Months after teasing them, Diageo has finally revealed the full line-up of 2019 Special Releases. This year’s collection features eight cask-strength single malts selected by master blender Craig Wilson. The whiskies are described as “rare by nature” and feature various cask finishes and maturation techniques.
There are some parallels to past releases, like the presence of a 12 year old Lagavulin. But there’s a significant change: Of the eight whiskies in the collection, only three are for sale in the U.S.: Pittyvaich 29 year old, Mortlach 26 year old, and The Singleton of Glen Ord 18 year old. And there are less than 1,500 bottles total of all of them.
This is a substantially reduced offering from past years, which saw most if not all of the Special Releases for sale in the U.S. It may signal a new direction for the collection, which also largely features new packaging that’s not closely tied to individual brands. For example, Dalwhinnie and Cardhu each have distinctive bottle shapes for their core single malts, but for this collection, they’re packaged in a more standardized bottle. The exceptions are Mortlach and The Singleton, which both remain in their distinct, branded packaging.
Full details on the lineup of 2019 Special Releases are below.
Diageo Special Releases 2019: Rare by Nature
Cardhu 14 year old—55% ABV, £120
Matured in amontillado sherry-seasoned hogsheads. Unspecified limited quantities; not for sale in the U.S.
Cragganmore 12 year old—58.4% ABV, £85
A medium-peated whisky, matured in refill American oak casks. Unspecified limited quantities; not for sale in the U.S.
Dalwhinnie 30 year old—54.7% ABV, £500
Matured in refill hogsheads and butts. 7,586 bottles; not for sale in the U.S.
Lagavulin 12 year old—56.5% ABV, £110
Matured in refill American oak casks. Unspecified limited quantities; not for sale in the U.S.
Talisker 15 year old—57.3% ABV, £110
Matured in freshly charred American oak hogsheads. Unspecified limited quantities; not for sale in the U.S.
Mortlach 26 year old—53.3% ABV, $2,000
Matured in fresh-toasted first-fill Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry-seasoned casks. 276 bottles for the U.S.; 3,883 bottles total.
Pittyvaich 29 year old—51.4% ABV, $430
Matured first in Pedro Ximénez and then in oloroso sherry-seasoned casks. 600 bottles for the U.S.; 4,976 bottles total.
The Singleton of Glen Ord 18 year old—55% ABV, $170
Matured in freshly charred American oak hogsheads. 600 bottles for the U.S.; unspecified total.