Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon hogshead refill
Added coloring: No
Average price: € 100.00
Official website: www.malts.com
Special or Limited Release as you like, it’s since 2002 that Diageo, in addition to the Distillers Edition, every year distributes this series of cask strength bottlings of some of its products (not always the same ones), without a real common thread from one vintage to another.
Of the 2019 vintage I got to try the Lagavulin and the Cragganmore (I refer you to the latter for an overview of that year’s releases), while of the 2018 this is the first to come under my clutches.
Below are the releases of the series in 2018:
Caol Ila 35yo at 58.1%ABV ex-Bourbon hogshead and ex-Sherry refill;
Caol Ila Unpeated 15yo at 59.1%ABV ex-Bourbon renewed and ex-Sherry hogshead;
Carsebridge 48yo at 43.2%ABV ex -Bourbon hogshead (single grain);
Cladach Blended Malt at 57.1%ABV, blend of Caol Ila, Clynelish, Lagavulin, Oban, Inchgower and Talisker;
Inchgower 27yo at 55.3%ABV ex-Bourbon hogshead refill;
Lagavulin 12yo at 57.8%ABV ex-Bourbon hogshead refill;
Oban 21yo at 57.9%ABV ex-Sherry refill;
Pittyvaich 28yo at 52.1% ex-Bourbon hogshead refill;
The Singleton of Glen Ord 14yo at 57.6%ABV ex-Bourbon hogshead refill and ex-Sherry;
Talisker 8yo at 59.4%ABV ex-Bourbon hogshead first fill.
Straw yellow in the glass.
Lamb chops and seaweed scottadito in profusion invade the nose, with the acrid smoke of the embers tingling the nostrils. A balsamic touch with flakes of burnt pine wood and orange peel. Penetrating without alcoholic burn.
And even on the palate the considerable alcohol content pushes the spiciness without overpowering it, enhancing the more marine and brackish aspect of the whisky with the smoke which, though present, recedes in the face of the rising tide. The waves bring sweeter scents, which emerge laboriously bringing orange, liquorice, green apple and cardamom.
The finish is long, of spices, ash, baked sardines and candied orange.
Similar yet different from the following year’s release, perhaps less balanced in the interplay between peat and sweeter side, but still exciting and engaging.