Another year has passed, meaning we’re faced with the latest special releases from spirit giant Diageo. For those unaware, this is the annual selection where the company puts together several limited releases from its treasure trove of maturing casks and releases them onto an eager whisky consuming public.
The only justification for the Lagaulvin would be if this was a one-off, never to be repeated or bettered age. That isn’t stated and nor should this omission come as a surprise. If this sells well with its intended market, then more will follow as the mark-up here is enormous. Confirmation is also lacking regarding the last stocks of Brora and Port Ellen, which in my eyes would be the only justification for such a level of pricing. Unless that follows shortly afterwards (perhaps if sales fail to materialise) then 2014 will see more of the same.
Whisky is an international phenomenon now and those cash rich areas of the Far East and Russia are potentially where Diageo are pitching the high-end of the 2013 collection. I have been fortunate to have a couple of releases over the past few years including the last 2 Brora’s. The 2013 edition is not justified at this new pricing level level and noting both the 2011 & 2012’s can be picked up at auction for around £400-£500 each, well do the maths. The 2012 is the same age as the 2013 Brora but almost half the number of this pending edition, which appears to be another contradiction of logic. In theory it should be stuck on the shelves for some retailers into 2014, then again, the market is king so let us see whether those instant sell-outs of previous years are replicated. I’m sure the usual suspects will be lined up for tasting events and overly positive reviews for their samples.