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Tasting the Diageo 2011 Special Releases

by Michael Orson     21. October 2011 10:14

Last night played host to one of the biggest events in the whisky calendar: the launch of the Diageo Special Releases. This annually released selection showcases the very best whiskies in the global drinks giant’s unrivalled arsenal, including massive crowd pleasers like Lagavulin, Caol Ila, and the legendary Port Ellen.

Unlike Ben, who’s off doing some ‘real work’ in the form of running the Cocktail bar at the Movember Launch Party for 750 people, then doing a sampling of our new Movember Whisky until the small hours, I’ve been lucky enough to sit in a lovely warm room, with lovely warm people, drinking delicious and exclusive whiskies all evening. Also I spend too much on male grooming products and have a penchant for singing about my feelings. I’m also not very competent at sending through images by e-mail, and am currently asleep in my bed, like the weaksauce young man that I am, and hence uncontactable by phone so you’ll notice that the images herein are stock images from Diageo’s Powerpoint presentation. Sorry about that. This paragraph may or may not have been written by me. More...

Diageo 2011 Special Releases

by Master of Malt     8. September 2011 17:03

We’ve been sitting on this one for a few days now, ever since the email from Diageo arrived. In fact, this has been under strict embargo until today! You guessed it folks, Diageo’s 2011 Special Releases!

Every year, the Special Releases mark a particular highlight for us, as the global drinks giant showcases the very crème de la crème of its extensive inventory. This year sees some sure-to-be-stunners, including a 21 year old Rosebank, a 20 year old Port Dundas, and a 40 year old Glenury Royal, not to mention crowd pleasers like the Caol Ila Unpeated, Port Ellen, Brora, and cask strength Lagavulin. Here’s a brief synopsis of what’s to come, starting with our favourite from last year, the Brora… More...

Feis Ile - The Islay Whisky Festival 2011 – Part Four

by Master of Malt     26. May 2011 15:49

After a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, black pudding, white pudding and potato scones, we left the cottage for Bowmore. There were only 100 bottles of Bowmore’s official 2011 Feis Ile bottling, so we didn’t worry about turning up too early; there was literally no hope of picking one up. In fact, the die-hards had been camped out since the wee hours for a prized bottle. It begs the question why they didn’t simply make more. Oh well. More...

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Feis Ile - The Islay Whisky Festival 2011 – Part Two

by Master of Malt     24. May 2011 14:50

Well, as we write this post we’re basking in the warm glow of the candelabra, and the unforgiving light of a laptop screen, which is down to its last 20% of battery life. That’s right, there’s been a powercut. Just like the story of the optimist and the pessimist… The pessimist says: “this is terrible, it can’t possibly get any worse!” the optimist says: “oh yes it can…”


Right now it’s cold, dark, damp and miserable outside, but we’re soldiering on.


Today began promisingly, with Caol Ila’s open day, though the weather was not on our side. We parked on a grassy hill in force 10 gales, and were gracefully ushered to the distillery bus by what felt like a hurricane. We then drove down to the Caol Ila distillery, the most remote on the island.

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