The Classic Malts Selection houses some of the finest Single Malt Scotch Whiskies in the world. Each one is a little masterpiece, the sum of generations of skills and knowledge, their distillery’s character and the Master Blender’s choice of cask wood. So, what would happen if you tried to improve on something so well crafted? The answer is the Distillers Edition.
They’ve been winning awards and life-long fans since 1997, and the 2015 batch is no exception. The secret to their popularity is a second maturation in specially prepared casks – you’ll know if you’ve had a nose around our Whisky Guide, the time whisky spends in contact with the wood, and the type of wood, along with the distillery’s character, is what gives us the final flavour.
In the case of the Distillers Edition, the second maturation takes place in casks, which have previously held fortified wine. Each wine is specially chosen to complement the character of one Single Malt Scotch Whisky. And because each cask is different, no two batches of Distillers Edition are the same.
Each combination of wine, wood and whisky yields fresh, exciting flavours. In some cases, the result is balance. For example, Caol Ila takes a deeper, richly fruity and more complex sweetness from Moscatel wood, a counterweight to the signature fresh, scrubbed-clean, smoky flavours of the distillery character.
Similarly, the Talisker Distillers Edition sees the Amoroso cask wood complement with its sweetness the powerful, peaty, peppery character of the Skye distillery’s usual bottling – its rich fruit sweetness contributing to an altogether richer, rounder palate.
And, in the case of the Lagavulin Distillers Edition, the signature peat-rich, sweet and salty flavours are augmented with intense raisiny sweetness – as though the Pedro Ximenez cask wood were magically accentuating every existing component.
In others we see pairings made to create contrast. The signature malty sweetness, the dry sea-laced flavours of the regular Oban,are given a rich fruitiness from their time in contact with Montilla Fino cask wood in the Oban Distillers Edition.
In every one of the 2015 Distillers Edition, the nose is more forward, more assured. The palate, richer and sweeter. The result: a whisky of distinction.