Ranked #2 in Paul Pacult’s SPIRIT JOURNAL 2014 list of the world’s best spirits.

When Don Sutcliffe was Regional Vice-President of Remy Amerique, he worked closely with Willie Phillips of The Macallan to lead that brand’s introduction in the USA. They became good friends.

WILLIE PHILLIPS WORKING ON A BLEND

WILLIE PHILLIPS WORKING ON A BLEND

In 2012, Don fulfilled his life’s dream, working with Phillips to create a very special small-batch Scotch whisky brand. Phillips, for 23 years managing director of The Macallan, had unusual access to interesting old whiskies. The results are genuinely exceptional.

To assemble the batches, Don travelled to Scotland and spent long hours evaluating whiskies obtained by Phillips. Don’s depth of experience with Scotch whisky was evident.

Master blender Bill Arthur lent his extensive expertise

Willie and Bill enjoying their work. They were tasting a lot of wonderful old whiskies, chosen barrel by barrel for distinctive and memorable flavor.

Don taking notes

Once blended, the whiskies were put to marry in first-fill oloroso sherry casks, which lent a rich softness and complex mouthfeel

DON HAPPY WITH HIS WHISKY

DON HAPPY WITH HIS WHISKY

The story since 2013:
The Exceptional was introduced in 2014 and gained rave reviews, regarded as a bargain for the quality. However, in 2017 Don underwent a serious operation on his spine (an old competitive wrestling injury) which needed two years of recovery, during which Don couldn’t travel to market. This was followed shortly by Covid, and then, unbelievably, by Don’s sudden (but peaceful) death in his sleep. We miss you, Don.

All that remains of this heartfelt project is what’s left of the inventory purchased in 2017 by Alambic, Inc as wholesaler. These beautiful Scotch whiskies cannot be taken into the market cause there would be no resupply: no more will ever be bottled. They are destined to become an increasingly rare collector’s item.

Balance is one of our favorite words: nothing dominant, all components in their correct proportion. Genuine balance with rich flavors can be achieved only with superb and distinctive ingredients curated by skilled and deeply experienced love of working with whisky.  All whiskies are their natural color and are not chill-filtered.

 

 

 

BARREL OF CARSEBRIDGE

BARREL OF CARSEBRIDGE

“Pristine. Subtle… sensually appealing… The finest grain whisky I’ve had? Damn close” 5 stars/highest recommendation – Paul Pacult, SPIRIT JOURNAL

Don’s obituary, here

The Exceptional
THE EXCEPTIONAL BLEND, Batch 2: Mature grain whisky from Loch Lomond, North British, Strathclyde, and Cameron Bridge malt whiskies from Glenfarclas, William Grant, Westport, Alt-a-Bhainnie, Ben Nevis, Mortlach, Glenallachie, Auchroisk, and Imperial, with a 30-year-old Macallan.  Finished 18 months in first-fill oloroso sherry casks. Deep & layered complexity.
750 ml / 43% ABV  
Sale! $90.00
THE EXCEPTIONAL GRAIN, Batch 2: A blend of remarkable aged grain whiskies, including a barrel of 33-year-old from the Carsebridge Distillery, long since closed. Finished in first-fill oloroso sherry casks. Subtle, elegant, authentically individual, with great structure.       
750 ml / 43% ABV  
Sale! $70.00
THE EXCEPTIONAL MALT, Batch 3: Rich & balanced blend of whiskies selected from Glenfarclas, Ben Nevis, Alt-a'Bhainne, Auchroisk, Clenallachie, Westport, Speyside, and a 30-year-old Macallan. Finished 18 months in first-fill oloroso sherry casks. Wonderfully subtle complexity
750 ml / 43% ABV  
Sale! $90.00