A few weeks ago we were invited to a spectacular tasting of Diageo’s Special Releases 2018, ten remarkable Scotch Whiskies that will be released in limited quantities this autumn, as part of Diageo’s annual Special Releases collection.
Among classic favourites such as aged Talisker and Singleton were extremely rare limited editions such as the Carsebridge 48 year old – a truly decadent treat that was astonishingly good!
Eagerly anticipated by whisky enthusiasts and knowledge hunters worldwide, the limited edition natural cask strength bottlings are meticulously hand-selected each year by a masterful blending team, to form a rare and sought-after collection, impeccably crafted and beautifully packaged.
Some our favourites (although it really was an impossible task to single any out in such a sumptuous range) were the 12 year old Lagavulin and the Caol Ila 35 year old Peated edition (as well as the Unpeated 15 year!). This was rather unexpected as we normally do not particularly indulge in overly peaty whiskys out of preference but these really changed our thinking as to what a truly well crafted bottling could achieve!
The Lagavulin 12 year had a well balanced mix of citrus peel and oak on first taste which rounded out with a lingering salty spice and an intensely pungent peaty finish. Comparatively, the Caol Ila 35 year began with a smoky astringency with a strong herbal tannin mouthfeel, mellowing to a smooth honey warmth on the finish. With a dash of water, the sweetness of the Caol Ila became muted, with a gentle eucalyptus emerging through a mellowed aftertaste, whereas the sweetness in the Lagavulin became somewhat enhanced, especially the fruitier notes of orange, although the smoky elements were toned down slightly.
These examples were just some of our thoughts on this fantastic range, a real treat and experience that we were honoured to be a part of.
Donald Colville, Diageo’s Global Malts Ambassador, said: “The Special Releases launch is a highlight in 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. 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.”
These special editions will be available from Autumn 2018, from specialist retailers in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and selected Asian markets.