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Authors' Series Whisky [Hunter Laing] The Best Collectable Whisky Bottles for Intermediate to Expert Whisky Collectors
Buying new whiskies for your growing collection could become boring after some time. As an intermediate or expert collector, you’re perhaps tired of attending online whisky auctions with sometimes 10.000 plus bottles or entering random ballots. The Authors’ Series whisky collection can help you add some thrill to the game.
But it’s NOT for the faint of heart.
This spectacular selection addresses expert collectors and connoisseurs looking to enrich their personal collections with the best whiskies in the world. From Springbank to Glenfarclas, Port Ellen, or even Macallan.
Currently, the Authors’ Series counts over 40 bottles produced by various distilleries, even if they are all bottled by Hunter Laing Ltd. Each of these spirits was distilled with a specific author in mind, and each bottle is produced exclusively for particular markets in Europe, the US, and Taiwan.
Finding each of these bottles spread across the world is an exciting hide-n-seek game for the enthusiast collector. All these bottles are a limited series; some are relatively easy to find in liquor stores or online. Others are only sold at specialised auctions or on the secondary market, and finding one of these bottles – such as the fantastic Glenfarclas Speyside Finest 1966 50YO, one of the 39 bottles ever made and recently sold by Loch Fyne for £1,900 – will feel like finding the famous leprechauns’ treasures.
Tips & Tricks for Searching Authors' Series Whisky Bottles
Although some of these limited edition bottles have all been acquired by enthusiasts worldwide, don’t lose hope. Check the series’ bottles below and check all independent auctions regularly – you never know when one of these bottles may become available again. Patience is the name of the game.
1. Know what you're looking for
You need to keep a list of all available bottles and their particular names so you know what you are looking for. We have reached out the Hunter Laing for an official list but we are building one as well soon available here.
2. Use varied search terms
When searching for a bottle online, we are often tempted to write its correct name, typically Authors’ Series [author name] and maybe the whisky brand. However, not everyone spells the series’ name correctly. Some could write “authors series” without an apostrophe or “author series.” If you can’t find a specific bottle, it may help using different spelling variations and even add Hunter Laing to your search. If none of these strategies work, knowing the name of both spirit and distillery could return the desired results.
3. Use WhiskyBase
WhiskyBase is one of the avid whisky collectors’ best-kept secrets. This extensive database is your best bet if you want to make a custom search.
4. Subscribe to Wine-Searcher
Despite the wine in its name, Wine-Searcher is an excellent resource for finding collectable whisky bottles. The website is intuitive to use and helps you perform quick searches for whisky and wine bottles. Members can create alerts for price changes and new items, you can see wine and spirit deals in your area – or elsewhere around the world – and even download the Wine-Searcher app to keep the search engine at your fingertips.
5. Join Malt Book 🙂
Malt Book is another incredible resource for whisky collectors. If you haven’t heard of it already, know that this is one of the best platforms to subscribe to. Besides keeping an eye on the whisky market, you can also find people looking to exchange bottles or get in touch with whisky investors.
Soon a sub-group of passionate Author’s Series Whisky collectors will be available here.
6. Don't underestimate the Asian market
Let’s be honest for a moment: how often would you think about Asia when someone mentions whisky? It is more likely that your mind will drift towards the green expanses of grass in the Scottish Highlands or an Irish distillery. Nevertheless, Asia has won quite a big share of the whisky market in the past decades, and some limited edition spirits are now produced for this market exclusively. Including some Authors’ Series bottles. If you don’t want to miss any of these spirits, keep your eyes on Taiwan.
7. Be patient
Patience is a virtue all whisky collectors should have, especially when chasing limited edition bottles. Not only do you have to search patiently for each release, but you must also have patience at auctions, check prices constantly, and figure out when is the best moment to make your offer. At the end of the day, your patience and efforts will pay off.
A Comprehensive Authors' Series Whisky List
1. Springbank 1997 Oscar Wild [Author's Series Whisky]
Oscar Wild is perhaps the most popular bottle in the Authors’ Series Whisky collection, a 1997 edition from Springbank distillery. Bottled after 21 years of maturation in a single sherry cask, the spirit presents a dark amber colour and a sweet nose of raisins and plums with a wonderful wood polish finish. The palate is also sweet, with dark chocolate and Christmas cake notes and a satisfyingly long-lasting smoky finish. This single malt scotch whisky has a 52.9% strength and currently sells for around £625.
