There is no definite answer to this. However, one thing for sure is that this is an era where whisky aficionados of all levels of income and expertise seek out for the rarest bottles of the world’s finest liquids be it for their own collection or even for investment. In fact, the trick to whisky investments, say experts, is to identify limited edition bottles that are likely to rise in price once sold out and as with most rare goods, reputation, scarcity and exclusivity are crucial .
While there are those who are often keen with investing in rare whiskies, there are also many who would be interested to build a valuable collection for themselves as they are captivated by the history, greatness, the exquisite taste and for celebrating good times too. Whisky lovers, collectors and investors alike can now look no further as the highly sought-after Diageo 2016 Special Releases at whisky auctions and collectibles which consist of rare and exquisite liquids have finally arrived in Malaysia!
The Diageo 2016 Special Releases is a series of small annual releases of limited editions which are usually natural cask strength single malts featuring very old and unusual bottlings from famous and closed distilleries. Exquisitely packaged by leading designers, the ten rare bottlings are not just hard to find and reassuringly expensive, they are truly special as they are often individually numbered, with only a few hundred or thousand bottles available worldwide.
In this collection, one of those that whisky lovers should eye for is the limited edition natural cask strength malt, Cragganmore FL hailing from Speyside, Scotland. It is the sixth distillery release of Cragganmore in this series that is beautifully structured and contemplative, which embodies a sweet nose and a wonderfully warm-yellow look as it shows off the dry distillery character to the full. Distilled at the Classic Malts Speyside distillery, there are only 4,932 bottles available worldwide and retails starting from RM 2,478.00.
The Linkwood 37 Year Old is only the second Special Release bottling and the first for eight years which is a rarely available single malt from the original distillers in Speyside. This natural cask strength single malt is from refill American oak hogsheads and refill European Oak butts creating a full gold liquid that is both elegant and stylish; the epitome of Speyside’s finesse with only 6,116 individually numbered bottles worldwide, making it not only a rare liquid, but also a rare bottling. With its retail price starting from RM 3,716.00, it is a more premium investment for your scotch repertoire and a well-rewarded one from first sight.
Hailed from a closed distillery at Brora on the Sutherland coast, the Brora 38 Year Old is the oldest Brora that is bottled in the series. The superb, well-balanced outstanding single malt is robust with breezy maritime notes on the nose, yet showing an easy charm, self-assured and approachable, retaining the distillery’s character even at this advanced age. This is a much sought-after single malt, having to annually allocate the available bottles on a yearly basis to extend its availability. There are only 2,984 individual bottles available worldwide for this series starting from RM 8,980.00, though stocks are continuously depleting.
One of the rarest in the Diageo 2016 Special Releases collection is the highly sought after Port Ellen 37 Year Old. Not only does this vastly rare polished teak liquid hails from the now closed Port Ellen distillery in the Isle of Islay, annual allocation for this irreplaceable malt will only be available for a little while longer. With prices starting from RM 15,482.00, there are only 2,940 individually bottles that of this oldest whisky that Port Ellen ever released available worldwide and it is unsurprisingly the most expensive Special Release yet.
Another limited edition of the natural cask strength single malt from the Islay is the Caol Ila 15 Year Old – the 11th limited release of unpeated Caol Ila. This unusual and rare unpeated cask strength is the first in its series to come from the new millennium which was distilled in year 2000. This one-of-a kind complex and light expression faithfully displays the make’s typical youthful and vibrant DNA as it marries their glorious fruit and hints of smoke and the sea with smooth mature tannins. It has limited availability worldwide and its starting price is from RM 552.00.
In 2016, Diageo celebrated 200 years of Lagavulin and to commemorate the bicentennial of greatness, the limited edition, which is never-to-be repeated bottling from the essential Islay distillery, Lagavulin 12 Year Old was released. This well-structured peaty pale-gold liquid which is truly a perfect introduction to the sheer excellence of the Special Releases is available at a price starting from RM 500.00.
The oldest in the line-up – the Cambus 40 Year Old which is also the oldest Cambus ever released by the original distillers which is now a closed distiller near Alloa – is the third single grain whisky to be bottled as a Special Release having been distilled in 1975. The highly approachable and very rewarding deep gold liquid is sold at a starting price from RM 4,645.00 and is packaged in 1,812 individually numbered bottles worldwide. What is more exquisite than the liquid is the ability to own such a matured scotch that is not only mouth-wateringly delicious, but also visibly beautiful.
Distilled at the Classic Malts Lowland distillery, Glenkinchie, the Glenkinchie 24 Year Old* is the oldest cask strength released to date in this series and the first from European Oak. The rich gold liquid is a lively limited edition single malt with only 5,928 individually bottles available worldwide. *Not available for purchase in Malaysia.
The Auchroisk 25 Year Old*, a single malt whisky is making its third appearance in the Diageo Special Releases, following a 20 year old in 2010 and a very good 30 year old in 2012. Matured in American oak hogheads and refill European oak butts, there are only 3,954 bottles which have been produced worldwide. *Not available for purchase in Malaysia.
Finally, the unusually rich Mannochmore 25 Year Old* in the Diageo 2016 Special Releases makes it a highly competent and self-assured disgestif at natural strength, yet reveals more complex depths with water. The liquid that is perfectly mature while retaining its distillery’s character that has only 3,954 individually numbered bottles available worldwide. *Not available for purchase in Malaysia.
With every rare and desired exceptional liquid from the Diageo 2016 Special Releases, we call on whisky lovers alike to not just embark on a collection of a lifetime, but to include these near-extinct scotch in your ever-growing collection. For purchase queries, kindly contact: email@example.com.
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across categories including Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness. Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. For information on responsible drinking, visit Diageo’s global resource www.DRINKiQ.com
 Warwick-Chung, L (2015, September 25) ‘How to invest in whisky’, <https://www.ft.com/content/a066332c-5acb-11e5-9846-de406ccb37f2>