Bringing Scottish Folklore Alive
Scottish history, culture and folklore are so closely intertwined, it is almost impossible to discern one from the other. Generation after generation have passed on the stories, shared their tales and recounted history and folklore in the same breath. Most common of these are tales of mythical beasts who roam the highlands, stalk the lowlands and inhabit the islands.
It is from these magnificent tales that we took our inspiration for this truly unforgettable series and we hope you enjoy the expressions as much as we enjoyed creating them for you.
The Collection Continues
We’re proud to announce the release of the 4th bottle in the collection of six unique, single cask expressions that form the Cask 88 Scottish Folklore Series; each expression will dictate the myth or legend it embodies. This approach is designed to bond the stories of Scotland’s unique history with the very finest expressions of its spirit.
The result will be a fantastic collection of some of the finest Scottish whiskies, selected to represent the breadth and depth of Scotland’s world renowned culture and heritage, while playing our part in ensuring these enchanting myths and folktales endure for generations to come.
Great rings of standing stones are evidence that people have inhabited the Orkney Islands since the neolithic age, 8,500 years ago. The lands may be fertile and the seas may be full of fish, but life is not easy at 59⁰ north. Winters are long, cold and dark -and frequent storms whip across the archipelago.
The natural world provides challenge enough; places as isolated as Orkney may also find themselves threatened by supernatural forces. The most terrible of these is the beast known as ‘Nuckelavee’. This is a creature so foul and evil that eyewitness accounts are mercifully rare. The Nuckelavee lives in the sea, confined during the daylight months by the Mither o’ the Sea whose power weakens as autumn arrives…
It has the body of a horse, with skin flayed off, exposing crawling muscles and yellow veins that pump black blood. In its head blazes a single red eye, and from its gaping mouth issue vapours so pestilent, they cause crops to wilt and livestock to sicken and die. From a distance, Nuckelavee appears to have a rider, but up close it can be seen that a human torso erupts direct from the beast’s back, groaning and lolling from side to side as it drags grasping arms that reach all the way to the ground.
A Dark & Powerful Beast of Orkney
A single cask of 31 year old whisky distilled at Highland Park distillery was chosen to become the fourth release in the Cask 88 Scottish Folklore Series and represent the brooding darkness of Nuckelavee. The whisky started its life in a refill sherry cask, and was then finished in a Rivesaltes fortified French wine hogshead. An unusual and powerful combination indeed!
The darkness of this double cask matured whisky is extraordinary – only a few shades less black than the beast’s own malevolent soul. 31 years of maturation in ex sherry and fortified wine casks has performed a profound and permanent transformation on the initially light and breezy Orkney spirit.
Intense & Complex Whisky
The intensity of this single cask whisky is mighty indeed, and we advise that you are fully prepared before you take a sip. We wouldn’t like any of our more sensitive friends to be overwhelmed. Luckily, in the stories of Nuckelavee, we find sage advice. As a creature of the deep sea, Nuckelavee despises sweetwater. If pursued by the beast, all you need to do is cross a stream of fresh water, and you will find safety as Nuckelavee will refuse to cross, lest its hooves make contact. Likewise, if this whisky proves too much, a few drops of pure water will loosen its grip, and allow you to partially tame this wild spirit.
The fourth release in the Scottish Folklore series continues the award winning style that has captivated whisky lovers with artistic interpretations of each mythical creature that are unlike any other you’ve seen before. This time, though… we’ve created something truly monsterous. While Cù-Sìth, Selkie and Cailleach Beira were all creatures of supernatural beauty, tempered by some sinister power, Nuckelavee is a grotesque beast to its core. The image of Nuckelavee on our bottle is an incredibly stylish depiction of horror. It’s dark, organic and terrifying – a tribute, we hope, to one of the most sinister beasts in Scottish folklore.
The Scottish Folklore Series: Nuckelavee
Age: 31 Years
Cask Type: Refill Sherry Cask. Finished in ex-Rivesaltes fortified French wine hogshead
Distilled At: Highland Park
Distillation Date: June 22, 1988
Bottling Date: January 8, 2020
Bottle Size: 70cl
Nose: The first whiff is perfumed and woody, like camphor and sandalwood. The almondy essence of Amaretto follows, but drier. As you get closer, however, sweeter notes of dried prunes and freeze-dried strawberries lurk.
Taste: It leads with sweetness: a thick layer of marzipan icing and raspberry jam, slowly peeled away from a fruitcake. A hint of smoke rolls in, like a roast dinner charring in another room. Then the sweetness changes, becoming more savoury like Mexican candies. Tamarind candy with a soft dusting of salt and chilli powder, followed by a cinnamon red-hot.
Finish: The finish is, unsurprisingly, long. Depending on where you focus your attention you may find sweetness, savour, smoke, spice or a soupcon of sea salt. Enjoy it: it’ll be different after the next sip.
Cask 88 – The Team Behind The Bottle
We at Cask 88, as the home of rare and old whisky, take seriously our responsibility to promote Scottish whisky internationally. We don’t just deal in casks and bottles of exquisite whisky from the most prestigious distilleries in Scotland, we want to embody everything that is unique and magical about the industry and country we work in.
At its heart, the whisky industry is inextricably linked to time itself. No one can distil a vintage whisky in an afternoon; only time can create that. It is this relationship with time and place which is truly unique to the whisky industry. Over time, this exciting industry creates its own history and folklore, something we want to share with everyone who loves old and rare whisky as much as we do.
Quantities Limited. Shipping Now.
The Scottish Folklore Series: Nuckelavee is now available. Just 100 bottles were produced making this a highly collectible limited edition. Bearing in mind the success of the first three releases, we expect these to sell out quickly. Order your bottle today to avoid missing out.