Food & Drink

Review: Diageo Scotch Whisky Special Releases 2022

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Diageo’s Particular Releases — its most prized Scotch whiskies in restricted run codecs — are right here for 2022. And when you can attempt to ignore the insane messaging — with taglines like “the enchantress of the ruby solstice” — and the out-there bottle paintings, you actually can’t ignore what’s in these bottles — all hitting the cabinets at cask power. Able to dive in to a different spherical with these rarities? Right here we go.

(Observe: The costliest of the releases this 12 months? $360… a far cry from the parade of four-figure bottlings we’ve seen previously.)

Lagavulin 12 Years Previous Restricted Version 2022 – If there’s one factor you may rely on, it’s one other 12 months with cask power Lagavulin 12, this one matured in bourbon and virgin oak casks. Although claims of being drawn from its “smokiest reserves” are made, that is truly a reasonably supple, balanced expression of Lagavulin. Peat and iodine paved the way on nostril and palate to light-handed fruit — pear, spiced apple, and, ultimately, Earl Gray tea. Water is transformative right here, letting the salt and fruity sweetness meld extra clearly, and well-tempering the bonfire smoke and medicinal notes on the end. 114.6 proof. B+ / $150 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

Talisker 11 Years Previous Restricted Version 2022 – A reasonably normal expression of Talisker, with 11 years in first-fill bourbon barrels. Boldly salty and reasonably smoky on the nostril, this ashy dram has loads of Talisker hallmarks, together with a kipper and iodine punch that turns into slightly pungent with time in glass. Sea spray and a squeeze of lemon are immersive on the palate, giving issues a gritty, rustic texture. It’s very a lot a traditional Talisker development by means of and thru, simply at a a lot increased abv, which doesn’t do all that a lot to alter the sport. Water solely muddies the story. For Talisker purists solely. 110.2 proof. B- / $145 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

Clynelish 12 Years Previous Restricted Version 2022 – Completed in a oloroso and PX casks, this launch from the distant Highlands distillery kicks off with huge spice, pepper, and sherry notes, adopted up with hazelnut and, curiously, some anise seen. A slightly inexperienced, burly spirit, the palate has tons occurring — citrus, pungent char, pepper, and an almond word all of sudden. All of it comes throughout as slightly scattered, however water is useful at taming the beast, no less than a bit, coaxing out a milder citrus character and a few blossom notes. The florals get barely soapy on the end, nevertheless it’s by no means off-putting. All advised, it’s high quality, however higher and extra attention-grabbing expressions are available on this assortment. 117 proof. B / $235 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

The Singleton of Glen Ord 15 Years Previous Restricted Version 2022 – Eight of the 15 years of this whisky’s growing older are spent in pink wine casks, giving it a distinctly distinctive disposition. Savory up entrance, the nostril is dense and nutty and evenly peppery because it haltingly provides solution to these inevitable, tannic pink wine notes, thick with each oak and grape skins. It’s equally intense on the palate, showcasing mild notes of roast beef earlier than shifting right into a slick spice invoice, cloves and nutmeg informing a lush, brown buttery character. Warming and evenly peppery on the end, however oh so tantalizing from begin to end. By no means seen a Glen Ord like this, that’s for positive. 108.4 proof. A / $155 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

Cardhu 16 Years Previous Restricted Version 2022 – Completed in a Jamaican rum cask, which appears to be a primary for a comparatively sleepy distillery like Cardhu. The anticipated bump of sweetness is welcome right here, offering a nostril of toffee and banana, nearly tiki-like at occasions, balanced with some earthiness, then notes of mandarin orange. It’s decidedly extra advanced on the nostril than the standard Cardhu expression, and the palate is equally enjoyable, showcasing wealthy fruit notes — each citrus and apple — some bitter orange peel (nearly sherry-like), and one thing of a hogo character because it builds within the glass. Cardhu tends to be aggressive, and this whisky is not any exception, although the rum meets it head-on and engages with it, making a surprisingly elevated, differentiated expertise with notes of baking spice, well-toasted oak, and flambeed banana late within the sport. Powerful and biting but gloriously immersive on the end, I maintain considering that is one thing I ought to float in a Zombie, have been it not such a rarity. 116 proof. A- / $290 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

Oban 10 Years Previous Restricted Version 2022 – Matured in refill and new American oak, then completed in sherry (presumably oloroso) and Amontillado seasoned casks. Pleasant notes of citrus kick off the nostril in a manner that feels distinctly un-Obanlike however which is nonetheless participating by means of and thru, although components of sesame and that traditional Oban word of sea spray and coal mud supply a well-known shoulder to lean on. On the palate, the formulation is reversed. Malt and a mild smokiness paved the way to notes of spiced apple, sharper pink fruits, and ultimately some sea spray salting up the end and evoking a beachfront campfire off within the distance. It’s easy however laser-focused on its most lovable components — and it’s a type of whiskies the place a 50ml pattern simply doesn’t do it justice. 114.2 proof. A / $145 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

Cameron Bridge 26 Years Previous Restricted Version 2022 – This single grain comes from the most important grain distillery in Europe, and arguably the oldest. There aren’t any massive mysteries right here, kicking off with that traditional honey-sweet nostril that evokes lemon peel, overripe fruit, and a wholesome pinch of chimney soot. I’ve by no means been an enormous single grain fan, and this launch comes throughout as very acquainted — seeming far younger than its quarter-century of age would recommend. Greater than somewhat gummy on the palate, with a lot of ultra-sweet fruit, marshmallow creme, and toasted grains in a swizzle. Unusually sizzling on the end, with one thing of a burnt word to it. Aka Cameronbridge. 112.4 proof. B / $360 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

Cameron Bridge 26 Years Previous Restricted Version 2022




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