The taste brings hints of plums and cherries, orange, and liquorice, leaving a persistent sweetness on the tongue. Inspired by the legendary Nathaniel Hawthorne, the whisky is perfect for collectors.
2. Macallan 1993 Edgar Allan Poe
Famous distillery Macallan joined the Authors’ Series whisky with its expression inspired by the work and life of Edgar Allan Poe. Like Oscar Wild, this single malt scotch whisky is one of the first releases, distilled in 1993 and bottled in 2015. The distillery only produced 99 bottles of this limited edition spirit that displays Macallan’s signature fruity-spicy notes. It has a natural cask strength of 54.8% ABV and sells for around £600.
3. Tormore 1988 Charles Baudelaire
According to Tormore distillery, this 1988 30YO single malt scotch whisky encompasses the famous French author’s character. Charles Baudelaire – the whisky – is a single cask limited edition aged for three decades in oak casks and bottled at a natural strength of 43% ABV. Selling for around £300 is one of the best Authors’ Series whisky bottle for collectors on a budget or just starting the collection.
4. Highland Park 1996 George Sand
Like the Tormore 1988 30YO, this single malt whisky is one of the best bets for intermediate collectors or enthusiasts who don’t want to break the bank. Its current retail price is around £300, and the spirit impresses with its light brown colour and warming Highland peat palate with notes of vanilla, honey, and caramel. Distilled by the Highland Park, this 21YO single malt boasts a natural strength of 52.7% ABV.
5. Caperdonich 1994 Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy – aka, a Caperdonich 1994 21YO single malt – is another amazing Authors’ Series bottle. It has been bottled at a natural cask strength of 59.6% ABV after it has been aged for 21 years in a sherry butt. Appreciated by newbies and experts alike, it boasts a fruity nose and a rich, grassy taste that leaves a mossy finish. You can expect to pay around £300 for a bottle.
6. Tullibardine 1993 William Thackeray
Another 1993 whisky, William Thackeray, is a Tullibardine 25YO single malt matured in a single cask and bottled at a cask strength of 53.3% ABV. This whisky is known for its satisfying finish, malty palate, and apricot vanilla custard nose. You can get it for around £400.
7. Speyside 1968 Nathaniel Hawthorne
One of the most valuable whiskies in the Authors’ Series, Nathaniel Hawthorne is the finest Speyside 1968 50YO single malt bottled at a natural cask strength of 50.2% ABV. Matured in Oloroso sherry casks, it presents a bright palate with intense flavours of red fruit, sultanas, and chocolate. It is incredibly sweet and lingering on the tongue – a true gem for experienced whisky collectors and connoisseurs alike. Like all fine whiskies, Nathaniel Hawthorne is hard to come by, but you can find it in auctions for around £2.750.
8. Port Ellen 1983 Alfred Tennyson
Distilled in 1983 at Port Ellen distillery in Scotland and matured for 33 years in a sherry butt, this beautiful whisky has been bottled in November 2016. The limited edition comprises 142 bottles with a strength of 55.9% ABV. Like Nathaniel Hawthorne, this whisky is hard to come by and sells for around £2,800.
9. Bruichladdich 1990 Jules Verne
This fine expression of a 1990’s vintage, Jules Verne is an exquisite Bruichladdich aged for a quarter of century and bottled in 2016. With a natural cask strength of 48.6%, it boasts a light amber colour that pairs perfectly with its toffee and tobacco scent. On the palate, this spirit is round yet bold at the same time, slightly waxy and sweet. Those lucky enough to find a bottle can get it for around £500.
10. Ardbeg 1993 Rudyard Kipling
Similar to the Port Ellen 1983 , Rudyard Kipling is a precious single malt scotch whisky bottled at a natural cask strength of 56.4% ABV. The main difference between this expression and most other Authors’ Series whiskies is its maturation in refill hogshead cask. It is malty and waxy on the palate, leaving a sweet lingering finish. Currently, it sells for around £1,000.
11. Springbank 1996 Benjamin Disraeli
This Springbank 1996 20YO is an excellent single malt distilled in sherry hogshead – a cask choice that gives unique highlights to the spirit. Bottled at a natural cask strength of 57.5% ABV, it has a dark brown colour and presents a lingering sweet peaty finish. Produced in a number of 67 bottles, it sells for around £600.
Caperdonich isn’t the only distillery inspired by Russian author Leo Tolstoy. Ben Navis presents another interpretation of Tolstoy’s character with this 19YO single malt matured in sherry oak casks. Although not as strong as the Caperdonich, it still presents a natural cask strength of 55.5% ABV and wonderful fruity notes. A bottle will likely cost you around £300.
