From a budget-friendly island whisky and to a historic dram from Macallan, there's many new whiskies to enjoy. As well as this, we've also seen a few new expressions released from well established names.
Here we take a look at a range of new whiskies to enjoy as we wave goodbye to 2022.
Just in time for Christmas, Lidl GB has unveiled a Ben Bracken, 19-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (70cl, 43% ABV) for only £39.99.
Lidl last released its Islay Ben Bracken (and 18 year old) in November 2021, and it proved to be a sell out success.
This year, Lochlea released two expressions as part of their annual limited edition series,‘Sowing Edition’ (First Crop) which launched in March and ‘Harvest Edition’ which launched in September, priced at £50 each.
Lochlea ‘Harvest Edition’ (First Crop) is inspired by the busy harvest season on Lochlea Farm, when the barley is ready to be harvested and eventually used for next year’s whisky.
Sowing Edition followed Lochlea’s inaugural whisky, which launched on Burns Night earlier this year and sold out within 24 hours.
Rosebank Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky this year launched a rare bottling drawn from casks that were salvaged before the distillery’s untimely closure in the early 1990s.
The 31 Year Old is comprised of scarce stocks from just before the Falkirk site was mothballed in ‘93. It’s Rosebank’s second global launch since being purchased by Ian Macleod Distillers and bottles of this rare whisky are priced at £1,800 (70cl).
In July, Isle of Arran Distillers announced their highly anticipated Inaugural Limited Edition Single Malt release from Lagg Distillery - a new heavily peated whisky distillery, located on the southern tip of the picturesque Isle of Arran.
Lagg Single Malt was released from August 2022 in three separate limited-edition batches. The whisky is described as robust, complex, and earthy with “west coast” style and brings a contemporary twist to traditional methods of producing peated whisky on Arran.
Lagg Distillery is the sister of independently owned Lochranza Distillery which was established at the north end of the island in 1995.
This absolute powerhouse of a distillery continues to push the boundaries with its experimental series and has just launched Glenfiddich Orchard Experiment.
Here, the whisky is finished in Somerset Pomona spirit casks. It sounds ideal for summer or autumnal cocktails, and is £42 from Sainsbury’s.
Loch Lomond Whiskies recently unveiled a rare 46 Year Old single malt whisky, marking the second release in its Remarkable Stills Series.
Created in homage to the distillery’s unique straight-neck stills, the collection of limited edition single malt whiskies celebrates the alchemy and engineering of Loch Lomond’s whisky-making process.
First distilled in 1974, Loch Lomond 46 Year Old has matured in American oak casks for 44 years, followed by two years in a combination of first fill Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks.
The unpeated single malt whisky has been bottled at a strength of 45.3% ABV. Limited to just 200 bottles globally, and with an RRP of £4,500, this is one for serious whisky fans with a big budget. Available from the Whisky Exchange here.
Ardcore has been created with roasted black malt – an unconventional choice, and a first for Ardbeg. Described by Dr Bill Lumsden as tasting ‘like biting on a spiky ball’, this devilishly delicious dram is one for the ages.
Inspired by the devil-may-care attitude of Ardbeg’s fans, this dram is bottled for them.
Earlier this year, The Balvenie distillery unveiled French Oak 16 Year Old, a new cask finished whisky to feature in the Flavours of The Balvenie range. The new expression explores Pineau from the French Charentes vineyards, marking the first use of French Oak in the distillery’s 129-year history.
Maturing for 16 years in traditional American Oak whisky barrels to develop the distillery's distinct notes of warm honey, the expression is then finished in Pineau French Oak casks which give a sweetness with notes of grapefruit, geranium, glazed fruit, and ginger.
Another announcement this year was the release of the first expression to be released in the Craigellachie Cask Collection, Craigellachie 13 Years Old Armagnac Cask Finish.
The team say that by finishing in former French Bas Armagnac barrels, the Craigellachie's weighty style has been softly rounded. Tasting notes include warm,baked apples, dusted with heady cinnamon, rich flavours of caramel shortcake, syrupy pineapples and fiery bonfire night aromas.
In March, Campbeltown-based distillery, Glen Scotia, unveiled its oldest and rarest limited-edition liquid to date, a 46-year-old single malt Scotch whisky with only 150 individually numbered bottles available worldwide.
In February John Crabbie & Co announced the inaugural release from its Chain Pier Distillery in Edinburgh, with just 234 bottles entering the market.
The first Single Malt to be produced in Edinburgh for almost 100 years, Chain Pier Single Malt will be the first release from the Granton-based site, which was set up by Halewood Artisanal Spirits as an experimental pilot distillery whilst the larger Bonnington distillery for Crabbie Whisky was still under construction.
Matured in heavily charred virgin oak casks and bottled at 57%, the Chain Pier Single Malt is light and fruity on the nose with hints of berries, forest fruits and green apples, boasting rich caramel and sweet malt and ginger spice on the palate, rounded off with a long, sweet and spicy finish.
Back in February Macallan released an 81 year old whisky. This historic whisky survived the Second World War, when The Macallan was compelled to close its doors for the first time and has been nurtured over generations.
