Cladach Diageo 2018 Special Release

Scotch Whisky Review #309: Cladach Diageo 2018 Special Release

Distillery: Blend of Caol Ila, Lagavulin, Oban, Talisker, Clynelish, and Inchgower.

Region: Blend.

Age: NAS.

ABV: 57.10%

Price: Sample courtesy of /u/bradbobaggins

Color: 1.3, Russet/Muscat.


Nose: (according to the wife) There’s a ton of lemon here up front and center. It’s lemon that’s been grilled over a charcoal grill. A bit of savory notes come in afterwards with smoked ham and charcoal grilled Pacific saury. Some pears slide in toward the back along with a bit of malt and sweet bread.

Palate: Tons of lemons again come through. There’s a note of malt that reminds me a lot of a tart crust as well. With some water, a lot of fruits come rolling out. Pears, apples, and lemons in droves along with some other notes of orchard fruits. There’s a hint of grilled seafood, which give this another dimension of flavor.

Finish: Fairly long in length. It starts with a nice charcoal smoke before going to set of fruity notes. Lemon tart comes through, with a nice rich lemon curd. You get some apples, pears, and Korean melon. A bit of maritime smoke comes through here, it’s a mix of mixed grilled seafood and a bit of charcoal grilled Pacific saury.


Conclusion: Diageo have come up with a fantastic representation of how good blends can be. This blended malt is full of flavor from start to finish. Lemons dominate the nose and the undiluted palate. A bit of water brings out a ton of other orchard fruits in droves. The bit of lemon tart toward the end is fantastic and has me wanting more. As great as these fruity notes are though, the real stars of the show are the charcoal grilled seafood notes. It is a bit subtle and I wish for more, but the notes add a really delicious and memorable element to what might have been another fruity dram. If those notes were dialed up a bit, not so much that they drown out everything else, this would be nearing perfection. As it is, it is still fantastic and I’m wishing for more.

Final Score: 88

Scotch Whisky Review #309, Blended Malt Review #10, Whisky Network Review #451


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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