About Flora and Fauna Whisky
In 1991, United Distillers (now Diageo) launched a collection featuring 22 single malt whiskies from its distilleries. Since many of its distilleries were used to produce blends, this was an opportunity for United Distillers to showcase its distillery portfolio and offer a rare chance for the public to try the original single malt spirit. The rarity of these whiskies combined with the appealing labelling and breadth of styles has led to Flora and Fauna becoming highly collectable.
The Flora and Fauna collection had no official name when it was first released in 1991. ‘Flora and Fauna’ was later coined by the late whisky writer Michael Jackson, referring to the label depictions. The original release features in the 2nd edition of Michael Jackson’s Malt Whisky Companion (1991, ISBN 0-86318-658-0) and the F&F whiskies are referred to collectively as ‘cask sample’, with ‘flora and fauna’ used only in the description of Rosebank. It is the third edition, published in 1994, that he refers to the collection as ‘Flora and Fauna’. The name stuck and Flora and Flora is now one of the most recognisable collections among collectors and connoisseurs.
Diageo formed in 1997 when United Distillers’ parent company Guinness merged with Grand Metropolitan. A further limited release of 9 cask strength whiskies were bottled in 1997, followed by a further four whiskies in 2001 showcasing additional distilleries that were either not included in the original release or not part of United Distillers at that time.
In September 2019 the first ever Flora & Fauna Reserve Cask Private Collection was unveiled, consisting of 11 rare F&F single casks. Following the release in China, none have (to our knowledge) been available on the open market.
Given the release of a reserve cask private collection, the existence of multiple editions, label iterations, miniatures and bottlings, the true scope of the Flora and Fauna collection is subject to differing opinions. We have so far counted 83 variations across the editions (see our Editions Table). We have also identified further complementary bottlings which feature the F&F labelling or liquid (see Extended Collection).
Despite these nuances, it is generally accepted that obtaining one 70cl bottle of each of the 35 whiskies from the 1991, 1997 and 2001 releases is sufficient to complete the F&F collection. For those striving to collect every variation, you will need to seek out bottles that have never been available on the open market.
It is widely reported that the first 1991 edition was presented with a white cap in a wooden box. Despite this, we have found no evidence of a white capped Craigellachie, Glenlossie, Rosebank or Speyburn and welcome proof to confirm that there were in fact white capped editions. Later editions of the 1991 release would feature a black cap in a wooden box, for which we can verify applies to all of the 1991 releases. Later editions featured a black cap in cardboard carton and black cap with no box or carton. The 1997 cask strength release featured numbered bottles with black caps and accompanying cardboard carton. The 2001 release were presented only as black-capped bottles.
Given that some distilleries, such as Bladnoch, Rosebank and Speyburn were sold or mothballed, some of the original whiskies command much higher prices than others and are not available in later editions such as with a carton.
For more information please see our Editions Table.
It has been noted that the Dailuaine (1991 release) is available with two different labels. Likewise, the design of a 1980’s pre-F&F edition of 15 year Aberfeldy was said to have inspired the F&F collection.
Four F&F whiskies have also been released as 5cl miniatures.
All of the Flora and Fauna whiskies are scotch whiskies from the Highland, Lowland, Speyside and Islay regions. There are no F&F whiskies from Campbeltown. Whilst 18 of the F&F distilleries located in Speyside, F&F features only 1 Islay distillery, 2 Lowland and 5 Highland.