Burns Night 2023: Historic Edinburgh wine merchants Cockburns of Leith launches 'unique' new Scotch whisky

Scotland’s oldest wine merchant has launched a new whisky, just in time for Burns Night.

A historic Edinburgh-based wine merchant has collaborated with a local distillery to create a new unique Scotch whisky. Cockburns of Leith – which was founded in 1796 and counted Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens and King George IV among its customers – has partnered with Annandale Distillery in Dumfries and Galloway to launch Founder’s Reserve.

The new artisan Blended Scotch Whisky features an unusually high proportion of the distillery’s award-winning Single Malts, which have been matured in ex Châteauneuf-du-Pape red wine barrels, ex bourbon casks, and traditional oloroso sherry butts. Lightly peated and bottled at 46% ABV, Cockburn’s of Leith ‘Founder’s Reserve’ has a nose that’s reminiscent of an old-fashioned sweet shop, with hints of caramel, dolly mixtures and pink wafer biscuits. The whisky also has notes of toffee, hazelnut and chocolate, with a complex finish of pipe tobacco.

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Announcing the launch ahead of Burns Night, Keith Murray, the director of Cockburns of Leith, said: “We are delighted to introduce our new Cockburn’s of Leith Founder’s Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky as a first expression launch in partnership with the Annandale Distillery.

Edinburgh wine merchants Cockburns of Leith and Annandale Distillery have teamed up to launch a new whisky, just in time for Burns Night.

He said: “When you taste a dram, you truly experience the malt craftsmanship behind the blend with the influence of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine barrels and oloroso sherry butts delivering a depth and complexity that we believe is exceptional.”

David Ashton-Hyde, Commercial Director and General Manager of Annandale Distillery, added: “Since opening our new on-site bottling and blending hall we’ve had the privilege of working with some inspiring people and exciting companies. Working with Cockburns of Leith to bring their Founder’s Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky to life, has been a joyous experience. The rich histories of both Annandale Distillery and Cockburns of Leith, coupled with the passion of our teams, has yielded a stunning blend and fabulous brand. We’re very excited to see this new whisky on-shelf at Cockburns of Leith.

Founder’s Reserve is now available for customers to buy through the Cockburns of Leith website, and also through a network of specialists and independents.