Each year the maturation experts who watch over Diageo’s precious ageing stocks of single malt Scotch whiskies carefully choose a small number of very special single malts to be released in limited quantities, for the delight of sophisticated whisky drinkers in Europe and North America.
The results were launched today.
Many will sell out within weeks of being released.
As super-premium whiskies, all are destined to delight whisky connoisseurs, enthusiasts and collectors. Each one will be unusual – perhaps because it is an older ( or in some cases a younger) bottling of a familiar single malt, or because it has been drawn from the declining stocks of a distillery no longer in existence.
In the new 2008 collection of ten Special Releases, the rarest and most unexpected bottlings will be three contrasting finishes of a 26 year old Linkwood™. These are sourced from an active distillery on Speyside but one whose product is relatively rarely sold as a single malt. All three were identically aged for 12 years, then each of the three was matured in a different cask-wood for 14 more years – one in port, one in rum and one in a sweet red wine cask-wood. Even more unusually, they are bottled in small 50cl bottles created specially for this release by leading designer Glenn Tutssel. Each expression will be released in the very limited volume of 1,260 individually numbered bottles. Like all other Special Releases, they are bottled at natural cask strength.
Nick Morgan, marketing director for the Classic Malts Selection™, said:
"Every year we review our inventory of single malt Scotch whiskies with a view to releasing limited quantities of the most special ones for connoisseurs. I suspect that some will be bought by collectors, as always, but I can certainly confirm that every whisky we issue in this series is not only individual and interesting but supremely drinkable. Demand for rare and special malt whiskies continues to grow, and of course some of these now released are drawn from a finite and dwindling stock, as their distilleries were closed over 20 years ago. In these circumstances we believe that even the most expensive offer terrific value compared with some of the more hyped wine vintages."
Other malt whiskies from closed distilleries now released are a rare 25 year old Coastal Highland single malt Brora™ in an edition of 3,000 individually numbered bottles worldwide, and a powerful 29 year old Port Ellen™ from the cult Islay distillery that closed for ever in 1983.
Diageo's famous working distilleries provide the rest of the special collection -- but in unusual expressions. Talisker™, the Isle of Skye single malt, is generally seen in its award-winning 10 and 18 year old expressions, but as in recent years, the 2008 limited releases offer both a 25 year old bottling, and an even more limited 30 year old bottling selling at £205. It is described by tasters as "gentle and finely constructed”.
One of the two Classic Malts Selection distilleries on Islay offers the youngest bottling in this year's release. This Caol Ila™ is a mere eight years old and was selected as an interesting limited-edition contrast to its more familiar older siblings from the same distillery: like the 2006 and 2007 limited edition releases, it is distilled in the so-called Highland style in a batch made only once a year from unpeated malt. It is accompanied by a 12 year old Lagavulin™ vatted from refill American Oak casks.
Finally, Glen Elgin, a fine Speyside distillery, has supplied a 16 year old bottling from ex-bodega European Oak casks filled in 1991, in an edition of just under 10,000 individually numbered bottles. This is a malt rarely seen bottled at this age.
In the UK these limited-edition single malts are available from on-line and High Street specialist whisky merchants and many fine wine merchants.
For further details contact Pat Roberts: email@example.com or 07774 424 410
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