Whisky Focus - Diageo Special Releases 2009

Diageo Special Releases 2009

12th October 2009
Diageo Release Some Exceptional Single Malt Whiskies

A limited edition of nine Single Malt Scotch Whiskies - some among the rarest and most sought after - have just been released from Diageo's stock. All are bottled at full cask strength.

The release includes three 30 year old Single Malts: Talisker, from the famous distillery on the island of Skye, and two further releases, from finite and declining stocks, of Port Ellen and Brora - distilleries that closed for ever in 1983, and which have now acquired cult status among serious whisky enthusiasts and collectors.

The Port Ellen Single Malt is the ninth annual release, and only the second Port Ellen 30 year old to come from the distillers. The Brora 30 year old is the eighth of a very limited series of annual releases, and the most expensive of all this year's releases, with a recommended price of £230.

Other popular continuations from previous years' releases are a 12 year old Lagavulin; the famously unpeated Caol Ila (but this time in a 10 year old expression) and another majestic 25 year old Talisker.

Unusual Speysides

This year, whisky connoisseurs and collectors will also be intrigued by the presence of three differently aged, unusual and rare Speyside Single Malts.

Benrinnes, rarely available as a Single Malt, comes as a 23 year old, rich and dark from the influence of European Oak sherry wood casks. Pittyvaich has rarely been available and then usually in a heavily sherried style: this year's 20 year old bottling comes from refill American Oak which reveals this closed distillery's true spirit character. And a quite unique 18 year old Mannochmore has been assembled from a combination of reconditioned bodega European Oak, bourbon casks, and new American Oak casks.

“First and foremost, to be enjoyed…”

More Info & Tasting Notes

Select a whisky for more info and tasting notes on each of the new 2009 Special Releases.

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 27 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, as part of the Classic Malts Selection.

Diageo spokesman Dr Nick Morgan said: "We have been selecting and issuing our Special Releases since 2001 and we know that whisky enthusiasts and connoisseurs look forward every year to rediscovering new expressions of old favourites like Port Ellen, Brora and Talisker, and enjoying some fresh discoveries, such as the three unusual Speyside Malts that we are offering this year.

“Demand for rare Malt Whiskies continues to grow, and as before some of these being released this year are drawn from a finite and dwindling stock, as their distilleries were closed a quarter of a century ago. But although these will appeal to collectors because of their rarity, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that these are fabulous drinking whiskies with unique tastes and flavours, that have been bottled first and foremost to be savoured and enjoyed.”

Diageo Special Releases Availability

Diageo Special Releases will be on sale in some 15 markets in North America and Europe, but not all markets will have all 9 products. Also available in selected global duty free outlets.

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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