Whisky Focus - Diageo Special Releases 2018

Diageo Special Releases 2019

17th October 2019
Details of the Diageo Special Releases 2019

Diageo Special Releases 2019

Diageo has unveiled its Special Releases 2019 line-up and this year there is no blended whisky or single grain whisky it is simply eight cask strength, single malt, Scotch whiskies launched under a 'Rare By Nature' theme.

As always the collection is said to feature whiskies with distinctive maturation techniques, rare finishes and unexpected taste profiles, with this year’s cask strength bottlings bringing to life each of the selected distillery’s unique character. There are expressions from famous, to examples of the less well known and even closed distilleries, and I am sure the 2019 bottlings will be as sought-after as previous releases.

All eight of the whiskies have been bottled at cask strength, all are limited releases, four of which Diageo has revealed the number of bottles available but for the other four bottles Diageo has not revealed the numbers available other than to say they are available in limited quantities worldwide. So what are the the eight Diageo Special Releases 2019, well they are as follows:

  • Cardhu 14 Year Old
    Bottled at 55% ABV. Limited to 4860 bottles worldwide. Described as smooth and generous, a small batch double matured for two years in Amontillado sherry-seasoned hogsheads.

    Recommended Retail Price: £120
  • Cragganmore 12 Year Old
    Bottled at 58.4% ABV. There is an undisclosed number of bottles of this Cragganmore Special Release available worldwide. Described as an unusual smoky expression of a Speyside classic, never released before, matured in refill American oak casks.

    Recommended Retail Price: £85
  • Dalwhinnie 30 Year Old
    Bottled at 54.7% ABV. Limited to 7586 bottles worldwide. Described as an extra-mature & gentle highland malt with rich flavours from over thirty years of maturation in refill hogsheads and butts.

    Recommended Retail Price: £500
  • Lagavulin 12 Year Old
    Bottled at 56.5% ABV. As always there is an undisclosed number of bottles of this Special Release favourite available worldwide. Described as powerful & peaty, the king of Islay, a small batch of Lagavulin matured in refill American oak casks.

    Recommended Retail Price: £110
  • Mortlach 26 Year Old
    Bottled at 53.3% ABV. Limited to 3883 bottles worldwide. As you may have guessed already this is the expression in the 2019 line-up which you will need deep pockets for if you want to taste it, described as rich & bold, a small batch of ‘ The Beast of Dufftown’ matured in first-fill Pedro Ximenez/Oloroso-seasoned casks.

    Recommended Retail Price: £1500
  • Pittyvaich 1989 29 Year Old
    Bottled at 51.4% ABV. Limited to 4976 bottles worldwide. When it was built in 1975 by Arthur Bell & Sons Ltd Pittyvaich was a very modern high-tech distillery and most of the whisky produced their went into the blends. In 1993, Pittyvaich distillery was closed and completely dismantled making this Pittyvaich 1989 an expression from a ghost distillery, it was double matured in Pedro Ximenez & Oloroso sherry seasoned casks.

    Recommended Retail Price: £330
  • Talisker 15 Year Old
    Bottled at 57.3% ABV. There is an undisclosed number of bottles of this Talisker Special Release available worldwide. Described as rugged & smoky, made by the sea, the first ever release of Talisker as a 15 year old, matured only in freshly charred American oak hogshead.

    Recommended Retail Price: £110
  • The Singleton of Glen Ord 18 Year Old
    Bottled at 55% ABV. There is an undisclosed number of bottles of this Singleton of Glen Ord Special Release available worldwide. Described as a expression of lively rich fruit & spiced oak matured in freshly charred American oak hogshead.

    Recommended Retail Price: £130

Ewan Gunn, Diageo Global Whisky Master, commented on the 2019 Special Releases, saying: "Discerning drinkers around the world will delight in this new collection. From the hand selected Single Malt Scotch to the visually arresting bottles, they each tell a strong story of the extraordinary place and the people who have shaped each dram. These prestigious and limited-edition bottlings offer fans an opportunity to collect and explore some of our rarest stocks."

Due to the ever increasing prices of of the Diageo Special Releases year on year it perhaps is not quite the talking point amongst whisky enthusiasts that it once was due the prices putting most of the whiskies out of reach for those who just want to simply drink it and not collect it. Price wise, most of this years line up is actually quite accessible for most whisky drinkers pockets but perhaps lacking in the rarer high end bottlings for others which we have seen in previous years.

Notably half the bottles in the line-up this year, most of the younger expressions, have not had their bottle numbers revealed, it appears to be a commercial secret, perhaps it is Diageo leaving the option open to bottle more if the demand is there.

The Diageo Special Releases 2019 are currently available to pre-order from The Whisky Shop and will soon be available from other specialist online whisky shops such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt

History Of The Diageo Special Releases

Each year Diageo, Scotland’s leading distillers, examine their incomparable stocks of old, rare or unusual Single Malt Whiskies from their working distilleries and their several closed distilleries to see what can be released that year to satisfy the demands of the world’s connoisseurs, collectors and whisky enthusiasts.

The Special Releases series was first launched in 2001, and until 2005 it ran in parallel with the annual Rare Malts series. The Rare Malts bottlings ceased in 2005 to allow all future premium and rare Single Malt Whisky bottlings to be made available in the annual Special Releases series.

Where To Buy The Diageo Special Releases

Select a country for a list of specialist Whisky shops who delivers to you:

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