the Time”. As a renowned sculpture artist being shortlisted for Art Actuel’s Global Art Leaders 100, Mr. Zhi Cong Cai's beliefs coincide with The Singleton’s process - that time is the key to achieving everything.
Photo: Mr. Zhi Cong Cai internationally renowned sculptor, was awarded the "Taylor Prize" in Paris and was responsible for the highest auction record of Chinese sculptors on the international auction market on three occasions. Additionally, Mr. Song was shortlisted on the 2012 Global Art Leaders 100 list by the internationally renowned magazine 《Art Actuel》.
Inspired by The Paragon of Time Collection No.1 Release, Mr. Zhi Cong Cai crafted the art piece named "Blooming", which is making its appearance at the launch event of The Singleton 53-year-old. In particular, Mr. Song uses the unique Chinese cultural symbol of a Wintersweet which represents the spirit of Wintersweet that grows at a year at a time and accumulates in low numbers - the embodiment of time being carved into vitality. Mr. Cai said that "Blooming" represents wisdom and humility with accumulated strength. This is my interpretation of The Singleton's brand essence.The art work "Blooming" has been invited to auction beside The Singleton's 53-year-old single malt whisky in the future.