The Flora and Fauna collection was composed by the company United Distillers (now known as Diageo), in order to promote the products from their different lesser known distilleries to a wider audience. Being the owners of the most popular whisky in the world (Johnnie Walker), the great majority of the whisky distilled goes into blends. The idea with the Flora and Fauna series was to offer the public a chance to try the original single malt spirit, pre-blending.

When the series was first released, it had no actual name. The term “Flora and Fauna” was coined by famous whisky and spirits writer Michael Jackson. He came up with the name based on the images printed on the labels, as these images primarily displayed plants and animals. That name stuck, and is nowadays commonly used to describe the whiskies in the series.

The series originally started in 1991 and at the time contained 22 different whiskies bottled at 43% ABV.

Mid-Strength flora and fauna whiskies

When the mid-strength whiskies were originally released, most of them were packaged in wonderful wooden boxes. Later subsequent releases of the same bottles saw wood replaced with cardboard, and eventually, the bottles were sold without any boxes at all. Various releases exist, with grey, white and black caps.

The original mid-strength releases in wooden boxes

The original mid-strength releases in wooden boxes

Cask Strength flora and fauna whiskies

In 1998, a further 9 whiskies were released, at cask strength. These whiskies were originally released with black caps, and came in gray boxes.

The cask strength whiskies from the Flora and Fauna series

The cask strength whiskies from the Flora and Fauna series

  • Aberfeldy 17 years old (distilled 1980, bottled in 1997 at 62%)
  • Aultmore 14 years old (distilled in 1983, bottled in 1997 at 58.8%)
  • Blair Athol 116 years old (distilled in 1981, bottled in 1997 at 55.5%)
  • Clynelish 15 years old (distilled in 1982, bottled in 1997 at 57.7%)
  • Caol Ila 16 years old (distilled in 1981, bottled in 1997 at 63.8%)
  • Dailuaine 16 years old (distilled in 1980, bottled in 1997 at 65%)
  • Linkwood 14 years old (distilled in 1983, bottled in 1997 at 59.8%)
  • Mortlach 17 years old (distilled in 1980, bottled in 1997 at 63.1%)
  • Rosebank 16 years old (distilled in 1981, bottled in 1997 at 673.9%)

 

2001 flora and fauna releases

In 2001, a further 4 distilleries saw their whiskies added to the Flora and Fauna range. None of these ever came with a box.

Of the above, Glen Spey was sold off by United Distillers shortly after the release of the whisky to the series, and thus there are a limited amount of bottles of that expression available, making it highly collectable.

A number of the flora and fauna distilleries no longer are owned by Diageo (the successor to United Distiller), because they closed (Pittyvaich, Rosebank). Others, like Glen Spey were sold off. Especially the cask strength and wooden box editions are becoming harder to find (and therefore more expensive).