13. Allt a'Bhaine 1993 Mark Twain
Impressing with its buttery toffee flavour and satisfying finish, this 22YO Speyside scotch whisky encompasses Mark Twain’s character. Selling for around £300, it is one of the most affordable spirits in the series. Lighter than most other options, it has a natural cask strength of 53.9% ABV and is ideal for newbies and intermediates. Only 196 bottles of this whisky have been produced.
14. Speyside 1966 Victor Hugo
Expert collectors will undoubtedly appreciate this 1966 50YO single malt that matches Victor Hugo’s personality. Matured in a sherry butt, it has been bottled in November 2016 at a natural cask strength of 51.1% ABV. It’s been produced in a limited edition of 39 bottles and sells for around £1,900.
15. Tormore 1988 Frederick Douglas
Bottled in October 2017, this 28YO whisky joins the list of affordable Authors’ Series. It is perfect for beginners or as a gift, impressing with a strength of 54.1% ABV and brown sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon tasting notes. Produced in a quantity of 244 bottles, this is the 14th release in the series and sells for around £400.
16. Jura 1992 Washington Irving
Distilled in 1992 and matured for 25 years, this light amber spirit has been paired with American writer and biographer Washington Irving. Perfect for the intermediate collector, it boasts a natural cask strength of 51.7% and it has been produced in a limited edition of 248 bottles. Pretty hard to find, it sells for around £400.
17. Springbank 1993 Thomas Hardy
The 13th release in the series, Thomas Hardy is an excellent choice for the intermediate collector or a beautiful gift for the expert one. Distilled in Springbank in 1993 and matured for 24 years in refill hogshead, it displays a punchy character with waxy fruit and sandalwood tasting notes. The limited edition comprises 216 bottles and has a natural cask strength of 53.3% ABV. You can get it for around £700.
18. Macallan 1993 Charles Dickens
Selling for around £600, this 21YO single malt from Macallan presents a natural cask strength of 54.8% ABV and packs all tasting notes the distillery is famous for. One of the only 99 bottles, this single malt impresses with rich fruit notes and an intense sweet finish.
19. Springbank 1997 Alexander Dumas
Limited to 96 bottles, this is another exceptional whisky from Springbank that has made it to the Authors’ Series. Aged for 18 years in sherry refill hogshead, it has a strength of 56.5% and is peaty sweet on the palate. Like most Springbank bottles, it has an intermediate price of around £500.
20. Littlemill 1988 Gustave Flaubert
Distilled in November 1988 and bottled in July 2015, this single cask single malt whisky has been limited to 137 bottles and sells for around £600. It is an excellent choice for intermediate collectors and experts on a lower budget, impressing with a natural cask strength of 56% ABV. The spirit encompasses Lowland region’s and Gustave Flaubert’s character with its honey wood spice flavour and ripened fruit nose.
21. Balmenach 1989 Charles Kingsley
One of the First Edition Authors’ Series on the Taiwan market, this golden yellow spirit was distilled from Speyside barley and aged for three decades before being bottled in 2020. Despite its age, this whisky has maintained its fresh, tropical fruit tasting notes providing a subtle nutty finish. One of 284 bottles, it has a natural cask strength of 50.4% ABV.
22. Cragganmore 1989
Another novel whisky in the Authors’ Series, this 30YO Cragganmore comes straight from a refill sherry butt and is one of the bottles launched on the Taiwanese market. It has a natural cask strength of 53% and presents an astringent sherry flavour finished with faint honey notes. This whisky has been produced in a limited edition of 333 bottles.
23. Miltonduff 1990 Ivan Turgenev
From one of the many distilleries in Speyside, Ivan Turgenev boasts a punchy spirit enhanced by its 55.9% ABV natural cask strength. Like most Authors’ Series, it’s been distilled in sherry cask, a choice that has developed sweet fruity notes and a nutty finish. Bottled in December 2019, it is one of the Authors’ Series whiskies produced exclusively for the Asian market.
24. Linkwood 1973 Bram Stoker
One of the best Authors’ Series whiskies for newbies, Bram Stocker impresses with a lower strength compared to its peers, of only 46.4% ABV. Aged for 46 years in refill hogshead, it presents a full tropical fruit flavour and an aromatic flower nose. The finish is satisfyingly long and peaty.
