Bladnoch Distillery Launches The Samhla Collection of Rare Whiskies

Translating as ‘symbol’ or ‘likeness’ in the Scottish Gaelic language, Samhla represents the heritage of the distillery from which it comes. The vintages are from 1966, 1990 and 2008; each entirely unique, especially rare and representing stages in the history of Bladnoch Distillery. 165 bottles in total are being released, available for purchase.

The oldest privately-owned distillery in the Lowlands

The Bladnoch story began some two centuries back, the southernmost of its kind in Scotland and nicknamed the ‘Queen of the Lowlands.’ Each expression is handmade, using pristine water from the local river and non-chill filtered. In 2015 David Prior took the reigns, further shaping Bladnoch’s legacy and highlighting Lowlands whisky and more recently. “To preserve and nurture Bladnoch’s heritage is a profound honour, it symbolises the preservation of a legacy that has weathered the test of time,” commented David. “The Samhla Collection stands as a tribute to the remarkable journey Bladnoch has undertaken. It is a privilege to ensure its continued existence, and to carry the torch of tradition, innovation, and excellence for generations yet to come.”

Three very special expressions

The Samhla Collection is in three parts: The McClelland, distilled in 1966, limited to only 15 bottles; The Prior, distilled in 1990, limited to 50 bottles; and The Sage, distilled in 2008, limited to 100 bottles. “The Samhla Collection brings to mind two quotes that truly capture its essence,” says Dr. Nick Savage, Bladnoch’s Master Distiller. “Isaac Newton’s words, ‘If I have seen further, it is only because I stand upon the shoulders of giants,’ encompasses the respect we have for our inheritance and the continuation of the story. And when we consider the future and how we hand down our legacy, the famous quote, ‘The true meaning of life is to plant trees, the shade of which we will never sit,’ perfectly captures the reason we make our whiskies at Bladnoch by protecting and nurturing our whiskies during our custodianship.”


Representing the distillery’s past, the 1966 whisky was distilled on July 14th, making it the oldest release ever from Bladnoch. This whisky tells a story of a different era and allows Bladnoch to reflect on its remarkable history. Delicate yet complex, matured in an American Oak cask, it evokes images of the McClelland brothers,


The 1990 vintage, representing Bladnoch’s present, is taken from a very special Spanish Oak cask, a Pedro Ximénez Butt. Distilled in the same year David Prior began his entrepreneurial journey, it symbolises his vision and leadership in restoring the distillery as the heart of the local community.


This whisky was drawn from two perfect American Oak Red Wine Hogsheads and distilled in the same year David Prior’s daughter, Sage, was born. It symbolises Bladnoch’s commitment to sustainable whisky production for both now and the future, laying down innovative casks of the highest quality in their warehouses so that one day they can hand over a ‘treasure chest’ of whisky to the next generation.

An inter-generational journey

The Collection is the result of generations of skill, knowledge and experience, joining together over the passage of time to reach this juncture. As such the distillery is keen to pay homage to this rich heritage and the sacrifices that have been made, as well as stewarding the future of whisky making.

David sums up the journey towards The Samhla Collection: “In recent years, we have witnessed an unprecedented surge in the appreciation and demand for rare whiskies, with collectors and enthusiasts recognising their inherent value as both liquid assets and cultural artefacts. These extraordinary expressions, carefully crafted over time, embody the essence of craftsmanship, history, and exclusivity that discerning investors seek.”

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