As first noticed by Yoav of Whisky Gospel, some of Diageo’s Special Releases for 2016 have leaked. That’s very early compared to other years. Somewhere around August is more usual. The official press release usually arrives even later, in September or October, but luckily the American Alcohol & Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has a public registry, in which they publish whisky labels that have been approved by them.
Sku from Sku’s Recent Eats has been publishing interesting new releases from this database for years. He always posts a disclaimer, which I’ll reiterate here. It is important to keep in mind that the fact that a label appears on the TTB database does not necessarily mean it will be produced. In addition, some details on the label, such as proof, can change in the final product.
The first Special Releases that have popped up are mostly usual suspects. The new annual releases of Brora, Port Ellen, Caol Ila and Lagavulin. There’s also an Auchroisk. Twice before Diageo has released an Auchroisk as part of their Special Releases, in 2010 and 2012. Here’s the complete line-up so far.
- Auchroisk 25yo (51,2%, OB)
Matured in European and American oak casks.
- Port Ellen 1978 ‘16th Release’ (55,2%, OB)
- Caol Ila 15yo ‘Unpeated Style’ (61,5%, OB)
Matured in refill American and European oak casks. Tasting notes from the label include: “A clean and fresh style, bitter sweet warmth and salty edge. Intense sharp fruit and malty sweetness.”
- Brora 38yo (48,6%, OB)
- Lagavulin 12yo ‘Natural Cask Strength’ (57,7%, OB)
More labels might appear soon. If so, I’ll let you know.
UPDATE (22-06-2016): More labels now actually have appeared, some of them very interesting. Check out this post for more information.