- Brand: Collectivum XVIII
- ABV: 57.3%
- Batch: L7096DQ000
This was a sample of a mystery blended malt given to several of us by @fiddich1980 back in February. It was a fun exercise and this one seemed to divide all of us. I'm fairly certain I liked it more than anyone else did.
Collectivum XVIII is a blended malt that was released with the other Diageo Special Releases in 2017. It contains malt whisky from every single operational Diageo distillery (there are 28 of them, d'uh!), carries no age statement, and is bottled at 57.3% ABV.
The 28 distilleries are: 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.
Tasting no.1(February 16 2019) Neat from a Glencairn
- Nose: Sherry cask reminiscent of Highland Park, aggressively nippy nose at first, a bit of fudge, wet hay, cherries, walnuts, cinnamon, Tamdhu maybe. There's not really any smoke.
- Palate: hot arrival, sweet fudge and toffee reminiscent of Glenfarclas 105, syrupy, with a bit of herbal bitterness, rosemary maybe
- Finish: sherry, red fruit, sharp right until the end, herbal notes, a little bitterness, some very slight briny notes, Ben Nevis maybe?.
This one is interesting. I'd guess it's a slightly higher ABV offering (46% or higher). There are flavours here that are quite new to me. Best guess: Highland Park, Glenfarclas, Tamdhu, Ben Nevis Rating: 87/100
The reveal: Collectivium XXVIII by Diageo, bottle code L7096DQ000, at 57.3%
Tasting no. 2 (April 29 2019): Neat from a Highland whisky glass
- Nose (undiluted): dark cherries, slightly musty, old wood, herbal (eucalyptus), damp hay, walnuts
- Palate (undiluted): lovely rich texture, fruity and syrupy arrival like a fruit cocktail, more cherries
- Finish: sherry, red fruit, slightly herbal (rosemary), a bit of cinnamon
Didn’t really change much with water, except the fruit salad on the palate was a bit more like oranges and pineapples and less grapey. Very nice stuff. I think I enjoyed it a bit more on a “fresh” palate. My original rating was 87/100, now I’d rate it a touch higher, maybe 89/100 so perhaps I'll split the difference here. Maybe knowing how much this costs is swaying me, though I'd like to think it's not a factor.
What I liked best about this whisky was the balance between the sweet fruits on the nose and the drying vegetal notes (eucalyptus, rosemary) on the palate and finish. It's not necessarily a whisky I'd reach for all the time, but I'd be happy to accept a glass of it anytime. Complex, interesting, and more balanced than you would expect with 28 malts in the blend.