The eagerly awaited 2019 ‘Rare by Nature’ inspired Special Releases collection has today arrived on Australian shores, comprising of eight cask-strength, single malt Scotch whiskies, from some of Scotland’s most renowned distilleries.
Hand selected by Master Blender, Dr Craig Wilson, this year’s collection herald from eight different and unique Scottish distilleries: Cardhu, Cragganmore, Dalwhinnie, Lagavulin, Mortlach, Pittyvaich, Singleton and Talisker.
The 2019 Special Releases Collection
The carefully selected line-up guides both whisky lovers and newcomers across some of Scotland’s most hallowed whisky terrains, from Speyside and the Highlands, to Islay and the Islands, featuring discoveries from Diageo’s most precious stocks maturing in Scotland.
The collection celebrates whiskies with distinctive maturation techniques, rare finishes and unexpected taste profiles, with this year’s cask-strength bottlings bringing to life each distillery’s unique character. Featuring expressions from famous, to supreme examples of lesser well-known and even closed distilleries, the bottlings are all extremely rare and sought-after whiskies.
Describing this year’s collection, Dr Craig Wilson notes that “Each liquid transports you to its heartland, connecting you to that particular part of Scotland and the surroundings that make each distillery and liquid so unique.”
For the first time ever, Special Releases has launched with a new collection theme ‘Rare by Nature’ which brings to life each distillery’s character through beautifully dramatised illustrations of the wildlife and flora surrounding the distilleries.
The 2019 Special Releases Collection: Dalwhinnie Aged 30 Years
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 collection will be available in limited quantities across leading airports and specialist retailers in Australia from 16th March. The collection is also available across Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa and selected markets across Asia.
Full collection details below:
Cardhu 14yo (55% ABV) $189.99 AU RRP: This deep gold whisky comes from a trial batch that was double matured for much longer than the norm in ex-Amontillado sherry-seasoned hogsheads. The result is a smooth and creamy whisky, which builds towards a spicy finish, that opens out and becomes marginally sweeter when water is added.
Cragganmore 12yo (58.4% ABV) $149.99 AU RRP: This expression builds on the smooth characteristics of whiskies from this Speyside distillery. A rich and sweet whisky that gives way to an appealingly smoky and spicy finish.
Dalwhinnie 30yo (54.7% ABV) $870.00 AU RRP: From the highest distillery in Scotland, this finely balanced whisky comes from 30 years in refill hogsheads and butts. A sweet and waxy taste dominates before a long and spicy finish, which is lengthened by a drop of water.
Lagavulin 12yo (56.5% ABV) $189.99 AU RRP: This powerful and peaty single malt has a mild nose with a slight prickle. As well as the intense smoky flavour, the whisky is smooth and unexpectedly sweet.
Mortlach 26yo (53.3% ABV) $2500.00 AU RRP: Rich and bold, this whisky was matured in first-fill Pedro Ximenez/oloroso-seasoned casks. It has a mellow nose before a rich and fruity palate and a long, spicy finish.
Pittyvaich 29yo (51.4% ABV) $520 AU RRP: A rare new release from the ghost Speyside distillery, which closed in 1993. The whisky is immediately rich and sweet with light flavours of dried fruits before a warm and gingery finish.
Singleton 18yo (55% ABV) $219.99 AU RRP: This Highland whisky has a subtle aroma with a trace of orange peel. The powerful palate starts with the sweetness of caramel and toffee, before a warming and complex spicy finish.
Talisker 15yo (57.3% ABV) $199.99 AU RRP. A new product from the Isle of Skye’s world-famous distillery, this is the first ever 15yo single malt from Talisker. The taste is full-bodied and rich at first, before giving way to the trademark long, spicy finish of a Talisker whisky.
ABOUT DIAGEO’S SPECIAL RELEASES
During the late 1980s, the benchmark expressions of single malt whiskies from six single malt distilleries became well known under the CLASSIC MALTS name. Interest in older and rarer malt whiskies in general also grew during this period. One product of this was the RARE MALTS, a series of rarer releases begun in 1995, and which ended in 2005. There remained a demand for unusual, distinctive, often older, unrepeatable cask strength bottlings, usually of the CLASSIC MALTS. Such bottlings allowed collectors, connoisseurs and enthusiasts to enjoy and experience remaining older stocks, and/or unusual expressions of a distillery’s character – a treasure trove of priceless malts. To satisfy this demand, the SPECIAL RELEASES series was born in 2001, and the annual collection – with familiar names and some surprises – has been eagerly awaited by enthusiasts ever since.
The 2019 Special Releases collection will be available in limited quantities from specialist Scotch whisky retailers this Autumn.