‘The Twelve’ By Casks of Distinction Marks a New Era for Diageo’s Cask Programme

'The Twelve' By Casks of Distinction Marks a New Era for Diageo's Cask Programme

A selection of historic casks from one of the whisky industry’s most diverse cask programmes is being revealed for the first time. ‘The Twelve’ by Casks of Distinction represents the pinnacle of the rarest and most exceptional whiskies from Diageo’s stocks. It is an opportunity to become part of the craft and legacy of Scotch whisky.

Drawn from Diageo’s stocks distilled across the country, twelve Scotch whisky casks have been put forward by Diageo’s master whisky makers for this unique showcase that is by nature never to be repeated or created again. Now, for the first time, these casks will be exclusively revealed.

‘The Twelve’ by Casks of Distinction will be unveiled at exclusive showcases worldwide in Autumn 2023 to selected individuals at private tasting ceremonies in global locations, including Singapore, London and New York.

Attendance at the presentation of ‘The Twelve’ by Casks of Distinction is by invitation only, with this highly exclusive occasion being the chance to become part of a unique, global community of whisky aficionados. Guests will have the opportunity to taste some of the liquids that make up The Twelve, appreciating the crafting of such exceptional expressions from the experts.

A man selecting the casks in the cellars

Using the expertise of the master whisky makers, twelve casks were selected, which they deemed naturally came into their own this year and gave a varied but considered reflection of everything that the Casks of Distinction can offer.

These are casks that reflect the nature of the programme, entirely unique, distilled on a single day many decades ago, and representative of a captured moment in that distillery’s lifetime.

Hand curated by a team of experts out of millions of casks, some of the exceptional whiskies revealed include a Linkwood from 1990, ranked Top Class by blenders worldwide and a Blair Athol from 1993, matured in ex-sherry casks.

The gold star signifying the barrels excellenceRepresenting some of the oldest whiskies amongst The Twelve, a 43-year-old Talisker, extraordinarily vigorous for its age, and a 49-year-old Port Dundas, distilled at one of the most respected distilleries in Scotland, will be presented.

Dr Craig Wilson, one of the master whisky makers behind Casks of Distinction, said, “The team dedicates more than 4,200 hours a year to sourcing, tasting, and assessing casks for the necessary qualities and character to become a Cask of Distinction. This is a very special moment to unveil some of the world’s most exceptional whisky, representing twelve exceptional expressions from twelve unique casks.”

Diageo’s Casks of Distinction programme offers direct access to the largest reserve of rare spirits in the world and allows clients the opportunity to own a fully mature cask of exceptional quality whisky sourced directly from a range of some of Scotland’s most historic distilleries.

Global Private Client Director James Mackay said, “Established in 2017, Casks of Distinction is a whisky experience like no other. Standing as one of the longest-running cask ownership programmes of its kind in the world, it offers a near peerless diversity and range of rare and exceptional single casks whiskies directly from Diageo-owned distilleries.

The casks that are selected for the programme have long remained a privilege of only a few, but now, for the first time, we are unveiling twelve timeless opportunities in a first-of-its-kind annual showcase.”

Once part of the Cask of Distinction programme, you gain exclusive access to a host of benefits as well as being part of a unique, global community of whisky connoisseurs and collectors. These benefits include access to the home of Casks of Distinction in Royal Deeside to visit and appreciate their cask during the optional additional maturation period for up to another five years.

The owner will also have access to a team that can develop a variety of tailored experiences made available at the distilleries their casks originally hail from.

A closeup view of the lid of the Brora cask

In 2022, two of the rarest and most valuable casks of Single Malt Scotch Whisky in existence, selected as part of the Casks of Distinction programme, were sold at Sotheby’s for over $ 1 million each.

Sourced directly from the dwindling original ‘ghost’ stocks of the iconic distilleries Brora and Port Ellen, each was auctioned with the opportunity to collaborate on a commission with internationally acclaimed artists Ini Archibong and Trey Ratcliff, creating one-off pieces that reflect the distilleries and their whisky.

To find out more about the Casks of Distinction programme and to enquire about Diageo’s private client services, visit www.diageorareandexceptional.com.

One of the casks sat in heather in a forest'The Twelve' By Casks of Distinction Marks a New Era for Diageo's Cask Programme 2

Editorial Team

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