Finishing up the Diageo Special Releases for 2018 is Cladach, which is not some unheard of distillery hidden in the rolling hills of Scotland, but is in fact a blend.
Cladach has been created specially for the Special Releases range and is made up of malt from Inchgower, CaolIla, Oban, Talisker, Clynelish and Lagavulin. These coastal distilleries make up a really intriguing malt.
The release is in the same vein as the Collectivum XXVIII, a malt that Diageo released last year. It has been crafted from all of Diageo’s distilleries.
Cladach differs in that it is only coastal distilleries, and there’s only six of them. each one has contributed a different dram, and there are cask types ranging from first fill American oak, ex-Bourbon to ex-Bodega European butts.
Cladach is a brilliant blend. Everything is married together perfectly and it has a wonderful sweetness with a lively tang to it.
The nose opens with a bright earthy note of freshly fallen rain in an orchard.
Apples with crisp pears and a hearty dose of oak wood come together to make for a refreshing open.
It also has a great boost of smoke, and the palate really brings this out. Citrus fruits, oak wood, caramel, bonfires and sea salt are all there as well.
It has a distinctly autumnal flavour, with charred toffee, apples, earthy leaves and sweet caramel all melting together in harmony.
The seaside notes of the coastal distilleries also come through with hints of oil and iodine, but these are subtle and are great at highlighting the sweeter notes.
The finish is big, with lots more smoke and wood.
This is a rare malt and certainly one to get behind if you’re a fan of bold, sweet seaside malts. It will be exciting to see what else Diageo come up with.