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Top five 2015 special whisky releases from Diageo

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Top five 2015 special whisky releases from Diageo


There are few more hotly anticipated dates on the whisky calendar than the annual unveiling of the Special Releases, a series of limited-edition whiskies from some of Diageo’s most celebrated distilleries around Scotland. This year’s Special Releases feature nine bottles, ranging from a 32-year-old Port Ellen to a venerable grain whisky from a silent distillery that many will never even have heard of.


The collection was unveiled to the media on Tuesday October 20 in London will be going on sale from early November. Below are TLR’s top five:


laLagavulin 12-year-old whisky

Top on the list of the new release is a Lagavulin 12-year-old. It has 56.8 percent alcohol. It costs N24, 615.32 (£80) per bottle. It is limited release whisky, which is in exceptional smoky form for 2015. This whisky us amazingly appetising and it has less of the citrus acidity of earlier expressions. It is a fine example of the make and it is very enjoyable straight. It is more stylish with water.

When brought close to the nose, the aromas hold toasted cereal and take on a roasted, nutty quality but the fragrant smoke always returns.

On the palate, it is dusty, very sweet, and positively smoky, as with roasted chestnuts from a street vendor. It finishes with long and smoky, a large amount of exquisite smoke and a fragrant smoky aftertaste like toasted sesame seeds and basil. With water, it brings out Indian spices, the roasted cumin.



Cally 1974 40-year-old malt whisky

Cally 1974 40-year-old is a dramatic contrast to the Lagavulin. The well packaged Cally 1974 contains 53.3 per cent alcohols and comes in a limited edition bottles of 5, 097 at N230, 768.62 (£750), per bottle. It is a single grain whisky, the first since 2011’s Port Dundas and only the second ever.

Caledonian grain distillery in Edinburgh closed in 1988 and is rarely seen – this 40 year old is comfortably the oldest official release and has been nicknamed ‘The Cally’, as the distillery was by those who worked there.

When brought close to the nose, it gives the aroma of coconut, candy lipstick then into concentrated Werther’s , Originals and richer, spicier treacle. On the palate it gives this bitter caramel note, warming wood spices, dates and cinnamon with a finish of creamy vanilla that takes centre stage for a moment.


dalwhinnie25yopsThe Dalwhinnie 1989 25-year-old

The Dalwhinnie 1989 25-year-old has 48.8 per cent alcohol. It is a release of 5, 916 bottles at N99, 999.73 (325 pounds) per bottle. It is juicy and sweet, with plump sultana notes that develop into liquorice, vanilla and a touch of struck match. There is only one per customer Dalwhinnie 25YO 1989 bottling note

As one of Diageo’s 2015 Special Releases, the first time a bottling from this distillery featured since 2012 (also a 25 year old). Matured in refill American oak hogsheads. , this is a release of 5,916

The quite floral and light, grass and subtle pear flesh note is visible to the nose while tasting. On the palate the distinct taste of dried grass, Weetabix, oak and subtle orchard fruit is there. It finish in the mouth has a crisp with a little more cereal taste. This classic Dalwhinnie whisky aged for quarter of a century.


pittyvaich-bottle-shot-newlfwPittyvaich 1989 25-year-old

New to many will probably be the 1989 25-year-old from Pittyvaich. It has 49.9 percent of alcohol and sold at N76, 922.87 (£250) per bottle in a limited edition of 6,000 bottles. It is a silent distillery in Speyside known for its malty, nutty new make, which produced a very animalic, chutneyed whisky that is something of an acquired taste.

It is an interesting whisky from a closed distillery that shows moments of brilliance, still recognisable to those familiar with the Flora and Fauna bottling.

It features in the 2015 Diageo’s Special Releases that’s rarely seen as it was only open from 1974 to 1993. Matured in refill American oak hogsheads and ex-bourbon barrels, this is a release of 5,922 individually numbered bottles.

To the nose, it smells syrupy with hints of playdough that open up to reveal fragrant cereal and violet petals. It is creamy and peppery but also slightly sharp. On the palate, there’s a fragrant interplay with fruit skins, florals and malt, becoming thick and almost soapy at the end. It comes with light oak notes, Madeira wine, white and dark chocolate finish.




clynelish_select_reserve_psClynelish Select Reserve

Clynelish Select Reserve contains 56.1 per cent of alcohol in a limited edition bottle of 3, 000 at N169, 230.32 (£550), 3,000 bottles. According to Ft’s How To Spend It this blend of casks from some of the Highland distillery’s oldest reserves was deliberately designed to dial up Clynelish’s signature, scented waxy note and it does not disappoint. Vibrant and mouthwatering, it pops with orange and lime, before leading through to more aromatic incense and wax characters. It is enchanting.

Available at Master of Malt, www.masterofmalt.com. The Whisky Exchange, www.thewhiskyexchange.com.


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