After teasing us all back in July with tidbits on their soon-to-be released whiskies, Diageo have now launched the full details of their shiny new 2019 Special Releases following an exclusive event at Somerset House in Central London. The 2019 line-up features eight "one-of-a-kind" whiskies, compared to their usual ten. The 2019 collection, selected by master blender Dr Craig Wilson, honours a "Rare by Nature" theme which celebrates the special and varied surroundings of each distillery in the range. According to Diageo, the collection is a selection of whiskies "with distinctive maturation techniques, rare finishes and unexpected taste profiles".
Ewan Gunn, Diageo Global Whisky Master, comments, “Discerning drinkers around the world will delight in this new collection. From the hand selected Single Malt Scotch to the visually arresting bottles, they each tell a strong story of the extraordinary place and the people who have shaped each dram. These prestigious and limited-edition bottlings offer fans an opportunity to collect and explore some of our rarest stocks.”
THE 2019 LINE-UP
If you think you know Cragganmore, try this deliciously unusual expression; building on its smooth Speyside character, this is a medium-peated, lightly smoky cask-strength expression made as a trial in 2006 and matured in refill casks, which is only now ready to release as a 12YO.
A delicious, finely balanced and supple old Dalwhinnie with a depth of flavour that repays thoughtful appreciation, this expression is both more rounded than younger siblings and takes a spicier view of life, too.
A powerful example of Lagavulin, pure in style and from spirit specially selected for its high peating levels. This is a youthful and vigorous Lagavulin, with bags of distillery character.
Magnificent in every way, this is an epic, perfectly matured Mortlach of exceptional quality from first-fill ex-sherry butts that is very fine at natural strength and can also be enjoyed with a small dash of water, which softens the tannins.
A unique expression with real depth of flavour and character of a ‘ghost’ malt from a closed distillery, this is the only double-matured Pittyvaich ever released.
This is a spicy, deep, sea monster from unusual casks, that holds nothing back as it brings a new depth, spiciness and complexity to long-matured, sweet and rounded Talisker base notes.
The Singleton of Glen Ord 18-Year-Old
Unusually from freshly charred American oak hogsheads, this fine cask-strength expression is much spicier than is usual for The Singleton Glen Ord, while retaining its signature smoothness and appealing richness.
The 2019 Special Releases will be available from specialist retailers in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and selected markets across Asia this Autumn.
WHAT ARE THE DIAGEO SPECIAL RELEASES?
First launched in 2001 with a release of only two bottles (the first Talisker 25 Year Old and the immortal Port Ellen First Release), Diageo have continued to release a new Special Releases Collection each October. The releases are always eagerly anticipated worldwide by whisky enthusiasts and collectors, as it is the perfect opportunity for whisky buffs and novices alike to ferret out truly unique limited editions that are a little out of the ordinary. The Special Releases collection showcase limited (and usually cask-strength) bottlings of iconic classic malts from Diageo's operational distilleries alongside some rare and sought-after stocks from beloved ghost distilleries. The collection is hand-selected each year by their master blending team and said to "represent a fragment of Scotch whisky history".