I haven't had a lot of Rare Malts, but the ones I've had were all excellent. I'm really sorry they've discontinued the label, just for esthetic reasons. In fact, seeing a few of those on the shelf at pubs here and there was one minor factor in piquing my interest in malts in the first place. There was something mysterious and attractive about those bottles to me, as plain and unfrilly as the label is.
Mr E, I disagree that you disagree with me (
)--of course bottles float around in the collectors' market seemingly forever, or turn up on dusty shelves here and there. I meant simply that there would be no more available for distribution...unless, of course, they get a whole bunch back from Italy...well, there are always strange happenstances. But I was referring to the producer's basic attitude about it, not to the actual availability of specific bottles.
Again, since there is no SWA regulation about language like "Limited Edition" or "Special Edition", I would place no more importance on it than I would on the description of J&B as "Rare". In fact, since we all know of truly limited runs like single cask bottlings and initial runs of Mackmyra (Wendy!) that don't carry any such designation, I would actually expect a bottling carrying such a phrase to run much higher. 5,000, 9,000, 24,000, who cares. All they are saying (or should be) is that it's a one-off. Truly small bottling runs don't need any such designation; they are easily recognizable as very limited. The phrase is much more likely to be used when there is a danger that the bottling might be mistaken for a standard production run. Regard it as a bit of hyperbole, if you must, but I just can't see taking offense because a "Limited Edition" has too many bottles. Anyone who is fooled by a "Hot-Off-The-Shelf Edition", "Bragging-Rights Edition", or "Rip-Me-Off-And-*!#@-Me-Over Edition" is simply naive.