It is that time of the year again – Diageo, Scotland’s largest whisky producer, has unleashed the 2019 edition of its Special Releases programme. The annual bottlings are designed to highlight rare or old whiskies from within Diageo’s extensive portfolio of maturing stocks and are eagerly anticipated each year since the programme was first started with just three expressions in 2001.

This year is one of the smaller recent collections and sees just eight bottlings with a theme of ‘Rare By Nature’ running through them. As with all previous years the whiskies are all bottled at their natural cask strength. This year’s whiskies have been selected by Dr. Craig Wilson, one of the Master Blenders at Diageo.

This year’s line-up was launched at an exclusive event at Somerset House in Central London, where guests were guided through a sensorial journey, transporting them from the hustle and bustle of the city to the wild Scottish habitats that inspired this year’s ‘Rare by Nature’ theme.

This carefully selected line-up features discoveries from Diageo’s most precious stocks maturing in Scotland. The collection celebrates whiskies with distinctive maturation techniques, rare finishes and unexpected taste profiles, with this year’s cask strength bottlings bringing to life each distillery’s unique character. Featuring expressions from famous, to supreme examples of the less well known and even closed distilleries, the bottlings are all extremely rare and sought-after whiskies.

Ewan Gunn, Diageo Global Whisky Master, comments, “Discerning drinkers around the world will delight in this new collection. From the hand selected Single Malt Scotch to the visually arresting bottles, they each tell a strong story of the extraordinary place and the people who have shaped each dram. These prestigious and limited-edition bottlings offer fans an opportunity to collect and explore some of our rarest stocks.”

Here is just a snap shot of this year’s line-up:

Special Releases 2019 Collection

Cardhu 14-Year-Old: Smooth and generous, a small batch double matured for two years in Amontillado sherry-seasoned hogsheads

Cragganmore 12-Year-Old: An unusual smoky expression of a Speyside classic, never released before, matured in refill American oak casks

Dalwhinnie 30-Year-Old: Extra-mature & gentle highland malt with rich flavours from over thirty years of maturation in refill hogsheads and butts

Lagavulin 12-Year-Old: Powerful & peaty, the king of Islay, a small batch of Lagavulin matured in refill American oak casks

Mortlach 26-Year-Old: Rich & bold, a small batch of ‘ The Beast of Dufftown’ matured in first-fill Pedro Ximenez/Oloroso-seasoned casks

Pittyvaich 29-Year-Old: A 1989 ghost, double matured in Pedro Ximenez & Oloroso sherry seasoned casks

Talisker 15-Year-Old: Rugged & smoky, made by the sea, the first ever release of Talisker as a 15 year old, matured only in freshly charred American oak hogshead

The Singleton of Glen Ord 18-Year-Old: A previously unreleased expression of lively rich fruit & spiced oak matured in freshly charred American oak hogshead