For the first 3 years of its life from late September 2009, the 105.3 litre bottle of Tomintoul 14 year old,  Single Malt Scottish whisky was heralded as “The Largest Bottle of Whisky in the World” being written into the Guinness Book of Records as the largest bottle of Whisky in existence at that time. It was also the bottle that started the Category “Largest Bottle of Whisky in the World”. This bottle of natural, non cold-filtered , bottle of finest Speyside Whisky with a weight of over 180 kilograms was later superseded by Jim Beam, a Bourbon whisky contained in a 150 litre glass bottle and within the last two years by a whopping Big Bottle of ‘Famous  Grouse’ , a blended dram weighing in at 200 litres.

However, the bottle is still the Largest Bottle of Single Malt Whisky in The World.

The four folk who conspired to devise the World’s Largest Bottle of Scottish Malt Whisky, were Dru McPherson and his wife Irene of the Clockhouse Restaurant  and Mike Drury and his wife Cathy of the Whisky Castle both in Tomintoul. The idea was to make something iconic that would promote the Village and its Distillery on a World-wide basis.

It is a story of someone having an idea that had not been done before! Even the largest companies in the distilling industry at that time had not had a go at producing anything like it! Like everything for the first time around, the learning cycle was tough and rough! The outcome of which, was the McPhersons and the Drury’s commissioned a  bottle made of a very strong Pyrex style glass the base of which was furnished in Germany by a very specialised scientific glass provider. The bottle was finished with the neck and shoulder being blown and welded to the base in the UK.  It took nearly six months in the making. Mike Drury said, “Great having an idea but when something has not been done before then in come the challenges and the unexpected, when creating a bespoke item.”

On the 27th August 2009 the bottle was installed in a specially made crate, furnished by Dennis Bulmer of Highland Hardwoods and placed in the Filling Hall of the Tomintoul Distillery. Here an Angus Dundee team under the leadership of Distilleries Director Robert Fleming , Sales Director Duncan Baldwin and Steven McNeil, Senior Production Manager, filled and furbished the bottle under the judicious eyes of Gauger Bob Wilson, witnessed by Judge Alistair Sharpe and Solicitor at Law Catherine Hastings.
 “Ok filling the bottle but encapsulation was the most difficult and nerve racking thing.” said Mike Drury. “It was literally a terrifying half hour where we might break the bottle at any time. Standing trance like whilst Steven McNeil  thumped  an eight inch deep piece of cork into the neck with a lump hammer! And then we could only get it in by half the length!” The cork is nearly twenty centimetres across!

The bottle then became a centrepiece in the Clockhouse Restaurant for 3 seasons, when two years ago the bottle was transported and put on exhibition at the Whisky Experience in Edinburgh. Since then it was recently returned to Tomintoul, where it is now on exhibition at The Whisky Castle throughout the Speyside Whisky Festival and beyond.

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