Is it me or was the general interest in the Special Releases a bit lower in 2017? Sure, there’s always a list of ‘industry bloggers’ working their way through press samples, but other than that?
There was one release in particular that I wanted to try, or rather that I wanted to pay money for: the unconventional Collectivum XXVIII, a blend of all 28 operational malt whisky distilleries owned by Diageo: Auchroisk, Benrinnes, Blair Athol, Caol Ila, Cardhu, Clynelish, Cragganmore, Dailuaine, Dalwhinnie, Dufftown, Glendullan, Glen Elgin, Glenkinchie, Glenlossie, Glen Ord, Glen Spey, Inchgower, Knockando, Lagavulin, Linkwood, Mannochmore, Mortlach, Oban, Roseisle, Royal Lochnagar, Strathmill, Talisker and Teaninich.
Collectivum XXVIII (57,3%, OB 2017)
Nose: surprisingly waxy. Also pears and peaches, cinnamon and ginger. Some honey and vanilla. Whiffs of freshly sawn oak and hay. Something of a musty cellar and very light peat in the background. Grilled pineapple. Pleasantly complex and aromatic, I even think the nose shows similarities to the latest Brora releases.
Mouth: starts on apples and golden raisins, quickly moving towards lightly bitter herbs (aniseed, clove), zesty citrus and ginger. The peatiness is stronger now, as are the earthy wood spices, overall a bit of an old Highlands profile. Walnuts. Still hints of paraffin, a little pepper.
Finish: medium long, on dry spices, lemon zest, liquorice and nuts.
This is not a middle-of-the-road blend, with a decent amount of sharpness, waxiness and spices. We can only assume some Highlands distilleries like Clynelish had more to say than others. A success. Available from Master of Malt for instance.