Nine scotch whiskies, including several from now-closed distilleries, are being released in this year’s Special Releases Collection from Diageo.
Available in strictly limited quantities this autumn, they feature malts from Port Ellen, Clynelish, Dailuaine, Lagavulin, Brora, Caol Ila, Dalwhinnie, Pittyvaich and The Cally.
Dr Nick Morgan, Diageo’s head of whisky outreach, said: “Year on year I am astounded by the depth of flavours that are woven into these truly precious whiskies.
“This year is a special one: we have a real variety of whiskies from distilleries which have been unearthed by our talented master blenders, such as The Cally.
“Once again, the Special Releases range has surpassed expectations and we’re thrilled to share the collection with whisky experts everywhere.”
The Cally 40 year old is a single grain whisky from Caledonian, a distillery in Edinburgh which closed in 1988, and is part of the Special Releases collection for the first time. This is the oldest Caledonian ever released and the liquid is described as “clean, fresh and fruity with an oaky character”.
The 2015 Special Releases range includes a 32-year-old single malt from Port Ellen – one of the most sought-after single malts in the world – marking the 15th appearance of the distillery in the annual collection.
After the success of the first Clynelish release in the range last year, master blender Dr Jim Beveridge has created another richly mature and complex Clynelish Select Reserve using individually selected casks from some of the distillery’s oldest reserves, all aged for at least 15 years.
The Brora 37 year old from the closed distillery on the Sutherland coast is the oldest bottling released in the series to date.
The Caol Ila 17 year old marks the 10th limited edition release of unpeated Caol Ila, embodying fruity sharpness alongside hints of smoke and the sea inspired by the whisky’s origin.
For the first time in six years, a newly bottled Dailuaine 34 year old is within the collection, with a deep, yellow gold in colour with a spicy complexity and beautifully balanced.
From the highest and coldest distillery in Scotland, the Dalwhinnie 25 year old is an exquisite example of a creamy and aromatic whisky that shifts from soft and waxy to high notes of vanilla but fresh throughout.
Pittyvaich 25 year old is a surprisingly mild natural cask-strength addition to the collection, with honey-sweet aromas and an overall sweet and cooling taste, from a closed distillery where the bottling has surpassed the length of time the distillery was open.
The popular Lagavulin 12 year old also returns again to the range this year. The Special Releases range has been created out of Diageo’s stocks of whisky since its debut in 2001.