Diageo has announced the Special Releases 2019, themed “Rare by Nature”. For the first time it seems there is a visual theme in the whole series, with these jungle / retro plant motifs and animals. Most whiskies are in the same bottles and nicely match in terms of colour and identity. Although this is a nice touch, I suspect some people may be disappointed that whiskies are not presented in their own traditional brand identity (e.g. the typical Lagavulin dark bottle), breaking their collection a little.
Here are the confirmed details, including the recommended prices. I hope to add my tasting notes in the future.
- Cardhu 14 Year Old
55%, Amontillado casks, around € 140
- Cragganmore 12 Year Old
58,4%, smoky version, around € 100
- Dalwhinnie 30 Year Old
54,7%, around € 600
- Lagavulin 12 Year Old
56,5%, around € 130
- Mortlach 26 Year Old
53,3%, 3888 btl., around € 1800
First-fill Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso seasoned casks
- Pittyvaich 29 Year Old 1989
51,4%, 5568 btl., around € 390
Finished in Oloroso PX seasoned casks
- Talisker 15 Year Old
57,3%, around € 130
- Singleton of Glen Ord 18 Year Old
55%, around € 150
“lively rich fruit spiced oak”, probably sherry matured
Cask Strength Special Releases
Perhaps a little underwhelming (or accessible, depending on your view). The Special Releases are starting to become a series known for their cask strength rather than for exceptionally old releases from distilleries that are otherwise unavailable. We used to have 30-40 year-old whiskies at the top, now it’s mostly 10-20 years of age. No special blend this year, no grain whiskies either.
That said, I’m looking forward to the Talisker at cask strength, the Mortlach from first-fill sherry casks and the Pittyvaich which is hopefully along the lines of last year’s offering. That Mortlach is so expensive though!
Buy Special Releases 2019