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Diageo launch 3rd batch of single-cask malts

0909_managers.choice.jpg The releases are being staged over several months. The first batch was introduced in September 09, and a second colection in January 2010, now Scotland's biggest estate of single malt distilleries has issued a third batch. One more batch in May 2010 will follow to complete a comprehensive series of all 27 of Diageo's single malt Scotch whiskies Labelled The Managers' Choice, the rare limited-edition series is aimed at collectors and connoisseurs who will enjoy owning and exploring an unusual expression of their favourite single malt or even a whole anthology of highly individual single malts, chosen to represent each of 27 distilleries’ distinctive but authentic whisky signature. Among the seven expressions that feature in this third release are several single malts familiar to many malt whisky drinkers - Caol Ila, Glenkinchie, Glen Ord and Royal Lochnagar. But Dailuaine, Inchgower and Mannochmore normally enjoy only very limited availability. Each distillery is represented in The Managers’ Choice by a bottling of its single malt whisky drawn from one single cask, selected after a careful examination of distillery stocks. The cask was nosed, tasted, discussed and finally chosen as the most distinctive expression of that distillery’s single malts by a judging panel of acknowledged experts, including leading maturation experts and the distillery managers themselves. In many cases, unusual cask woods will have had their influence on the final result. Perfect maturation and spirit quality have been the criteria, resulting in a bottling that delights with original and sometimes unexpected flavours whilst allowing the distillery character to still shine through. Depending on the size of the cask and the rate of evaporation over the years since it was filled, the volume of bottles obtained can vary between approximately 600 and as little as 200.These are, consequently, extremely rare and distinctive whiskies. Once picked, each cask is bottled at its natural cask strength. Nothing is allowed to affect the natural taste and aromas of the whisky. This means that the liquid the connoisseur pours into his or her glass is exactly as it emerged directly from the cask when it was hand-picked a few months earlier by the experts - it's as good as a dram drawn from the cask in the warehouse itself. Diageo whisky specialist Craig Wallace explained the challenge of selecting a single cask for a bottling that will be made available to a discerning and knowledgeable consumer audience: “When you’re selecting casks for a bigger bottling, you can work with a wider variation of maturity, distillery character and wood influence because you can even it out and aim for consistency. But when you are bottling a single cask, you can't do that: you have to get the balance totally right when selecting the cask. And it's highly unlikely, whatever single cask you choose this time, that you'd ever be able to replicate that precise flavour profile the next time you look for one. So finding a single cask with just the right balance is actually very challenging.” Classic Malts Selection spokesperson Nick Morgan said:  “We have occasionally issued single-cask bottlings of individual single malt whiskies before, for instance for visitors to the annual Islay Festival. And single-cask bottlings of our malts can sometimes be obtained from independent bottlers. “But this is a much more ambitious venture – the most extensive collection we’ve ever released of single cask malt whisky bottlings, from 27 of our operational malt distilleries, involving both the well-known and those whose product isn’t widely available.   “Each individual distillery cask selected by the experts after an extensive examination has doubly earned its place in The Managers’ Choice, regardless of its age: because it faithfully illuminates that distillery's individual DNA, and also because it will offer the connoisseur a different, interesting and perhaps unexpected experience of that whisky.” Full details, including tasting notes, are displayed on the Classic Malts Selection website The new website content includes the story of The Managers’ Choice and the selection process, a “Meet the Managers” page where they talk about The Managers Choice collection & questions related to the world of whisky, whisky tasting notes & audio, Q&A with a Sensory Expert, and details of where to buy the whiskies. Whisky enthusiasts registered as Friends of the Classic Malts have been given advance notice of the launch. Diageo’s distilleries Diageo has 28 operational single malt whisky distilleries, but spirit distilled at Diageo’s new distillery at Roseisle is not available yet. Release details The single malt Scotch whiskies in the first release in The Managers’ Choice single cask selection are: SINGLE MALT No. of BOTTLES UK RRP Cardhu distilled 1997 252 £250 Glen Elgin distilled 1998 534 £250 Linkwood distilled 1996 480 £200 Mortlach distilled 1997 240 £250 Oban distilled 2000 534 £300 Teaninich distilled1996 246 £200 Blair Athol distilled 1995 570 £200 Cragganmore distilled 1997 246 £250 Dalwhinnie distilled 1992 247 £250 Dufftown distilled 1997 282 £200 Glen Spey distilled 1996 276 £200 Strathmill distilled 1996 300 £200 Talisker distilled 1994 582 £300 Caol Ila 1997 366 £300 Glen Ord 1997 204 £250 Glenkinchie 1992 528 £250 Inchgower 1993 564 £200 Mannochmore 1998 588 £200 Royal Lochnager 1994 528 £250 Dailuaine 1997 £200   Distribution The Managers’ Choice bottlings are available from specialist retailers in the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands only. About Diageo Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines. Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit  

1 September 2009 - Felicity Murray