It’s been silent. Too silent. Then … with one short, vague message, the whisky landscape started rumbling.
Diageo, perhaps the world’s top supplier for Scotch Whisky, dropped a high-on-hype, short-on-info tease of this year’s collection in its Special Releases. No dates, no tasting notes, no cask info. All we got was a tiny press release with a small list of distillers and age statements. And we couldn’t be happier.
Historically, the company released like clockwork, with a highly punctual, fantastic-if-conservative productions of Caol Ila, Port Ellen, Cragganmore, and the like.Yet, in the last couple years, Diageo’s grown more experimental and surprising–both in its bottlings and its left-field announcements.
This year is no different.
2019’s theme? “Rare By Nature,” according to the company’s release, is a collection with “each [whisky] delivering a different journey of discovery.” The Special Releases was curated by Diageo Master Blender Dr. Craig Wilson. Trust him.
Diageo, a London-based multinational wine and spirits company, was founded in 1997. It has since enveloped many of the world’s top producers and sets the tone of world drinking culture. Look at your bar cart or your pub’s back-bar. Diageo’s abound.
The vastly-influential wine and spirits organization first launched their rare, unique, and often fine-aged whisky program in 2001–each year redefining, and often revolutionizing–the global whisky palate. As of late, the Special Releases line has gotten smaller-yet-more-interesting.
Conventional wisdom points to an Autumn drop; however, Diageo-of-late has been anything but conventional.
Let the rumours swell. In the meantime?
Read about the excellent distiller’s below.
Cardhu 14 Years Old
This Speyside malt has come a long way from its black market roots. Now a staple of the region, Diageo describes the forthcoming malt as “supremely elegant” and “warm-hearted.”
Cragganmore 12 Years Old
A distillery known for more masculine takes on Speyside malt, Cragganmore makes deep whiskies with a “touch of spice and smoke.”
Dalwhinnie 30 Years Old
This well aged whisky, claiming both the Highlands and Speyside, should pose ideal for fine drinkers seeking layers and layers of worldly character.
Lagavulin 12 Years Old
We trust this Islay classic for their trademark peatsmoke. We can’t wait to see what Diageo has up their sleeve this year.
Mortlach 26 Years Old
Everyone considers Mortlach the ”Beast of Dufftown”. Get ready to taste whisky excellence firsthand.
Pittyvaich 29 Years Old
The silent distillery (it went defunct in 1993) was once only available in hard-to-come-by independent bottlings. Until the Diageo Special Releases Program allocated small runs for discerning drinkers, that is. You can still grab special releases from other years, for a limited time.
Talisker 15 Years Old
Skye’s oldest distillery is known for their excellent line of sweet, smoky, and spicy drams. Considering their decade-plus-hot-hand, we can only imagine what Takisker has up their sleeve this go.
The Singleton of Glen Ord 18 Years Old
Think of your run-of-the-mill Highland Malt. Now forget everything you know. We expect a world class bottling of the distillery’s unique dark-cherry and savoury Highland whisky.
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