Diageo Reveals Stellar 2017 Special Releases Lineup Early

Diageo’s annual Special Releases portfolio is always a show-stopper. The diverse lineup of cask strength single malts (and single grains) is filled with beautiful and exceedingly rare whiskies, often from shuttered distilleries such as the beloved Port Ellen, while also showcasing hidden gems from their vast whisky stocks.

Well, apparently instead of WikiLeaks, Diageo has been experiencing a bad case of WhiskyLeaks. So, their head of whisky outreach—and one of my favorite Doctors of Whisky—Dr. Nick Morgan took to email today to reveal the lineup.

The releases still won’t be available until this fall, but now you’ll know what to expect. Well, mostly. Here’s what Dr. Nick had to say:

“But you didn’t think we’d give it all away, did you? For those eagle eyed readers, you’ll have noticed there are only nine bottlings [below]. We’re keeping one in our back pocket as a surprise for you all later on this year.”

Here are the nine we know:

Blair Athol 23 year old

  • Distilled 1993 ABV 58.4%
  • Region: Highlands
  • Cask: Ex-Bodega European Oak Butts
  • No of bottles: 5,514

Brora 34 year old

  • Distilled: 1982 ABV 51.9%
  • Region: Coastal Highlands 
  • Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
  • No of bottles: 3,000

Caol Ila 18 year old

  • ABV 59.8%
  • Region: Islay
  • Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads

Convalmore 32 year old

  • Distilled: 1984 ABV 48.2%
  • Region: Speyside
  • Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
  • No of bottles: 3,972

Glen Elgin 18 year old

  • Distilled: 1998 ABV 54.8%
  • Region: Speyside
  • Cask: Ex-Bodega European Oak Butts
  • No of bottles: 5,352

Lagavulin 12 year old

  • ABV 56.5%
  • Region: Islay
  • Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads

Port Dundas 52 year old

  • Distilled: 1964 ABV 44.6
  • Region: Lowlands
  • Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
  • No of bottles: 752

Port Ellen 37 year old

  • Distilled: 1979 ABV 51%
  • Region: Islay
  • Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads & Refill American Oak Butts
  • No of bottles: 2,988

Teaninich 17 year old

  • Distilled: 1999 ABV: 55.9%
  • Region: Coastal Highlands 
  • Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads & Refill American Oak Barrels

Quick hitting thoughts: Port Ellen & Brora, hooray! 52 year old Port Dundas! And I’ll be eager to get to know some which I’m unacquainted with, like that 23 year old Blair Athol, almost twice the age of its standard release.

Stay tuned for more news on the 2017 Diageo Special Releases later in the year.

(The photo atop this page is of the 2016 Diageo Special Releases.)

Author: Jake Emen

I’m Jake, and I’m your host on this journey. I'm the man doing the eating and the talking around here. I’m a writer based outside of Washington, D.C., and I'm also talking whiskey, local events, travel, and other assorted misadventures. Follow me on the Tweet Machine - @ManTalkFood, or send an email to jake [at] mantalkfood.com.

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