This whisky is made from 28 different single malts

Diageo’s annual Special Releases series started as a single-malt showcase and has never included a blended whisky — until now.

By Tony Sachs 07/11/2017

Diageo’s annual Special Releases series started out in 2001 as a single-malt showcase, featuring rare limited editions from Diageo-owned distilleries. Over the years, the brand has included a few grain whiskies and no-age-statement malts, but it has never included a blended whisky in the series — until now.

Collectivum XXVIII (US$200 ($A260)) is no ordinary blend. It includes whiskies from all 28 of Diageo’s active distilleries, among them Lagavulin, Cardhu, Mortlach, and Talisker. Stylistically and geographically, the whiskies come from all over the map, hailing from the Highlands to the Lowlands — from smoky, peaty Islay to sweet, gentle Speyside. To alchemise so many disparate drams into a unified, singular whisky takes a talented blender — or in this case, a team of blenders overseen by Diageo’s Nick Morgan.

Collectivum is a blended malt — also known as a vatted malt — which means it exclusively uses single-malt whiskies without the lighter-grain whisky that’s a hallmark of almost all blends. It’s also bottled at cask strength (114.6 proof), which gives it more burn than a typical blend. It’s dry and on the tannic side with cinnamon spice at the fore, along with caramel, vanilla, almond, and a touch of tangy lemon. A splash of branch water works very well here, ramping up the sweetness and taming the spice just enough without dulling the overall flavor. The finish is long, dry, and just a touch smoky.

For fans of blends, this is a must-have. It just might convert naysayers, too. Right now, Collectivum is available exclusively in the UK, making it even more of a rarity in the U.S. The best way to have it shipped Stateside is through The Whisky Exchange.


Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

Jay-Z’s Champagne House Expanded By LVMH

Armand de Brignac will capitalise on Moët Hennessy’s vast international network.

By Rachel Cormack


The Macallan Teams With Legendary Pop Artist Peter Blake

Each 54-year-old features a bespoke collage created by Blake.

By Rachel Cormack


Kenzo Takada’s Art And Furniture Collection To Be Auctioned

The contents of the designer’s apartment in Paris, including homewares and clothes, will be auctioned by Artcurial in May.

By Joelle Diderich


Penfolds’ New Collection Blends Wine From Australia And California

With its groundbreaking “wines of the world” blends, Penfolds combines the best of Australia and California into singular new vintages.

By Janice O'leary


How To Tell If Your Keith Haring Is Fake

Below, the telltale signs the artwork may have an authentication issue, according to an expert.

By Richard Polsky


Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected