Diageo to unveil 11 rare whiskies in its 2014 special releases


Diageo has revealed the 11 outstanding and exceptionally rare single malt scotch whiskies that it will be releasing in strictly limited quantities this autumn.

Highly anticipated around the world by enthusiasts and collectors, they have been selected from rare, precious stocks from around Scotland, including several distilleries now closed.

Dr Nick Morgan, Diageo’s head of whisky outreach, said: “I’m astonished that each year we manage to find such a remarkable and varied range of single malt scotch whiskies for our special releases.

“Tasting this year’s, I was struck by the outstanding range of tastes and textures they deliver from the characteristically waxy Clynelish to complex Cragganmore, the surprisingly robust Benrinnes, and the relaxed smokiness of Caol Ila. And I know experts and enthusiasts alike will be equally delighted.”

The 2014 selection includes the 14th appearance of Port Ellen in this range – one of the most sought-after single malts in the world, from a revered distillery that is now closed.

Another that is sure to capture the attention of whisky connoisseurs globally is the Clynelish Select Reserve. Dr Jim Beveridge, master blender for Johnnie Walker whiskies, crafted this richly mature and complex Clynelish using individually selected casks from some of the distillery’s oldest reserves, all aged for at least 15 years.

Caol Ila 30-year-old from Islay is rich with mature peat smoke, displaying great character and surprising energy for a malt of its age. Its younger sibling, Caol Ila 15-year-old, is unpeated and has a fresh maritime character.

From Speyside, a mellow 38-year-old from the Singleton of Glendullan is the second expression in the series from the Singleton, which this year is only releasing 2,800 bottles.

Maureen Robinson, Diageo master blender, added: “We are delighted with the Singleton of Glendullan 38-year-old, which bursts with the vibrant, fruity flavours that the distillery is famed for. We hope that it will be enjoyed by the lucky few who get their hands on a bottle.”

Old-fashioned whisky-making shines through in a number of the releases. The elegant 21-year-old Rosebank and the robust Benrinnes both offer different takes on the pronounced impact of traditional worm-tub condensation, as does the deeply complex 25-year-old releases from Cragganmore with an aroma rich in deep fruit and sandalwood scents, and the savoury and sweetly smoky Brora 35-year-old.

A rare bottling of Strathmill displays more expected Speyside characteristics, with floral and light fruit notes, while the whisky experts’ favourite, Lagavulin 12-year-old, has a lighter spring to its step than other members of the Lagavulin family without losing its famed herbaceous and peat-smoked flavour.

Diageo will be organising a special tasting of the whiskies for the trade in October.

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