25. Glen Elgin 1975 Henry Rider Haggard
Like Bram Stoker, Henry Rider Haggard whisky was bottled in December 2019 in 124 bottles produced for the Asian market. The spirit has a natural strength of 48.5% ABV and presents a highly volatile fragrance. Its nose pairs perfectly with the fresh palate characterised by orange honey flavour. A lingering finish makes it perfect for all whisky lovers.
26. Imperial 1989 Lewis Carroll
Joining the limited editions bottled for the Asian market, Lewis Carroll is an expression of the Speyside whisky aged in refill barrel. A natural cask strength of 49.3% ABV makes this 30YO a delightful choice for experts and beginners alike. One of 172 bottles, it has been bottled in 2020.
27. Glencadam 1985 Mark Twain
A different expression of the Allt a’Bhaine 1993 Mark Twain, this 1985 Glencadam presents a gold amber colour, tropical fruit nose, and a rich, sapid finish. Bottled in 1996, it is one of the first bottles released on the Asian market, and one of the hardest to come by. This single malt whisky aged in refill casks has a natural strength of 49.1% ABV.
28. Clynelish 1996 Edgar Allan Poe
Like Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe is one of the authors that enjoys more of one expression of the whiskies dedicated to them. Besides the 1993 Macallan, this 1996 Clynelish is an excellent bottle for beginners or a gift. It sells for around £300 and presents a natural cask strength of 56.1% ABV. A favourite among whisky fans, it boasts a waxy finish that can easily satisfy everyone.
29. Probably Speyside’s Finest 1986 Robert Louis Stevenson
One of the few Authors’ Series perfect for beginners alongside expert and intermediate collectors, Robert Louis Stevenson is one of the most discreet whiskies you could taste. Although aged in a sherry butt, the sherry layer is so discreet you can easily mistake it for bourbon cask. A natural strength of 48% and fruity nose and taste add an elegant character. Produced in a quantity of 306 bottles, it sells for around £250.
30. Dailuaine 1973
Enclosing the character of the area it comes from, Speyside, this 46YO 1973 Dailuaine single malt is a beautiful whisky to sip at a party. It has medium strength of 45.2% ABV, a fruity sweetness, and pickled apricot tasting notes. This is one of the 108 bottles produced for the Asian market.
31. Glenburgie 1989 Charles Dickens
While most Authors’ Series expressions were aged in sherry casks, the Glenburgie 1989 Charles Dickens is the exception that confirms the rule. Aged in bourbon casks for 25 years, it is one of the first bottled whiskies in the series back in 2014. It has a natural cask strength of 49.6% ABV and has been limited to 188 bottles.
32. Littlemill 1988 Hans Christian Andersen
Another single malt from Littlemill that’s made it to the Authors’ Series, this 30YO whisky is dedicated to novelist Hans Christian Andersen. Like its author, the whisky presents a complex character defined by a sweet fruity nose and strong spice lemon body. With a strength of 57.9% ABV, it is a perfect choice for the expert whisky lover.
33. Longmorn 1996 Ralph Waldo Emerson
This 26YO single malt aged in refill hogshead offers a beautiful expression of Emerson’s spirit. Ideal for avid whisky enthusiasts, it has a natural cask strength of 58.6% ABV and comes in a limited edition of 247 bottles. This is one of the newest additions to the collection and has been bottled in February 2020.
34. Macallan 1979 Charles Dickens
Paying tribute to Charles Dickens once more, Macallan impresses with this 34YO whisky expression dedicated to beginners and connoisseurs alike. This single malt has been distilled in September 1979 and limited to 86 bottles. It has a strong character, yet the tasting notes stay true to Macallan’s signature fresh whisky, despite its 50.1% ABV cask strength. Hard to come by, but undeniably one of the most valuable bottles to add to your collection.
35. Mortlach 1989
Another of the few whiskies in the series matured in bourbon rather than sherry casks, this 25YO Mortlach presents a sweet character defined by fruity-nutty notes and a mossy finish that is satisfyingly long-lasting. One of the 248 bottles, it has been bottled in 2014 at a natural cask strength of 48.7% ABV.
36. Port Ellen 1983 Edgar Allan Poe
One of the most popular authors in the series, Edgar Allan Poe makes another entry with this 31YO Port Ellen expression. Like most of these whiskies, we’re talking about a punchy yet sweet spirit distilled in refill butt and bottled at a natural cask strength of 55.7% ABV. As one of the first editions bottled in 2014 and only produced in a number of 60 bottles, this is one of the most expensive yet most valuable whiskies for your collection.