Diageo announced four new distillery-only whiskiesMay 21st, 2010
This just came in. I have always liked the concept of distillery-only whiskies. I think if you make the effort to visit a distillery, you should be rewarded for your efforts.
Here’s the press release:
Four New Whiskies Announced by Diageo
Special Distillery-only Single Malt Scotch Whisky Bottlings
Diageo has announced four additions to their extensive range of single malt whiskies – but only for visitors to their Scottish distilleries.
Lagavulin, Oban, Glenkinchie and Blair Athol will shortly be selling a single malt Scotch whisky bottling that isn’t available anywhere else in the world.
Like other Diageo distillery-only bottlings sold at Talisker, Caol Ila, and Clynelish, these new expressions are bottled at natural cask strength and without an age statement.
Nick Morgan, spokesman for the Classic Malts Selection™ range of Diageo’s single malts, said:
“When visitors take the trouble to visit our distilleries, it’s nice to be able to give them the option of buying something that they couldn’t get anywhere else.
“Of course they will still be able to buy the more familiar and widely distributed expressions, but these distillery-only bottlings might be regarded as even more special.
“In fact, with three of these new ones – Lagavulin™, Glenkinchie™ and Oban™ – we have been able to take advantage of a number of special casks that had been intended for bottling as Distiller’s Editions over the past few years but were found to be surplus to requirements, and have been sitting in our warehouse ever since. These have undergone a second (or ‘double’) maturation in American Oak cask wood that has previously held a fortified wine – in this case, sherry treated American oak casks.
“But unlike our regular Distillers Edition bottlings, these are offered at natural cask strength, and carry no age statement.”
The Lagavulin™ distillery-only bottling is expected to be available for visitors to buy during the Islay Festival this year. The prices will be between £55 and £70 UK RRP.
Details of new distillery-only bottlings
Blair Athol ABV 55.8% Wood European oak (first fill sherry cask) Nose Unreduced, faint nose prickle, rather like inhaling Friar’s Balsam. Strong rancio, more subtle fruit and a hint of struck matches. With time, a touch of sultana sweetness. Adding water lowers the cask-derived notes and adding plenty brings up a gentle, fragrant leafiness. Palate Immediately sweet (dried apricots) with a pepper-spiced edge that soon moves centre stage to mask the fruit. Quickly develops a bitter-sweet character. Medium bodied, quite well integrated and rich – needing only a little water to show its best. Adding a bigger splash (1:1) gives a soft, sweet and malty start, with the spicy notes taking longer to come through, and raises the underlying, balancing bitterness. Finish Quite short, sharp and drying, with some sweetness coming through again in the aftertaste. Overall “A balanced and straightforward bitter-sweet malt.”
Glenkinchie ABV 59.1% Wood Has undergone a second (or ‘double’) maturation in Amontillado-treated American oak casks. Nose Unreduced, fruity, spicy, and dry. Subtle floral aromas develop but are far less obvious than in the Classic Malt expression. Adding water (not too much) softens and sweetens the nose. Palate So sweet (acacia honey) with a surprising and luscious palate-coating texture. Medium bodied and unusually rich for Glenkinchie. Adding a splash of water softens things down into a sweet and spicy dram, with good grip, and a great balance of primary tastes. Finish Medium length, crisp and sweetly drying. Overall “The best Glenkinchie I’ve ever tasted, more all-rounder than apéritif. Even though in its new-found assertiveness it perhaps loses some of Glenkinchie’s signature floral notes, it is sweetly persuasive!”
Lagavulin 51.5% Wood Has undergone a second (or ‘double’) maturation in Pedro Ximenez-treated American oak casks. Nose Unreduced, big and rounded. At first sweet (toffee) and smoke with restrained medicinal notes. Bigger than the 16 year old expression. Adding water (not too much) softens the nose and balances the smoke and sweetness. Palate A delightfully sweet start, at natural strength soon overwhelmed by a whole ocean of hot smoke crashing over the tongue. Rich, with great structure and grip. Big and powerful, sweeter than the 16 year old and just lovely to drink straight. Adding a splash of water(not too much) rounds things, easing back the smoke to leave a firmly balanced sweet-smoky dram. Finish Medium to long, rich and peppery. Fine smoky aftertaste. Overall “A big, self-assured Lagavulin with all the certainty of age, uncomplicated, satisfying and so-o-o easy to enjoy!”
Oban 55.0% Wood Has undergone a second (or ‘double’) maturation in Pedro Montilla Fino-treated American oak casks. Nose Unreduced, some nose prickle. Rich raisins and spicy wood. Adding a little water lowers the richness and brings up more subtle, fresh, fragrant notes. Palate Unreduced, immediately sweet and powerful with a salty tang. Very warming with a good mouthfeel. Adding a good dash of water gives a honey-sweet, fruity start (ripe nectarine?) still with a hint of the sea behind it, then waves of light smokiness roll over the palate. Mouth-drying overall. Medium bodied, elegant. Finish Quite long, smooth and sweetly drying, with more smoke coming through in the pleasing aftertaste. Overall “Like Oban, only more so. A well-balanced and very more-ish dram that makes a fine all-rounder.”