The Manager’s Choice

Manager's ChoiceThey are out! It’s official. There will be a total of 27 (one from each distillery) over the next year or so. The first batch of six (see the picture) should be available any day now from good retailers.

And now the funny bit. The pricing. Check out what is being asked for the first lot:

1997 Cardhu Managers’ Choice Bottling. Distilled: 1997- Bottled: 2009 57.3% Limited Edition – £250

1998 Glen Elgin Managers’ Choice Bottling. Distilled: 1998- Bottled: 2009. 61.1% Limited Edition – £250

1996 Linkwood Managers’ Choice Bottling. Distilled: 1996- Bottled: 2009. 58.3% Limited Edition- £200

1997 Mortlach Managers’ Choice Bottling. Distilled: 1996- Bottled: 2009. 57.3% Limited Edition- £250

2000 Oban Managers’ Choice Bottling. Distilled: 2000- Bottled: 2009. 58.7% Limited Edition – £300

1996 Teaninich Managers’ Choice Bottling Distilled: 1996- Bottled: 2009. 55.3% Limited Edition – £200

That is all very nice. I’m sure collectors are weeping tears of blood. I was considering a bank loan for a while but when my Royal Bank of Scotland branch manager heard word ‘whisky’ it suddenly appeared I was not eligible. I was kind of relieved… but check out this beauty…


Press Release from Diageo:

Diageo has announced the launch of its first single-cask collection of single malt Scotch whiskies.

This is the first time that Scotland’s biggest estate of single malt distilleries has issued a comprehensive series of single-cask bottlings.

Labelled The Managers’ Choice, the rare limited-edition series is aimed at collectors and connoisseurs who will enjoy owning and exploring an unusual expression of their favourite single malt or even a whole anthology of highly individual single malts, chosen to represent each of 27 distilleries’ distinctive but authentic whisky signature.

The releases are being staged in batches over the next year. September 2009 sees the first release of six malts:

Cardhu™ distilled 1997 – 252 bottles
Glen Elgin™ distilled 1998 – 534 bottles
Linkwood™ distilled 1996 – 480 bottles
Mortlach™ distilled 1997 – 240 bottles
Oban™ distilled 2000 – 534 bottles
Teaninich™ distilled 1996 – 246 bottles

Full press release available here for download along with pack shots and images capturing aspects of the selection process. Full press release also has price details along with quote from spokesman Nick Morgan.

Each distillery is represented in The Managers’ Choice by a bottling of its single malt whisky drawn from one single cask, selected after a careful examination of distillery stocks. The cask was nosed, tasted, discussed and finally chosen as the most distinctive expression of that distillery’s single malts by a judging panel of acknowledged experts, including leading maturation experts and the distillery managers themselves.

The single cask challenge

Diageo whisky specialist Craig Wallace (see full interview and pictures) explained the challenge of selecting a single cask for a bottling that will be made available to a discerning and knowledgeable consumer audience:

“When you’re selecting casks for a bigger bottling, you can work with a wider variation of maturity, distillery character and wood influence because you can even it out and aim for consistency. But when you are bottling a single cask, you can’t do that: you have to get the balance totally right when selecting the cask. And it’s highly unlikely, whatever single cask you choose this time, that you’d ever be able to replicate that precise flavour profile the next time you look for one. So finding a single cask with just the right balance is actually very challenging.”

Full details, including tasting notes, are displayed on the Classic Malts Selection website. The new website content (available from 4 September) includes the story of The Managers’ Choice and the selection process, a “Meet the Managers” page where they talk about The Managers Choice collection & questions related to the world of whisky, whisky tasting notes & audio, Q&A with a Sensory Expert, and details of where to buy the whiskies.

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