Spirit of 53

An intoxicatingly rare coronation cognac and scotch collaboration

Coronation fever may not yet have captured the public imagination quite like last year’s diamond jubilee, but nevertheless a number of luxury brands with commemorative releases are hoping it will do just that before the summer is out.

One exciting anniversary launch that will unquestionably raise the spirits of collectors is the collaboration between the cognac producer Hine and the Speyside single-malt distiller Glenfarclas. The two have teamed up to create an intoxicatingly rare and limited release of a single-cask 1953 cognac and a single-cask 1953 scotch (about £14,000 for the set).

Moreover, the numbered bottles have been exquisitely housed in 125 pairs of handcrafted obelisks, which were designed and fashioned by none other than The Queen’s cabinetmakers, NEJ Stevenson in Rugby.


The obelisks’ shafts are made from English oak and detach from their square pedestal bases to reveal the bottles inside. Each obelisk also features a secret drawer that has been faced with part of the oak cask from which the cognac or whisky was drawn.

If the obelisks will delight the visual senses, their precious cargo will do more of the same for aficionados’ sophisticated taste buds. The 1953 Glenfarclas is the oldest cask of whisky owned by the independent distillery and was bottled unfiltered at 43.9 per cent: natural cask strength.

According to George Grant, a member of the 6th generation of the Grant family to run Glenfarclas, the 1953 has “a rich, sherried nose that develops to reveal lovely toffee notes, followed by delicate oak with crisp, fresh fruit at the bottom of the glass. My father was 18 months old when this was made. It always sends a shiver down my spine when I drink such an old whisky.”


While Glenfarclas was created in the late 18th century, Thomas Hine dates back even further and remains the only cognac house to be granted the Royal Warrant by Elizabeth II. Bernard Hine, the House’s honorary chairman, describes the 1953 as “a perfect example of an elegant Grande Champagne Cognac from one of the greatest vintages of the 20th century”.

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