This extraordinarily rare 81-year-old whisky was distilled in 1940 and is encased in a decanter created from mouth-blown glass, cradled on a bronze sculpture of three hands presenting three characters to tell the story of The Macallan’s legacy.
Only 288 decanters were available, priced at £92,000.
Last month, Glen Moray released three new treasures from its award-winning Warehouse 1 Collection, each celebrating the marriage of its classic Speyside single malt with European wine and sherry varieties.
This trio is comprised of Amarone Finish which showcases Glen Moray’s affinity with the full-bodied red wines of Italy; Amontillado Finish, adventuring beyond the whisky’s classic sherry maturation with dryer, deeper, richer notes; and Oloroso Fully Matured, Glen Moray spirit rested for eight years in Oloroso casks to release the rich, sweet notes of this characterful sherry.
Glenmorangie A Tale of the Forest is the distillery’s first whisky ever crafted from barley kilned with woodland botanicals.
Glenmorangie’s Director of Whisky Creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, was inspired to make this whisky by walks in the woods near his home.
Lumsden created its notes of pine, juniper and wood smoke by bringing back an ancient method of kilning barley with botanicals. Priced at £75, this whisky was released in September, with bottle and pack illustrations from Thai illustrator Pomme Chan.
Independent family-owned distillery Glenfarclas has released a limited-edition 50-year-old Highland single malt Scotch whisky, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of family member and chairman, John Grant first starting in the industry. The exciting new launch comes after winning ‘Distiller of the Year’ at the 2022 Icons Dinner.
Laid down during the tenure of John’s father, George Grant, the malt offers marzipan, almond and cedar wood on the nose, with a sweet and smoky hint giving way to stewed apples and dark chocolate. Glenfarclas 50-Year-Old can be purchased at a UK RRP of £9,000 via www.speysidewhisky.com and www.whiskyshopdufftown.com.
Following on from the sell out success of its previous two small batch releases which launched earlier this year, The Glasgow 1770 Innis & Gunn Golden Beer Cask Finish and Glasgow 1770 Tokaji Cask Finish are now available and have both been produced in the distillery’s unpeated single malt style.
One for the American football fans and listeners to the Stramash podcast, this limited edition whisky has been released to celebrate the 2022 NFL season, priced at £50.
Matured in American Oak barrels, this single malt whisky has a soft character with hints of fruit, honey and soft smoke.
In September, Old Pulteney announced the launch of The Coastal Series with Old Pulteney Pineau des Charentes.In new territory for the brand, Old Pulteney’s whisky is further matured in ex-Pineau des Charentes wine casks, carrying echoes of the sweet aperitif native to the Charente-Maritime region on the southwest coast of France.
With sweet and light notes of candied oranges, warm spices and creamy vanilla, the expression replicates the warmth of sunny days at the coast.
Presented in a gold gift box with an intricate illustration of the French coastline, the expression will retail at £75
Launched for this year’s Feis Ile, The 1989 Oloroso Cask Finish (45.4% ABV) was released in addition to three other limited-edition Fèis single malts which were unveiled by the Islay distillery.
Limited to just 286 bottles, the 1989 Oloroso Cask Finish is a limited release, unpeated single malt. This bottling is quintessentially Bunnahahbain in style, first matured in whisky refill casks in December 1989 and then finished for six years in Oloroso Sherry casks.
This year, Glengoyne Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has revealed the third expression of its award-winning legacy series. The Legacy Series: Chapter Three is the final instalment and continues to tell the unique stories of the people who have shaped the distillery over the last two centuries.
The Glengoyne Legacy Series: Chapter Three is the story of Sir Arthur John Tedder, an Excise Officer at the distillery. Sir Tedder is said to have pioneered the distillery’s ‘unhurried’ approach to whisky making, shaping the whisky as it’s known today.
The newest addition to Legacy Chapter Three, is available globally, as well as at the distillery shop and website priced at £69.99.
In 2022, The GlenAllachie Distillery added three new bottlings to their Virgin Oak Series; a limited-edition range which explores the influence of ageing whisky in a variety of different oak species from around the world.
The Virgin Oak Series showcases the expert cask sourcing and wood management skills of master distiller Billy Walker, who this year reaches a half-century as a blender and distiller in the Scotch Whisky industry. The collection includes a 10-year-old French Virgin Oak Finish. For this release Walker sourced casks made of French Oak (Quercus Robur) from the Haute-Garonne region, close to the Pyrenees.
The fine-grained, consistent wood was air dried for 15 months before being filled with the whisky. The result is a subtly sweet yet earthy malt.
The whisky is available now, priced at £61.99.
In January, The GlenDronach announced the limited release of its first-ever 50 Year Old Single Malt; the Highland Distillery’s oldest and rarest whisky to date.Distilled in 1971, this expression represents a milestone in the near two-hundred-year history of The GlenDronach Distillery.
The GlenDronach Aged 50 Years has spent five decades in rare Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks, from the Spanish bodegas of Jerez in Andalucía.