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Ten Discontinued Single Malt Expressions to Remember

Updated: Mar 2


discontinued single malt whisky expressions

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


Whisky producers constantly introduce new expressions and revamp their range to attract consumers while working with their existing whisky stocks. In recent years, the industry has introduced multiple non-age statement whiskies, allowing whisky makers more leeway on the minimum age for their expressions, influenced by the high demand for single malts. Some producers have also decided to discontinue some of their most popular expressions due to diminishing stocks or to make way for new editions.


Unfortunately, this has meant that some of our personal favourites have been discontinued. For this article, we have chosen ten core expressions of single malt whiskies we have been sad to see go over the years.



 

Ardbeg 17-year-old


The 17-year-old Ardbeg was introduced in 1997 by Glenmorangie PLC, the distillery's new owner. This heavily peated expression, and Provenance, were released after many years of uncertainty and periodic closures for the distillery. The whisky helped Ardbeg become the respected producer we know today, playing a pivotal role in reviving the distillery's reputation.


Ardbeg's 17-year-old was aged in ex-bourbon casks and bottled at 40% ABV. It represented a slightly less peaty side of the distillery's malts. However, the expression was discontinued around 2004, overshadowed by the new core expressions: 10-year-old in 2000 and Uigeadail in 2003.

Discontinued Ardbeg 17 year old

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


 

Arran 14-year-old


In 2010, the Arran 12-year-old core expression was replaced by the 14-year-old single malt, which had an ABV of 46%. This new whisky became popular with whisky enthusiasts who preferred a lighter style of island malt. One-third of the whisky was aged in European oak, while the remaining two-thirds were matured in American oak. This combination resulted in a delightful balance on the palate, which many enjoyed.


In 2019, the Arran distillery was renamed Lochranza after the company opened its second distillery, Lagg, on the Isle of Arran. As a result of the rebranding, the whole range of whisky was renamed, and the 14-year-old expression was discontinued.


Discontinued Arran 14 year old single malt

Image by The Whisky Ardvark



 

Balvenie 17-year-old Doublewood


The Balvenie 17-year-old was introduced in 2012 as an older version of the distillery's pioneering 12-year-old Doublewood, the first single malt to feature a cask finish in the world of whisky. Both expressions were finished in European oak sherry casks, but the 17-year-old was bottled at a slightly higher ABV of 43%. Unfortunately, the more mature version was discontinued in 2021 to make way for Balvenie's new cask-finish core expression, the 16-year-old French Oak.

Discontinued Balvenie 17 year old single malt doublewood

Image by The Whisky Ardvark

 

Glenfarclas £511.19s.Od


In 2015, Glenfarclas £511.19s.Od Family Reserve was introduced to celebrate the Grant family's 150th ownership anniversary of the distillery. Even though it was a 12,000-bottle limited release, we have included it in this list due to its relatively long availability and the fact that we miss it.


The expression is named after the amount that the Grant family purchased the distillery for in 1865. The single malt was aged exclusively in first-fill sherry casks and bottled at 43%, staying true to the distillery's style. Although it might be challenging to come by, some bottles can still be found from selected retailers around the world.


Glenfarclas £511.19s.Od Family Reserve

Image by The Whisky Ardvark



 

Glenmorangie 12-year-old Nectar D'or


Glenmorangie Nectar D'or was first introduced in 2009 as a Sauternes cask finished expression. It offered a sweet white wine influence on the palate, making it an excellent choice for both whisky beginners and long-time drinkers. Other incarnations of Nectar D'or included a 15-year-old expression made available in 2011 and the now-classic 12-year-old in 2012. However, in 2023, it was discontinued to make way for a new 16-year-old whisky called The Nectar.


The new version, The Nectar, has been finished for two years in a combination of multiple sweet wine casks, providing a similar palate to Nectar D'or but with more intensity. Although there's nothing wrong with The Nectar, we will miss the old expression nonetheless.


Glenmorangie Nectar D'or vs The Nectar

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


 

Longmorn 15-year-old


Longmorn 15-year-old single malt, released in 1993 and bottled at 45%, was discontinued in 2007. To this day, some people consider it the best bottling of Longmorn ever released as a great representation of the distillery's malty style. Pernod Ricard acquired Longmorn in 2001 and replaced the expression with a rebranded 16-year-old. However, the new expression was unable to match the complexity of the old one.


Discontinued Longmorn 15 year old single malt

Image by The Whisky Exchange



 

Macallan 10-year-old Sherry Oak


The Macallan 10-year-old Sherry Oak is known for being a great example of the distillery's sherried Speyside style malt. The whisky was matured exclusively in sherry casks, a tradition Macallan upheld for many years. However, due to the limited availability of sherry casks, the distillery has had to include more and more bourbon cask-aged expressions in its range.


The 10-year-old Sherry Oak was first introduced in the early 2000s and quickly gained a following. The Fine Oak series was launched in 2004, which represented Macallan's lighter style and was partially aged in bourbon barrels. Despite its popularity, the 10-year-old was eventually discontinued in 2012 to make way for Macallan Gold, followed by other non-age statement whiskies released the following year.


Discontinued Macallan 10 year old Sherry oak

Images by The Macallan


 

Mortlach 16-year-old FF


The Mortlach 16-year-old was introduced in 1991 as part of DLC's Flora & Fauna collection. It quickly became a fan favourite due to its distinct gamy and sherry cask-influenced character. However, the expression was discontinued in 2014 when the distillery was given its own branding, which did not gain as much popularity as the Flora & Fauna release. As a result, Mortlach was rebranded and relaunched only four years later.


The Flora & Fauna series allowed customers to try single malts from DLC's lesser-known distilleries bottled at 43% and test their demand. Brands that gained their own branding under Diageo after first appearing as part of F&F include Caol Ila and Clynelish. While the other brands have gained a cult-like following over the years, people still reminisce over the excellent bottling of Mortlach 16.

Discontinued Mortlach 16 year old single malt Flora & Fauna

Image by The Whisky Ardvark



 

Old Pulteney 17-year-old (and 21-year-old)


In 2018, Old Pulteney underwent a rebranding and changed its core range. Two of their most popular expressions, the 17-year-old and 21-year-old single malt, were discontinued.


The 17-year-old was aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and sherry casks and was introduced in 2004. The 21-year-old single malt, aged in ex-bourbon and Fino-sherry barrels, was introduced in 2005.


The rebranding introduced new non-age statement core range expressions and 12, 15, and 18-year-old single malts. Although the latter two were partially aged in ex-sherry casks, many people will surely miss the classic 17 and 21-year-old maritime malts that made them fall in love with the whisky.

Discontinued Old Pulteney 17 and 21 year old single malt expressions

Image by Old Pulteney


 

Strathisla 12-year-old


Strathisla single malt is a key contributor to Pernod Ricard's portfolio of blended whiskies, but it has never really gained a dedicated following as a standalone brand. However, in 2006, bottlings of Strathisla 12-year-old 43% were made available under new ownership. It was rebranded and made more widely available in 2012 with a white label and a slightly lower ABV of 40%. This expression was an easy sell due to its great character and relatively affordable price.


Unfortunately, the widely available expression was discontinued in 2019, and now it can only be purchased at the Strathisla distillery, where the price has doubled compared to what it was sold for on the high street. The distillery shop still offers other single malt bottlings of Strathisla single malt and a limited, elusive bottling of the 12-year-old was released in 2019 under the Chivas Regal's Distillery Collection.


Discontinued Strathisla 12 year old single malt

Image by The Whisky Ardvark

 

Thank you for reading The Whisky Ardvark!

What discontinued whisky expression do you miss? Let us know in the comments below.



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