Bladnoch Distillery Samhla Collection: Past, Present and Future

Words by
Pippa Lowe

20th September 2023

Introducing The Samhla Collection by Bladnoch Distillery, an ultra-rare trio of single malt whiskies representing three phases of the distillery: the past, present and future. Each telling a story of a different era of the oldest privately-owned Scotch Whisky Distillery in the Lowlands. Featuring commentary exclusive to SPHERE from Bladnoch’s Master Distiller, Dr.Nick Savage.

Bladnoch’s Master Distiller, Dr. Nick Savage as commented to SPHERE: 

“With The Samhla Collection – at this level of whisky, it’s really about the experience as well as the product itself. Understanding the history of the craftmanship that links back to another age and the unlikely nature of the whisky having ever made it to this point in its maturation journey. I’m sure when our 1966 cask was filled on day 1, its final product yet to be defined, it was never thought “Let’s keep this for 57 years”, those decisions are made throughout the maturation period. When casks make it through these decision points, by definitely they become rarer and a really special product to experience. When you get to try such a whisky, you’re not just enjoying an incredibly aged liquid but you’re experiencing part of the distillery history.”

The McClelland - The Past

Bladnoch Distillery - The McClelland
The McClelland whisky, distilled in 1966 and representing the past of Bladnoch as their oldest release

The McClelland represents Bladnoch’s past with its vintage 1966 distillation date. Limited to only 15 bottles, this is the most exclusive whisky of the three and is also the oldest release from Bladnoch ever – hence it representing the past. Matured for decades in an American Oak cask, the McClelland is described as a delicate yet complex whisky with fresh apple and herbal notes on the nose, oaky orange peel and depth of chocolate on the palate with a sweet yet subtly peppery finish.

The Prior - The Present

Bladnoch Distillery - The Prior
The Prior whisky, representing the present as it was distilled in the same year David Prior began his entrepreneurial journey

The Prior was distilled in 1990, the same year that David Prior began his entrepreneurial journey before becoming Bladnoch’s owner in what is now the present - the era represented by the whisky. After maturation in a Spanish Oak cask known as a Pedro Ximénez Butt, this whisky creates a rich and fruity liquorice aroma on the nose, spiced dates on the palate with a long finish. 50 bottles of The Prior will be available. 

The Sage - The Future

Bladnoch Distillery - The Sage
The Sage whisky, representing the future as distilled in 2008 - David Prior's daughter's year of birth

The final whisky representing the future of Bladnoch is The Sage. Named as such due to its distillation from two American Oak Red Wine Hogsheads in 2008 – the year that David Prior’s daughter, Sage, was born. Carried with floral cherry notes on the nose, hints of honey and cinnamon, a strawberry jam taste on the palate completed with a fruity and warm black pepper finish. 100 bottles of The Sage will be available.

To register your interest in Bladnoch Distillery's Samhla Collection and to find out more, please visit