Clynelish 12 Year Old Ainslie and Heilbron Cask Strength 1969 / Edward and Edward
The original Clynelish distillery was built by the Duke of Sutherland in 1819. Prized by blenders, the distillery found itself in the hands of DCL in 1925 when they acquired shareholders, Ainslie & Heilbron and John Walker & Sons. The distillery remains an important part of Diageo blends to this day, however nowadays it is produced at a new Clynelish, opened by DCL in 1967. The original distillery was briefly run in tandem with new one, known as Clynelish B (and the new one Clynelish A), until being closed down in early 1968. Although operating under the same name, the original Clynelish has a distinct profile, particularly prior to its modernisation in the 1960s. Its single malt is increasingly revered, not least due to its re-opening in 1969 as Brora distillery. Having closed again in 1983, the distillery became legendary in the years that followed, with both original Clynelish and Brora becoming huge collector's items. In 2017 it was announced that Diageo planned to re-open this formerly lost gem.
As was often the case with the distilleries in the DCL portfolio, Clynelish was licensed to one of the blending companies within its portfolio. In this case it was Ainslie & Heilbron, a constituent of whom, James Ainslie & Co, had owned the distillery until 1912. When DCL were succeeded by United Distillers, one of the new company's first orders of business was to regain control of the distribution of its single malts, taking the licenses back from the blending houses. Clynelish single malt was not bottled again until 1991 when it became part of the Flora & Fauna range, and it would not be until 2002 that it was bottled with its own unique brand again.
This rare Ainslie & Heilbron bottling was produced in 1969 on behalf of the legendary Italian bar owner, Edoardo Giaccone.
Giaccone was something of a trailblazer, and was importing specially bottled official single malts for his bar from the late 1960s, this is one of his earliest. He opened the famous venue in 1958, and it has been called a few different things over the years, including Garten, Edward & Edward (during the period this was imported), and La Taverna del Comandante.
Edoardo set the stage for later legendary bottlers such as Silvano Samaroli, Nadi Fiori and Ernesto Mainardi. Moon Import founder, Pepi Mongiardino said, "he was the first person I visited" when he became the distributor for Bruichladdich in 1981. Giaccone did not have any of his own labels or series, but was the first person in Italy to have official bottlings produced exclusively for him. Through his bar, Italy was treated to exclusive releases from Clynelish, Bowmore, Dalmore, Highland Park and even Jack Daniel's.
This 12 year old was bottle at a cask strength of 56.9%, at his request. Clynelish bottled three batches of this for Giaccone in 1969, 1971 and 1973.
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Please note: Due to the various ages of bottles and their seals, condition of liquid is at the buyer's discretion and no claim can be lodged against failure/leakage in transit.