“The Special Releases launch is a highlight of ours and every whisky lovers’ calendar year. It’s a collection that allows both knowledgeable whisky fans and those new to Scotch to hunt out truly unique limited editions,” says Mr. Donald Colville, Diageo’s Global Malts Ambassador. “The exceptional variety and quality of whiskies in this year’s collection will not disappoint, and we’re looking forward to sharing all of the stories behind the bottles.”
Diageo’s annual Special Releases is a much anticipated event among whisky cognoscenti, one that offers them privileged access to limited edition, natural cask strength bottlings. Comprising some of the rarest and oldest whiskies from famous, lesser known, and even shuttered distilleries, the Scotch Whiskies in the Special Releases collection represent a fragment of whisky history.
The collection will encompass ten bottlings, including Cladach, a blended malt Scotch Whisky from six renowned coastal distilleries – Caol Ila, Oban, Inchgower, and Talisker, thus capturing the character of Scotland’s coastline. It will include the first bottling of an Inchgower, and a Scotch Whisky that was matured using the unique five-cask process.
The 2018 Special Releases selection offers an extra special and rare opportunity to collect bottles from the Talisker 8 Years Old to the exceptionally rare Carsebridge 48 Years Old. Befitting its stature, the collection will come in exquisite bottles and beautiful packaging.
Diageo 2018 Special Releases Collection
Carsebridge, 48 years old, single grain
In Brief: A deep gold color with the delicate, light and balanced nose of a very old grain, then a rich texture, voluptuous mouthfeel, and a big, soft, sweet, then gently spicy taste. Long Finish.
ABV 43:2%, Region: Lowlands, Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads, No. of bottles: 1,000
Caol Ila, 35 years old, single malt
In Brief: Antique gold color, floral and fruity on a fresh-clean, smoky base. Cooling and fluid, with a smooth texture. Starts sweetly and soon dries, with a rising peaty pungency and a spicy-sweet finish.
ABV 59.1%, Region: Islay, Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads & Refill European Oak Butts, No. of bottles: 3,276
Oban, 21 years old, single malt
In Brief: Dramatic, brooding, and compressed, the nose spans a whole range of senses as it shows malt, fruit, oak, peat, and sea-air. The taste is intense and sweet, with some saltiness.
ABV 57.9%, Region: Highlands, Cask: Refill European Oak Butts, Limited availability worldwide
Pittyvaich, 28 years old, single malt
In Brief: It takes time to appreciate the full impact of this appetizingly pithy, charred, occasionally sweet Pittyvaich, which is at once straightforward, yet also full-flavored and forceful, with a long finish and a late, drying, bracing quality.
ABV 52.1%, Region: Speyside, Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads, No. of bottles: 4,680
Cladach, blended malt
In Brief: Full gold, with a series of coastal aromas that a dash of water brings together superbly; the palate and finish are equally flawless. A whisky that is the very essence of a coastal malt.
ABV 57.1%, Region: Coastal, Cask: First Fill American Oak ex-Bourbon casks, Refill American Oak Hogsheads, Refill European Oak Butts, Ex-Bodega European Oak Butts, Limited availability worldwide
Inchgower, 27 years old, single malt
In Brief: Full yellow gold, a complex and surprising malt from a little known yet historic distillery that has retained the distillery character well; nutty and spicy, it is vivacious for its 27 years.
ABV 55.3%, Region: Speyside, Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads, No. of Bottles: 8,544
Talisker, 8 years old, single malt
In Brief: Detailed at natural strength, this fine Talisker is smooth, lengthy, integrated and precisely balanced throughout, with a sweet and youthful assuredness.
ABV 59.4%, Region: Island, Cask: First fill Ex-Bourbon American Oak Hogsheads, Limited quantities worldwide