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Issue 115 - The annual release

Whisky Magazine Issue 115
October 2013

 

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The annual release

A focus on the less heard of distilleries in Diageo's Special Releases

It's that stage of the autumn where we anticipate the next chapter in Diageo's long running Special Releases series. Now in its 11th year, this collection reliably provokes enthusiastic discussions as everyone offers up their opinion on the taste of the liquids, the packaging, price and availability of these select whiskies. The rarest of the bunch is the Talisker 28 Years Old distilled in 1973 and released back in 2001 for £495. Only 100 bottles were produced in a distinctive squat shape bottle which was revisited for the Glen Elgin 32 Years Old in 2004. Bonhams have not offered this Talisker since 2009 and the last sighting was at McTear's, Glasgow in September 2011 when bottle 17 sold for £1,100. Whilst whisky enthusiasts debate the latest Port Ellen, Brora, Talisker and Lagavulins, here we focus on the underdog distilleries, the statures of which have risen over time.

Convalmore 28 Years Old
Distilled 1977 57.9%
Bottler: Diageo
Region: Speyside
WM tasting scores: 8.2 & 7.5 (Issue 57)
Recent auction price: £260
Auction: Scotch Whisky Auctions Date: April 2013
Comment: There were 3,900 Convalmore bottles released in the 5th year of the Special Releases, some 30 years after the distillery closed in 1985. The slanting navy and white distillery name is reminiscent of vintage packaging from the 1930s and it makes a welcome return on the new 36 Years Old.

Brechin 28 Years Old
Distilled 1977 53.3%
Bottler: Diageo
Region: Highland
WM tasting scores: 8.0 ...

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