Booze News Feature: The Diageo 2018 Special Release Collection

by
September 4, 2018

Somewhat surprisingly, Diageo announced names of nine out of ten whiskies for this year’s Special Release collection back in April. However, bottle details weren’t made public at the time. While Diageo kept the final mystery bottle under-wraps, we finally have the news on it along with bottle prices to share.

Take a gander at the particulars of the collection and make sure to update your wish lists with these beauties!

BLENDED MALT

Cladach Blended Malt

At last, the final mystery bottle has been announced. Cladach, meaning “coastline” in Gaelic, is fittingly comprised of single malts from coastal distilleries. These include Caol Ila, Clynelish, Inchgower, Lagavulin, Oban, and Talisker. These blended malts seem to be something Diageo will continue to do after the success of last year’s Collectivum XXVIII. That blend incorporated single malts from 28 Diageo-owned distilleries.

Maturation:
Mix of first-fill American ex-bourbon casks, refill American oak hogsheads, refill European oak butts, and ex-bodega European butts

ABV:
57.1% ABV

Availability:
Limited quantities worldwide

Price:
£155/$200

Diageo 2018 Special Release: Cladach Blended MaltCladach Blended Malt / Photo Credit: Diageo

LOWLANDS

Carsebridge 48 Year

This is the oldest Carsebridge to be released by parent company Diageo to date. This Lowland single grain distillery closed its doors in 1983.

Maturation:
Refill American oak hogsheads

ABV:
43.2% ABV

Availability:
1000 bottles worldwide

Price:
£750/$975

Diageo 2018 Special Release: Carsebridge 48 YearCarsebridge 48 Year / Photo Credit: Diageo

SPEYSIDE

Pittyvaich 28 Year

This is only the third time a bottling from Pittyvaich—a distillery which closed its doors in 1993—has been included in the collection. This single malt was distilled in 1989.

Maturation:
Refill American oak hogsheads

ABV:
52.1% ABV

Availability:
4680 bottles worldwide

Price:
£330/$430

Diageo 2018 Special Release: Pittyvaich 28 YearPittyvaich 28 Year / Photo Credit: Diageo

Inchgower 27 Year

This is the first bottling from this distillery to be released by Diageo for the collection. Founded in 1871, this Speyside distillery is located in Moray near the northeast coast. It’s rarely seen as a single malt bottling, but some independent bottlers have featured it in its collections. More commonly featured in Diageo’s blends such as Bell’s.

Maturation:
Refill American oak hogsheads

ABV:
55.3% ABV

Availability:
8544 bottles worldwide

Price:
£300/$390

Diageo 2018 Special Release: Inchgower 27 YearInchgower 27 Year / Photo Credit: Diageo

HIGHLANDS

The Singleton of Glen Ord 14 Year

Located in the Highlands, Glen Ord was established in 1838 but only recently (1980s) has been seen bottled as a single malt. Diageo has marketed it under its Singleton line of single malts with a focus for this distillery targeted for the Far Eastern markets.

Maturation:
“Triple matured in a five cask process.” First, the whisky matured in European oak ex-sherry and refill American oak ex-bourbon barrels. Next, the whisky then moved into ex-Pedro Ximénez and ex-Moscatel wine casks. Finally, the whisky was married together into European oak puncheons.

ABV:
57.6% ABV

Availability:
Limited quantities worldwide

Price:
£100/$130

Diageo 2018 Special Release: The Singleton of Glen Ord 14 YearThe Singleton of Glen Ord 14 Year / Photo Credit: Diageo

Oban 21 Year

A well-regarded Highland single malt distillery with its special release bottled at cask strength.

Maturation:
Refill European oak butts

ABV:
57.9% ABV

Availability:
Limited quantities worldwide

Price:
£450/$585

Diageo 2018 Special Release: Oban 21 YearOban 21 Year / Photo Credit: Diageo

ISLANDS

Caol Ila 15 Year Unpeated Style

An unpeated release for the Islay distillery, it is one of two Caol Ila bottlings for this year’s Special Release collection. It is bottled at cask strength.

Maturation:
Mix of refill and rejuvenated American oak hogsheads with ex-sherry European oak butts.

ABV:
59.1% ABV

Availability:
Limited quantities worldwide

Price:
£100/$130

Diageo 2018 Special Release: Caol Ila 15 Year Unpeated StyleCaol Ila 15 Year Unpeated Style / Photo Credit: Diageo

Talisker 8 Year

In the 1970s and ’80s, Talisker had an 8 year bottling as its standard single malt release. Today, the signature single malt from the Isle of Skye is its 10 Year.

Maturation:
First-fill ex-bourbon

ABV:
59.4% ABV

Availability:
Limited quantities worldwide

Price:
£70/$90

Diageo 2018 Special Release: Talisker 8 YearTalisker 8 Year / Photo Credit: Diageo

Lagavulin 12 Year

A now expected release from Diageo, a 12 year version has been included in the Special Release collection since 2002.

Maturation:
Refill American oak hogsheads

ABV:
57.8% ABV

Availability:
Limited quantities worldwide

Price:
£110/$143

Diageo 2018 Special Release: Lagavulin 12 YearLagavulin 12 Year / Photo Credit: Diageo

Caol Ila 35 Year

Since the series launched in 2001, this 35 year-old bottling is the oldest release to appear in the Special Release collection.

Maturation:
Vatting of refill American oak hogsheads, refill American oak butts, and refill European oak butts

ABV:
58.1% ABV

Availability:
3276 bottles worldwide

Price:
£675/$879

Diageo 2018 Special Release: Caol Ila 35 YearCaol Ila 35 Year / Photo Credit: Diageo


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