Whisky Advocate

New Diageo limited-edition single malts for 2008

October 29th, 2008

Earlier this week, Diageo announced their line-up of limited-edition single malt Scotch whiskies for 2008. There are a lot of interesting whiskies in this release, so I thought I would post the press release below. It’s a UK press release. Prices are in Pounds Sterling. Double that to get an approximate dollar amount.

RARE LIMITED-EDITION SINGLE MALT WHISKIES JUST RELEASED BY DIAGEO

Each year the maturation experts who watch over Diageo’s precious ageing stocks of single malt Scotch whiskies carefully choose a small number of very special single malts to be released in limited quantities, for the delight of sophisticated whisky drinkers in Europe and North America.

The results were launched today. Many will sell out within weeks of being released.

pic09894.jpgAs super-premium whiskies, all are destined to delight whisky connoisseurs, enthusiasts and collectors. Each one will be unusual – perhaps because it is an older ( or in some cases a younger) bottling of a familiar single malt, or because it has been drawn from the declining stocks of a distillery no longer in existence.

In the new 2008 collection of ten Special Releases, the rarest and most unexpected bottlings will be three contrasting finishes of a 26 year old Linkwood™. These are sourced from an active distillery on Speyside but one whose product is relatively rarely sold as a single malt. All three were identically aged for 12 years, then each of the three was matured in a different cask-wood for 14 more years – one in port, one in rum and one in a sweet red wine cask-wood. Even more unusually, they are bottled in small 50cl bottles created specially for this release by leading designer Glenn Tutssel. Each expression will be released in the very limited volume of 1,260 individually numbered bottles. Like all other Special Releases, they are bottled at natural cask strength.

Nick Morgan, marketing director for the Classic Malts Selection™, said:

“Every year we review our inventory of single malt Scotch whiskies with a view to releasing limited quantities of the most special ones for connoisseurs. I suspect that some will be bought by collectors, as always, but I can certainly confirm that every whisky we issue in this series is not only individual and interesting but supremely drinkable. Demand for rare and special malt whiskies continues to grow, and of course some of these now released are drawn from a finite and dwindling stock, as their distilleries were closed over 20 years ago. In these circumstances we believe that even the most expensive offer terrific value compared with some of the more hyped wine vintages.”

Other malt whiskies from closed distilleries now released are a rare 25 year old Coastal Highland single malt Brora™ in an edition of 3,000 individually numbered bottles worldwide, and a powerful 29 year old Port Ellen™ from the cult Islay distillery that closed for ever in 1983.

Diageo’s famous working distilleries provide the rest of the special collection — but in unusual expressions. Talisker™, the Isle of Skye single malt, is generally seen in its award-winning 10 and 18 year old expressions, but as in recent years, the 2008 limited releases offer both a 25 year old bottling, and an even more limited 30 year old bottling selling at £205. It is described by tasters as “gentle and finely constructed”.

One of the two Classic Malts Selection distilleries on Islay offers the youngest bottling in this year’s release. This Caol Ila™ is a mere eight years old and was selected as an interesting limited-edition contrast to its more familiar older siblings from the same distillery: like the 2006 and 2007 limited edition releases, it is distilled in the so-called Highland style in a batch made only once a year from unpeated malt. It is accompanied by a 12 year old Lagavulin™ vatted from refill American Oak casks.

Finally, Glen Elgin, a fine Speyside distillery, has supplied a 16 year old bottling from ex-bodega European Oak casks filled in 1991, in an edition of just under 10,000 individually numbered bottles. This is a malt rarely seen bottled at this age.

In the UK these limited-edition single malts are available from on-line and High Street specialist whisky merchants and many fine wine merchants.

For further details contact Pat Roberts: pat@cognispr.net or 07774 424 410

6 Responses to “New Diageo limited-edition single malts for 2008”

  1. Bryce B says:

    Hi John–
    Any idea who might be stocking these in the US? The PE 8th release is already sold out across the UK!
    Thanks

  2. John Hansell says:

    Bryce, I assume the whiskies will be going to the same retailers who got previous releases. I would check there first. The specialty retailers in Malt Advocate and on the Malt Advocate website would be other places to look.

    The press release didn’t say which whiskies are coming to the U.S. and which ones aren’t. I’ll try to get an answer to that.

  3. John Hansell says:

    I just found out that the limited-editions mentioned above that are coming to the U.S. are the Brora 25, Port Ellen 29 and Talisker 30 year old.

  4. Patrick says:

    The problem is that the demand is very high for the Port Ellen and the Brora.
    They got sold out in Europe sometimes before they reached the shelves.
    Try to pre-order them via your normal retailer and you might be lucky.

  5. John Hansell says:

    Sage advice Patrick.

  6. WhiskyViking says:

    The PE (£194/US$313), Brora(£185/US$298) and Taliskers have been released in Norway today.

    For the whole release: http://whiskyviking.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/diageo-special-releases-2008/

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