This week has seen the release of the second phase of Diageo's 'Manager's Choice Single Cask Collection', which is an exclusive limited range of whiskies that are being released on four different dates. The idea for the range was that each of the managers of Diageo's 27 whisky distilleries in Scotland were asked to select just one cask from their maturing stock. This cask was to represent the definitive taste of their distillery's product and character. All are released at their natural cask strength. As each manager has only selected one cask, the number of bottles of each whisky is limited. This makes each one very rare and the prices reflect this (all are in the £200-300 bracket).
There was much discussion about the first release of the 'Manager's Choice Single Cask Collection' on blogs, websites and forums, with the majority focusing on the youthful ages and high prices. Due to the very limited nature of the releases, tasting notes and other information for the first release were scarce. There seems to be a similar story for this second release, with very few tasting notes around so far (check out Cask Strength for this, they have tried a couple of them). Information regarding the third and fourth phase releases is even sketchier.
Here, we have tried to gather as much information as we can about the 'Manager's Choice' series. The information for the first release can be seen on our original post, written last September - click here to read that article. For this second phase, we have included the RRP (recommended retail price) in the UK, the predominant cask that the whisky has been matured in, the alcoholic strength (ABV), the number of bottles available, plus the distilling and bottling dates. These all appear in brackets next to each whisky. For the third and fourth releases, we have still only been able to find the RRP to date, but plan to add more information when we can.
Release 2 - 11th January 2010
Blair Athol (£200/ex-sherry cask/57.4% ABV/570 bottles/distilled 1995, bottled 2009)
Cragganmore (£250/ex-sherry cask/59.7% ABV/564 bottles/distilled 1997, bottled 2009)
Dalwhinnie (£250/ex-bourbon cask/51% ABV/ 270 bottles/distilled 1992, bottled 2009)
Dufftown (£250/ex-bourbon cask/59.5% ABV/282 bottles/distilled 1997, bottled 2009)
Glen Spey (£200/new American oak cask/52% ABV/276 bottles/distilled 1996, bottled 2009)
Strathmill (£200/new American oak cask/60.1% ABV/300 bottles/distilled 1999, bottled 2009)
Talisker (£300/ex-sherry cask/58.6% ABV/582 bottles/distilled 1994, bottled 2009)
Release 3 - 4th March 2010
Caol Ila (£300), Dailuaine (£200), Glen Ord (£250), Glenkinchie (£250), Inchgower (£200), Mannochmore (£200), Royal Lochnagar (£250)
Release 4 - 4th June 2010
Auchroisk (£200), Benrinnes (£200), Clynelish (£250), Glendullan (£200), Glenlossie (£200), Knockando (£250), Lagavulin (£300)
There is also a rumour that Diageo may release a whisky from their new Roseisle distillery as part of this series. The whisky is still maturing to reach the legal age of three years and if true, this will be the first ever bottling of a single malt whisky from Roseisle.