The Rare Malts Selection

With over 100 different bottlings released, ‘The Rare Malts Selection’ is one of the most coveted series of whiskies ever released. At McTear’s Auctioneers we have a number from this fantastic range in the Rare & Fine Whisky auction.

The series was conceived in 1995 when what is now Diageo bottled numerous primarily limited closed distillery bottlings at cask strength. The spirits dating back as early as the late 1960’s are some of the most desirable spirits in the world of whisky.

Eleven bottles of this ever sought after range are going under the gavel in the December 3 Rare & Fine Whisky. Closed distillery bottlings lead the way, with the Rosebank 1979 aged 20 years, and St Magdalene 1979 aged 19 years expected to sell for £1,000-£1,500 and £800-£1,200 respectively. Other examples such as the Mannochmore 1974 aged 22 years, Linkwood 1974 aged 23 years, and Teaninich 1972 aged 23 years.


The Rare Malts Selection in 2003 morphed into what we now recognise as the Diageo’s annual ‘Special Releases’, which are some of the oldest and most desirable stocks of whisky released each autumn. Up until the 2017 Special Releases, Brora and Port Ellen had been the focal point of this range each year.

In October 2017 Diageo announced plans to revive the Brora and Port Ellen distilleries. Following this announcement Brora and Port Ellen were removed as regulars of the ‘Special Releases’. It is believed they were removed from the ‘Special Releases’ line-up to save stock for the re-opening of the distilleries.


Click here to view the full auction catalogue >>

Graeme Maxwell


McTear’s is the longest-established auctioneer of whisky in the world. Entries are invited for this international auction. For a complimentary, no-obligation valuation, visit our Glasgow Galleries or contact our specialist on 0141 810 2880 or

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