What makes Diageo Annual Special Editions so unique isn’t that they’re a collection of flashy rare bottles you’ve never seen before. On the contrary, what makes these whiskeys worth a try is that they are unique expressions from familiar distilleries, with old favorites like Lagavulin, Talisker and Oban usually featured. The 2022 version comes out this fall, consisting of seven bottles (eight for the UK market) that includes those aforementioned favorites, plus the addition of an aged single malt on the ‘special’ debut.
Diageo Master blender Dr. Craig Wilson is the mastermind behind the wines, grouping his cask-strength whiskeys (ranging from around 55% to 59% ABV) under a dodgy expressions label. The bottle labels feature artwork by illustrator Ken Taylor and digital visualization artist Kevin Tong, who draws his inspiration from mythical beasts. This isn’t entirely surprising given Diageo’s previous collaborations with HBO on Game of thronesseries inspired by single malt.
According to the brand, Wilson has a pretty big palette to work with (not to mention his delicate taste) that includes more than 30 distilleries and somewhere north of 10 million old barrels in warehouses all over Scotland. So yeah, that seems like enough whiskey to come up with something new every year that could be worth spending a few hundred dollars on. Note that price range, by the way. Instead of thousands per bottle, we’re talking price tags that peak at a few hundred dollars, though some will likely sell for more than that on the secondary market.
So let’s find out why you’re still reading: to find out what this whiskey is actually about.
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