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Here we go; the pre-emtive release of the Diageo Special Releases 2018 list to stem the likely early publication of the details once the label designs go through the US trademark system and are inevitably published on blogs around the world who do not get the challenge facing producers to keep products under wraps until the time is right to release new product information.

Such a shame, maybe my brand strategy background makes me a bit of a marketing romantic, but it really bugs me when people release information ahead of the official release and make things hard for the brand… see it with the Diageo Special Releases each year, and Ardbeg’s limited editions too – as so much thought goes into timing, stories, packaging, liquid composition and marketing…

Read my reviews from last year’s Diageo Special Releases here.

Sorry, will end rant there as, having read through the below press release, I am even more excited than usual about Diageo Special Releases 2018… especially the Carsebridge and 35 Year Old Caol Ila… but the notable absence of Brora and Port Ellen begs an interesting question… might we be in for a Diageo Special 2018 releases without one or both? We shall see come September time…

Press release reads:

Ten remarkable Scotch Whiskies will be released in limited quantities this autumn, as part of Diageo’s annual Special Releases collection.

Eagerly anticipated worldwide by whisky enthusiasts, the limited edition natural cask strength bottlings are meticulously selected each year by the masterful blending team, to form a rare and sought after collection. Attentively crafted and beautifully packaged, the collection encompasses some of the rarest and oldest whiskies from classic, lesser known and often closed distilleries. Each whisky within the range offers complex flavours of the highest quality, representing a fragment of Scotch Whisky history.

We can now confirm the following bottlings in the outstanding line-up of this year’s collection below, all selected by the skillful Diageo master blending team, for their flavour and historical intrigue:

CARSEBRIDGE 48 year old
ABV 43.2%
Region: Lowlands
Cask: Refill American Oak HogsheadsNo. of bottles: 1,000

CAOL ILA UNPEATED 15 year old
ABV 59.1%
Region: Islay
Cask: Refill & Rejuvenated American Oak
Hogsheads and Ex-Bodega European Oak Butts
Limited quantities worldwide

CAOL ILA 35 year old
ABV 58.1%
Region: Islay
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads & Refill
European Oak Butts
No of bottles: 3,276

INCHGOWER 27 year old
ABV 55.3%
Region: Speyside
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
No of bottles: 8,544

LAGAVULIN 12 year old
ABV 57.8%
Region: Islay
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
Limited quantities available worldwide

OBAN 21 year old
ABV 57.9%
Region: Highlands
Cask: Refill European Oak Butts
Limited availability worldwide

PITTYVAICH 28 year old
ABV 52.1%
Region: Speyside
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
No of bottles: 4,680

THE SINGLETON OF GLEN ORD 14 year old
ABV 57.6%
Region: Highlands
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads and Ex-
Bodega European Oak butts followed by a unique maturation and marrying process
Limited quantities available worldwide

TALISKER 8 year old
ABV 59.4%
Region: Island
Cask: First fill Ex-Bourbon American Oak
Hogsheads
Limited availability worldwide

Donald Colville, Diageo’s Global Malts Ambassador, said:

“The Special Releases 2018 launch is a highlight in our whisky calendar year. It’s a collection that allows both knowledgeable whisky fans and those new to Scotch to hunt out truly unique limited editions. The range delivers memorable taste experiences unlike any other and the exceptional variety and quality of whiskies in this year’s collection will not disappoint.”

The final tenth bottling will be revealed later on in the year, kept as a surprise for the fans and enthusiasts of the collection. Each whisky in the Special Releases 2018 range is a limited edition, rare bottling. 

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