Diageo’s Special Releases - released

on 21 September, 2016

Diageo’s 2016 Special Releases are being debuted this evening (September 21). Here are my rambling tasting notes with comments from master blender Maureen Robinson interspersed with an occasional discussion about cake/dessert comparisons.

AUCHROISK 25 Year Old

Distilled 1990 ABV 51.2%

Region: Speyside

Comment: Used to be a J&B feeder distillery

Max. 3,954 bottles available worldwide

RRP £280

Tasting note: Citrus, fresh, notes of clean linen. There is creaminess. Mandarins. Maureen got blackcurrant notes. Spangles? (a discussion about various sweets/confectionary follows..). Soft, subtle, dry finish.

GLENKINCHIE 24 Year Old

Distilled 1991 ABV 57.2%

Region: Lowland

Comment: the oldest bottle ever released in Special Releases from this distillery

Max. 5,928 bottles available worldwide

RRP £300

Tasting note: Alcohol! Richer, stewed fruit, orange peel. Peppery, candied fruit. Quite mouth puckering. A nuttiness, appely on the finish.

CAMBUS 40 Year Old

Distilled 1975 ABV 52.7%

Region: Central Lowland

Comment: This year’s oldest release in the range and only the third ever single grain release from the series. Grain distillery, closed in 1975. Maize distillate.

Max. 1,812 bottles available worldwide

RRP £750

Tasting note: Pronounced American oak/bourbon notes. Tropical fruits, candied. Liquorices/anise notes. Maureen gets blackcurrant again.

CRAGGANMORE

ABV 55.7%

Region: Speyside

Comment: special vatting. Refill American casks 

Max. 4,932 bottles available worldwide

RRP £400

Tasting note: Spritzy, rosehips, and strawberry?  Slight spicy note. Smooth, elegant.

MANNOCHMORE 25 Year Old

Distilled 1990 ABV 53.4%

Region: Speyside

Comment: aged in rejuvenated casks 

Max. 3,954 bottles available worldwide

RRP £250

Tasting note: There’s a discussion about which dessert this reminds tasters of. Banana and custard seems to be a collective choice. There’s a creamy texture. Hazelnuts.

LINKWOOD 37 Year Old

Distilled 1978 ABV 50.3%

Region: Speyside

Comment: a single malt from the original distillers

Max. 6,114 bottles available worldwide

RRP £600

Tasting note: Fresh linen, some smoke in the background. Sweet, vanilla, waxy, leathery. Fruit notes, coming through. Big, complex. Linkwood gets a BIG tick from me.

CAOL ILA 15 Year Old

Distilled 2000 ABV 61.5%

Region: Islay

Comment: Unpeated. The first release in the series to have been distilled this side of the Mlilennium

Limited quantities available worldwide

RRP £90

Tasting note: Sweet, toffee. Another discussion about cakes and dessert notes.  The consensus is: Lemon drizzle cake.

BRORA 38 Year Old

Distilled 1977 ABV 48.6%

Region: Coastal Highland

Comment: the oldest bottle ever released in Special Releases from this distillery

Max. 2,984 bottles available worldwide

RRP £1,450

Tasting note: Smoky, farmyard, leathery, chewy.  Nut brittle, someone said.

LAGAVULIN 12 Year Old

ABV 57.7%

Region: Islay

Comment: Limited quantities available worldwide

RRP £80

Tasting note: dusty nose. Light, notes of plasters, Germolene.

PORT ELLEN 37 Year Old

Distilled 1978 ABV 55.2%

Region: Islay

Comment: Said to be one of the most sought after single malts in the world. The 37-year-old will be the oldest Port Ellen ever released.

Max. 2,940 bottles available worldwide

RRP £2,500

Tasting note: Smoky, lemon/lime on the nose. Surprisingly clean and fresh, considering its age. Pleasant, long, lingering citrus finish. Very elegant.

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