By Stefanie Collins, Editor BARS&clubs
Diageo has continued its Special Releases program, releasing nine new Scotch whiskies in very limited quantities. The limited edition natural cask strength series are selected from rare stock, including now silent distilleries, such as Port Ellen.
According to Diageo Australia’s new whisky ambassador, Simon McGoram, the whiskies are not only “reassuringly expensive”, they are prime targets for whisky investors.
“I’m delighted to unveil the Special Releases range in Australia. The 2016/17 collection has been meticulously curated and features an incredible range of unusual and rare releases,” McGoram said. “The variety and quality showcased in this collection is truly exquisite and I’m confident that whisky enthusiasts will undoubtedly discover a new favourite.”
The Special Releases program came about in response to “a demand for unusual, distinctive, often older, unrepeatable cask strength bottlings”.
The 2016/17 range features highlights such as: The Cambus 40 year old, the oldest release in the 2016/17 range and only the third ever single grain release from the series. The Cambus Distillery closed in 1993 and the increasingly rare single grain liquid is described as “deceptively complex and fresh for its age”.
The Cragganmore is a 'special vatting', blended from three cask types chosen for flavour alone and detailed as “beautifully structured and contemplative”.
There is also the 16th appearance of Port Ellen in the series – it will be the oldest Port Ellen ever released – with less than 3,000 bottles available worldwide and just 128 available in Australia.
Two other releases in the collection include the Brora 38 year old and Glenkinchie 24 year old, which are the oldest bottles ever released in Special Releases from their respective distilleries.
The annual release of the unpeated Caol Ila, bottled at 15 years old, is from a batch made once per year in the 'Highland Style' which shows off the brand’s typically youthful and vibrant DNA.
According to Diageo, these whiskies have been “crafted to deliver memorable taste experiences unlike any other".
The bottles are available at selected specialist whisky retailers and Dan Murphy’s Australia wide. For more information see www.malts.com.
The 2016/17 Special Releases Collection
AUCHROISK 25 year old
Distilled 1990 ABV 51.2 per cent
Max. 3,954 bottles available worldwide, 216 bottles in Australia
BRORA 38 year old
Distilled 1977 ABV 48.6 per cent
Region: Coastal Highland
Max. 2,984 bottles available worldwide, 108 bottles in Australia
CAMBUS 40 year old
Distilled 1975 ABV 52.7 per cent
Region: Central Lowland
Max. 1,812 bottles available worldwide, 68 bottles in Australia
CAOL ILA 15 year old
Distilled 2000 ABV 61.5 per cent
Limited quantities available worldwide, 450 bottles in Australia
RRP $ 170
ABV 55.7 per cent
Max. 4,932 bottles available worldwide, 180 bottles in Australia
GLENKINCHIE 24 year old
Distilled 1991 ABV 57.2 per cent
Max. 5,928 bottles available worldwide, 282 bottles in Australia
LINKWOOD 37 year old
Distilled 1978 ABV 50.3 per cent
Max. 6,114 bottles available worldwide, 300 bottles in Australia
MANNOCHMORE 25 year old
Distilled 1990 ABV 53.4 per cent
Max. 3,954 bottles available worldwide, 240 bottles in Australia
PORT ELLEN 37 year old
Distilled 1978 ABV 55.2 per cent
Max. 2,940 bottles available worldwide, 128 bottles in Australia