The endurance of witchcraft in popular media owes much to William Shakespeare's "Macbeth". Thought firmly in the realms of fantasy for the modern day reader, the play was extremlely topical of its time. Penned just nine years after the publication of "Daemonologie" authored by Scotland's own King James VI as a compendium on the perceived dangers of witchcraft. This was the King's justification of his brutal witch hunt across Scotland, one of the largest in Europe's history.
Shakespeare is thought to have referenced many of the tropes established by his new paranoid King, who had recently ascended to the English throne as King James I. "Macbeth" solidified these notions in the collective consciousness for over four centuries. The play, with its witches tempting a lord into regicide, mirrored James's concerns and illustrated the dire consequences of such temptations. Shakespeare's troupe, "The King's Men," reflected his need to appease the patron king, resulting in a portrayal that sensationalised and vilified the witches. The iconic introduction of the Weird Sisters in "Macbeth" has been replicated on countless stages, canvases, and screens. Now, our in-house designer and illustrator, Hannah Sneddon, offers her take in our Scottish Witchcraft Series.
Her interpretation continues a tradition of artistic representations shaped by "Daemonologie" and "Macbeth," demonstrating the lasting impact of these works on the modern understanding of witchcraft. The dark and haunting elements they introduced persist in our cultural imagination, reminding us of the centuries-old interplay between literature, history, and art in shaping our beliefs about the supernatural.
This single cask bottling of 26 year old Blair Athol at cask strength is a symphony in Sherry, a true sipping whisky which evolves and develops in the glass, giving you layer after layer of rich flavours.
Immediate and intense. Swiss milk chocolate, stewed dates, cinnamon and nutmeg laced walnut brittle drizzled in hot caramel. Develops over time into molasses and dark chocolate torte.
Richly sweet and complex. Dark chocolate ganache, waning into pecan pie. Subtle spices lend a vivacity to the mid-palate. Lebkuchen abounds.
Very long and rich, evolving from salted caramel chocolate through raisins and fig and into smoothly resinous black treacle. Eventually charred oak and bay leaf, along with marmalade, provides the final encore.
Distillery Blair Athol
Cask number #7654
Finish Oloroso Hogshead
Colour Sanguine Mahogany
Distillation date 26/07/1997
Bottling date 25/09/2023
Age 26 Years
Unfiltered bottles showcase what independent bottlers bring to the whisky industry. The whiskies are unique – single cask, unblended expressions, they cannot be repeated once the supply is drunk – they are ephemeral, presenting each individual cask as its own entity. By their nature, single cask whiskies are available in small batches of just a couple of hundred bottles. The whiskies will be straight from the cask, untampered with. No colouring, no chill-filtering and no dilution.
Designed and crafted by acclaimed Edinburgh-based South African artist Jonathan Freemantle.
Jonathan embarked on a residency in a remote and secluded bothy amongst the Cairngorm Mountains
Here he harnessed the elements of his surroundings, grinding rock, minerals, earth and flora into pigments then blending with water from a nearby stream - the very same elements from which the whisky was crafted
Every part of this expression, from the original artworks to the stand it sits on, and the whisky within, are all sourced from the natural landscape embodying the essence of Scottish terroirBuy now