Here at The Plus Ones, we’re all about value – whether it’s a free party or tracking down liquid gold. In the latter case, that award to goes to Diageo’s Special Releases Collection arriving in Australia this month. Just to be clear – these whiskies aren’t cheap. But they carry with them the promise of savoring every drop from a bottle that will never be repeated. Or, if you can restrain yourself from opening these once-in-a-lifetime bottles, the potential for an investment. Which, let’s be honest, is a lot more interesting than scrimping on smashed avocado and dreaming of climbing the Melbourne property ladder.
The Special Releases Collection offers both intrigue and novelty. It features rare cask-strength whiskies aged for decades (some of which originated from now closed distilleries, known as ghost distilleries.)
A press release assures us ‘the collection is made for knowledgeable whisky fans and Scotch novices alike.’ However, we are compelled to give fair warning that if you taste this collection, there’s no going back. We learned this lesson personally on a recent visit to the Ghost of Alfred Felton Bar at the top of the Espy where we tasted the 2019 range. The setting proved to be an ideal location for drinking Scotch with a story, as the last rays of sunshine streamed through the seaside windows of the iconic building.
Many of the tasting notes embraced a vision of coastal Scotland – as ‘peaty pungency’ ‘freezing heat’ and ‘antique gold’ poured into our glasses. It’s no surprise our favourite drop of the night was The Cladach – a cask strength blended malt described as ‘the very essence of a coastal malt.’ Another standout was the debut of Inchgower, a 27 year old Scotch from a little know distillery in Speyside.
For many readers, this year’s release presents the opportunity to drink whisky that predates their birth. The Caol Ila 35 year old was distilled in 1982 on the Isle of Islay and is the oldest bottling every produced from the distiller. For those seeking something truly rare, Carsebridge is a 48 year old single grain whisky with only 1,000 bottles released for purchase.
Raise a glass and toast the taste of Scottish history with these rare and exceptional bottles.
Jenny S. is an event adventurer. When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sampling the latest craft beer or sipping a creative cocktail.
The Diageo Special Releases Collection is available for purchase in Whisky Specialist venues and stores from April, pending availability. For more information, visit www.malts.com