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Crown Royal 18 year old, Diageo Distillers Editions, & More [New Releases]

Crown Royal 18 year old, Diageo Distillers Editions, & More [New Releases]

December 17, 2021 –––––– Ted Simmons, , , ,

The year is wrapping up, and if you're still in search of a whisky gift, we have pairing ideas, more splurge-worthy items, and of course, our year-end Top 20 list is full of special and exciting bottles. It's also easier than ever to have whiskey delivered to your doorstep, but laws vary by state, so be sure to read our report on the developing landscape of direct shipping.

There are a few new releases out this week, notably, an 18 year old from Crown Royal; Diageo has announced the Distillers Editions for its popular single malts like Lagavulin, Oban and Talisker; and Firestone & Robertsonadds a blended bourbon to its Experimental line. Read on for full details.

Crown Royal 18 year old

Style: Blended whisky

Origin: Canada

Age: 18 year old

ABV: 40%

Price: $140

Release: December 2021

Availability: Limited; Nationwide

Need to know:

This new 18 year old whisky is the oldest in Crown Royal's current lineup.

Whisky Advocate says:

Crown Royal discontinued its XR expression in 2019, and as is sometimes the case when a whisky goes away, there's a new one stepping up in its place. If you are the type to bring a fancy bottle around for the holidays, something like this one—low in proof but high in age—makes for a great crowd-pleaser.

Lagavulin Distillers Edition 2021

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Age: Not stated

ABV: 43%

Price: $110

Release: December 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Distilled in 2006, this whisky was finished in Pedro Ximénez casks for up to 6 months.

Oban Distillers Edition 2021

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Highlands)

Age: Not stated

ABV: 43%

Price: $100

Release: December 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Distilled in 2007, this whisky was finished in montilla fino casks for up to 6 months.

Talisker Distillers Edition 2021

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Islands)

Age: Not stated

ABV: 45.8%

Price: $85

Release: December 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Distilled in 2011, this whisky was finished in amoroso casks for up to 6 months.

Cragganmore Distillers Edition 2021

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Speyside)

Age: Not stated

ABV: 40%

Price: $90

Release: December 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Distilled in 2009, this whisky was finished in port casks for up to 6 months.

Dalwhinnie Distillers Edition 2021

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Highlands)

Age: Not stated

ABV: 43%

Price: $95

Release: December 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Distilled in 2006, this whisky was finished in oloroso sherry casks for up to 6 months.

Glenkinchie Distillers Edition 2021

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Lowlands)

Age: Not stated

ABV: 43%

Price: $90

Release: December 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Distilled in 2009, this whisky was finished in amontillado casks for up to 6 months.

Whisky Advocate says:

Diageo releases a special Distillers Edition of its popular single malts each year, usually aged for the same length of time as the core expressions, but receiving some type of special cask treatment. This year, the six releases are finished in a variety of wine casks. All six are available in stores now, with the Lagavulin, Oban, and Talisker likewise offered through Drizly. These make great gifts for the scotch lover in your life as they are close enough to the core expressions but as limited editions, they carry some extra cachet.

TX Blended Straight Bourbon

Style: Blend of straight bourbons

Origin: Texas

Age: Not stated

ABV: 50%

Price: $40/375 ml

Release: December 2021

Availability: 1,000 bottles

Need to know:


This bourbon—which is made at Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co.—blends 4 year old high-rye bourbon that's finished in cabernet sauvignon barrels for three years; 4 year old wheated bourbon that's finished in new and charred oak barrels; and a 2 year old wheated bourbon that's finished in a maple-smoked, new charred oak barrel.



Whisky Advocate says:


TX Blended Straight Bourbon is the third whiskey in the TX Experimental Series, which also includes TX Experimental Rye and TX High Rye Texas Straight Bourbon. As with the earlier Experimental releases, this new whiskey is available in limited quantities, and is exclusive to the brand's Whiskey Ranch, a 112-acre distillery experience in Fort Worth, Texas.



Abraham Bowman Rum Finished

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Virginia

Age: 15 year old

ABV: 50%

Price: $70

Release: December 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:


Distilled in 2006, this bourbon spent the first nine years of its life aging in oak casks, before a six-year rum cask finish.



Whisky Advocate says:


This whiskey is part of A. Smith Bowman Distillery's limited edition Abraham Bowman series, which previously included a 13 year old twice-finished whiskey, a gingerbread cocoa-finished bourbon, and whiskey finished in barrels that were used a total of four times. Given the experimental nature of the range, this bourbon is available in extremely limited quantities; you can pick up a bottle at the distillery on a first-come, first-served basis, or Virginia residents can enter the Virginia ABC Board lottery for a chance to snag it.



Eaves Blind 2021 Releases

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Varies

Age: Not stated

ABV: Varies

Price: $150

Release: December 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Master distiller and blender Marianne Eaves sent out blind tasting kits to patrons of her blind series throughout the year and has now revealed the source of the curated whiskies. All of the whiskies are bottled at cask strength and Eaves intentionally selected a variety of non-Kentucky bourbons from distillers that she visited while blending on the road. They are as follows:


  • Oregon Spirits Distillers—61.45% ABV

  • Distillery 291—64.8% ABV

  • Saint Augustine Distillery—55.65% ABV

  • Stumpy's Spirits Distillery—59.75% ABV

  • Treaty Oak Distillery—57% ABV

  • Watershed Distillery—65.15% ABV

  • Journeyman Distillery—59.9% ABV

  • Kings County Distillery—63.4% ABV


There are roughly 1,000 bottles of each available for pre-sale now through Eaves Blindand at their respective distilleries and local markets starting in January.

Whisky Advocate says:

If you're not tasting blind, you should be, and services like this will handle the concealment for you. With the 2021 releases, Eaves wanted to showcase the great bourbons being made outside of Kentucky, a subject we covered in our Fall issue. The bottles all feature matte black labels but are otherwise as they would appear for regular releases from these distillers. Eaves said that she will bring the blind tasting program back in 2023.