The Classic Malts Selection
, the prestigious portfolio of single malts from Scotland's six distilling regions, has just introduced a stunning new collection of seven special offerings and rare aged whiskies. The highlight of the special releases is the Oban 18-Year-Old (right), hailing from the Scottish Highlands.
Produced at one of the oldest licensed distilleries
in Scotland - whisky has been made there for over 200 years - the Oban is rich, smooth and balanced with a sweet smokiness. Only 7,716 bottles of this special whisky will be available at $149.99 apiece.
The Oban is not the rarest of the releases, however. That honor falls to the Port Ellen
29-Year-Old. From an Islay "ghost distillery," i.e. long closed, it is peaty, mellow and robust. A total of 600 individually numbered bottles are available at $399.99 apiece.
Next in terms of rarity is the Talisker
30-Year-Old. Produced on the Isle of Skye, Talisker is the only distillery in the region. Smoky and rich, the 30 Year is Talisker's oldest and rarest expression to date. Less than 3,000 individually numbered bottles are available at $399.99 apiece.
Another "ghost distillery" offering comes from Brora
, a 25-Year-Old. Very rare at this age, the whisky strikes a balance between the smooth Highland malts and peaty Island spirits. Only 456 bottles are available at $349.99 apiece.
In addition to those four rare offerings, three 2008 The Distillers Edition whiskies have been introduced as well, all finished in sherry casks. These include:
* Oban The Distillers Edition – This whisky was double-matured in Montilla Fino Sherry Wood for a delicate yet rich, fruity sweetness with a touch of smoke. $99.99.
* Lagavulin The Distillers Edition - Very smoky Islay spirit. Also double-matured, and further aged in Pedro Ximenez Sherry Wood casks, giving it a smoky, fruit finish. $109.99
* Talisker The Distillers Edition - Double-matured in Amoroso Sherry casks, which keeps back Talisker's usual pepper, replacing it with luscious sweetness - ripe, juicy fruit and vanilla. $79.99.
"We are incredibly proud to welcome these new expressions into The Classic Malts Selection portfolio," says Rob Mason, Senior Brand Manager for Diageo's Classic Malts Selection. "Demand for rare and special malt whiskies continues to grow each year, and of course some of these now released malts are drawn from a finite and dwindling stock, as their distilleries were closed over 20 years ago, so we feel fortunate to have them available in the US."