With a bumper release of rare and unusual malts, a innovative range of premium blends and an array of exciting releases stateside, whisky drinkers have got a lot to look forward to…
* An overwhelming nine limited edition whiskies from Diageo have hit the shops. They include two rarities from Classic Malts distilleries, a Dalwhinnie 29 year-old and Cragganmore 29 year-old 1973, with quantities limited to under 6,000 bottles worldwide.
Rarer still is a Glen Ord 28 year old, the oldest ever from the distillery. If this is not enough excitement, collectors are likely to be even more tempted by the very scarce and unusual old bottlings from silent distilleries. A Brora 30 year old, Port Ellen 1979, Glen Elgin 32 year-old – all at cask strength – as well as a very few bottles of Glenury Royal 50 year old are limited editions worth seeking out.
*William Grant’s latest launch is an innovative range of premium blended whisky – Grant’s Cask Selection – combining aged quality Scotch whisky with wood finishes. Grant’s Premium 12 has been finished in specially selected first fill bourbon casks and Grant’s Rare Old 18 is finished in port casks.
*John Glaser of Compass Box has been busy with three new releases on his hands – Juveniles, Monster and the international release of his already popular whisky infused spirit, Orangerie.
Juveniles is a custom made blend for a Parisian bar of the same name. John has collaborated with the owner of Juveniles to create a special vatted malt whisky to sell in the French bar but is also releasing it throughout Europe.
For American readers, John has unleashed a hugely smoky cask strength vatted malt called Monster! A blend including Ardmore and Caol Ila, it will be available exclusively from New York’s Park Avenue Liquors.
* The number one Scotch whisky brand in America, Dewar’s, has released an ultra-premium blend – Dewar’s Signature. It is the creation of Tom Aitken, one of only six master distilers to hold the esteemed title within the House of Dewar. Aberfeldy 27 year-old, a single malt with notes of honey, heather and vanilla is at the heart of Dewar’s Signature.
*More exciting US releases include Isle of Jura Superstition, a peatier Isle of Jura expression which has proved overwhelming popular in Europe and Heaven Hill unveiling their new 1994 Vintage Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon.