New Release: Diageo Distillers Edition 2021
Created to celebrate some of Scotland’s finest single malts, these whiskies have all been finished in a variety of fortified wine casks for a period longer than the age of their standard expressions. Altering what are already deemed as flawless single malts seems like a bold move. However, Diageo have used this second maturation period to add subtle flavours that perfectly complement their already exceptional expressions.
Each whisky in the Distillers Edition stays true to the typical character of their respective distilleries. It is not lost or drastically changed by any means. Rather, this character is simply further accented by the double-maturation, making for a set of particularly nuanced drams. The wood of the second casks have been selected specifically to work in perfect harmony with each distillery’s typical flavour profile.
The Caol Ila Distillery was founded in 1846 near Port Askaig in Islay. Known for their powerful maritime flavours, Caol Ila’s produce exemplifies everything that makes Islay single malts so wonderful.
Distilled in 2009, this Caol Ila spent its initial maturation period in a combination of refill American and European oak casks before being transferred to ex-bodega Moscatel-seasoned re-charred American oak cask wood. The resulting dram is rich and smoky, which is fabulously balanced by a complex sweetness that has come from the double-maturation.
The nose of this sunlight gold expression is full of the typical peaty aromas expected from Caol Ila, with hints of rich fruit appearing. The palate is an intense, smoky bonfire with gentle notes of cinnamon coming through. This bonfire smoulders away in the long and powerful finish.
Cragganmore was founded in 1869 and was the first new Speyside distillery in twenty years at the time! The distillery was also the first to really take advantage of the nearby railway to transport their whisky to market. Their innovative and independent spirit can still be felt in every bottle of Cragganmore today!
Distilled in 2009, this Cragganmore expression was initially matured in refill American oak and European oak casks before being moved to ex-bodega port casks for a second maturation. The double maturation has created a particularly juicy and sumptuous golden Speyside expression, perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
Powerful fruity notes come to meet the nose, with subtle smoky hints lingering. The fruit and smoke continue in the palate, creating a fascinatingly complex taste before melting into a long, dry finish full of striking notes of tropical fruits, vanilla, and chocolate. A real treat!
Hailing from the highest distillery in Scotland, Dalwhinnie drams are sweet and warming yet they come with a particularly intensity that is quite uncommon in Highland single malts. A truly unique and unforgettable distillery.
This whisky is no exception - it is a standout Dalwhinnie dram! After an initial maturation in refill American oak and European oak casks, this expression was transferred to ex-bodega Oloroso casks to add a sweet and spicy element to the liquid. This makes for a surprising yet welcome contrast to the typical heather-honey flavours expected from a Dalwhinnie.
On the nose, you instantly get the influence from the Oloroso cask, as well as the typical Dalwhinnie sweet heathery hints. The palate is particularly rich and spicy, complemented by subtle notes of honey. The finish is extremely dry with plenty of oak and vanilla lingering.
Founded in 1837, this well-loved Lowlands expression is known for its mellow, grassy flavours, reminiscent of the luscious fields that the distillery is nestled amongst. Interestingly, this distillery boasts two of the largest stills in Scotland!
This particular dram was distilled in 2009 and its double maturation in ex-bodega Amontillado casks have added a nutty character which greatly enhances the earthy flavours of the regular release. This is an extremely intricate dram with new flavours appearing every second you savour it.
The nose is sharp and perfectly balances dryness with sweetness. Hints of grape and grass are present, as well as the nuttier notes that have come from the double maturation. The palate is sweet and malty before leading into a very long and very dry finish, with hints of spice appearing.
This 2006 dram from Lagavulin is a bold and smoky expression. The robust flavours typical of a Lagavulin are present, along with an intense sweetness that has come from the malt's second maturation in ex-bodega Pedro Ximenez casks.
Lagavulin has been a staple in Scottish whisky for over 200 years, having been founded in 1816. Intense, smoky, and dramatic, Lagavulin is a dram that is celebrated all around the world. The 2021 Distillers Edition release is yet another outstanding example of this deliciously warming dram.
The nose is sweet and inviting, with vanilla, dried fruit, and peat smoke perfectly balancing together. This sweetness continues on the palate, with hints of sea salt and espresso. The finish is exceptionally long with peat and oak lingering.
Oban Distillery was founded and it remains as one of Scotland's smallest distilleries to this day. Despite its compact size, Oban is renowned for their big, powerful flavours. Each of their single malt releases pack a mighty punch.
This 2007 Oban flawlessly balances maritime flavours with deep fruitiness. After an initial maturation in refill American oak and European oak casks, the dram was further matured in ex-bodega Montilla Fino casks. The result is one of the most dramatic and bold expressions to come out of Oban Distillery.
The nose is fruity, with orange peel and grapes taking the forefront, with hints of salty sea air and smoke appearing in time. The palate is wild and intense, with maritime flavours prevailing, complemented by gentle malt and fruit notes. A sweetness appears in the finish, with warm oak, digestives, and coffee present.
Talisker is Skye's oldest working distillery. Founded in 1830, Talisker has been a massive success since the distillery's inception, renowned for the delightfully smoky drams produced there.
Distilled in 2011, this Talisker was initially matured in refill American and European oak casks. It was then transferred to ex-bodega Amoroso casks for a second maturation. This period of further maturation adds a deep sweetness to the signature spicy, peaty style of the usual Talisker release.
The nose is sweet, fruity and particularly enticing when smoky notes begin to appear. The palate is initially very peaty before building into a sweet and malty crescendo with hints of white pepper and ripe berries. This leads into a long finish, full of chocolate and vanilla.
Shop the entire 2021 Distillers Edition collection here today.