The amount of limited-edition Scotch whisky released seems to grow with each passing year. This year saw a variety of bottlings from all of the major brands as well as smaller launches from less well known distilleries. The good news is that there are plenty of great liquids to choose from, but, unfortunately, as is always the case with limited edition Scotch whisky, there are never enough bottles to go around.
Below, we’ve put together a list of the 22 Best Limited-Edition Scotch Whisky Releases Of 2022. From Ardbeg and Macallan to Tamdhu, Dalmore, and Compass Box, the special bottlings are sure to brighten up any whisky lover’s day.
22 Best Limited-Edition Scotch Whisky Releases Of 2022
Ardbeg Fermutation ($200)
We love when punky, culty Ardbeg gets weird and what better way to celebrate their attitude than with this “unplanned experiment,” which was eventually launched as Ardbeg Fermutation. As the story goes, back in November 2007, the Ardbeg Distillery faced one of its greatest challenges. A broken boiler threatened the existence of six washbacks full of precious liquid. The team tried everything they could to get the boiler going, but to no avail. Ever the optimist, Dr Bill Lumsden (Ardbeg’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation) saw this conundrum as an opportunity to experiment. He instructed the workers to throw open the washback lids and expose the contents to the Islay air. Thus began a three week-long fermentation – the longest in Ardbeg’s history – which eventually gave rise to a wild, zingy and vibrant spirit.
The Balvenie French Oak 16 Year Old ($146)
Marking the first time the Speyside distillery used French oak in its 129-year history, The Balvenie French Oak 16 Year Old uses casks from Pineau des Charentes, a fortified wine made from fresh, unfermented grape juice or a blend of lightly fermented grape must, to which a Cognac eau-de-vie is added and then matured. This rich fruity wine is steeped in tradition and seldom found outside the region. 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 bringing to life velvety sweetness with notes of grapefruit, geranium, glazed fruit, and ginger.
Benriach Malting Season ($159.99)
The second edition of Benriach Malting Season was created with a unique process that brings out the wholesome, creamy flavor found in the distillery’s floor malted spirit. For this year’s edition, Master Blender Rachel Barrie selected Concerto barley (same as the first edition), and slightly increased the barrel strength – resulting in a slightly different flavor profile, thus making each annual edition a truly unique expression in its own right. Benriach is one of only seven distilleries in Scotland that continues the centuries-old tradition of floor malting method, which is a highly skilled process requiring the delicate and skilled hand of a team of dedicated craftspeople.
Bruichladdich Black Art 10 ($443)
A 1993 vintage release that was created using pre-renaissance casks from the distillery, the 29-year-old unpeated single malt matured exclusively on Islay for almost three decades. On the nose, the Bruichladdich Black Art 10 offers bright and fruity notes that develop into praline, cedar, and leather. The palate finds orange barley sugars, ginger nut biscuits, and lemon meringue pie with toasted oak bringing smooth chocolate and vanilla. The finish is smooth and velvety with notes of fudge arriving alongside subtle tobacco and a hint of ginger.
Cask 88 ‘The Book of Daemonologie’ ($116)
The Cask 88 ‘The Book of Daemonologie’ (from the Scottish Witchcraft Series) is a 13 Year Old Single Malt distilled at a secret Orkney distillery. It features a label which glows in the dark to reveal an illustration inspired by the Book of Daemonologie written by King James VI, from which the bottle takes its name. This whisky is available in a highly limited run of just 165 bottles.
Compass Box Ultramarine ($350)
Compass Box Ultramarine is the first in an ambitious and imaginative series called the Extinct Blends Quartet. The new collection pays homage to certain styles of Scotch from the past, with the first release taking its inspiration from a deluxe blended Scotch whisky first released in the late 1980s. The whisky features prominent aromas of toffee, vanilla, and toasted oak, with impressions of a peaty malt kiln. Leathery dried mango builds following the first sip with peat, roasted pecan, and raisin. Proceedings tend in a nuttier, spicier, and smokier direction with time.
Crabbie Chain Pier Single Malt ($88)
The first single malt to be produced in Edinburgh in nearly a century, Chain Pier Single Malt from John Crabbie & Co was matured in heavily charred virgin American oak casks. The resulting liquid offers notes of berries, forest fruits, and green apples on the nose, with rich caramel, sweet malt and ginger spice on the palate.
Dalmore 21 Year Old ($800)
The Dalmore 21 Year Old initially rests in American white oak, ex-bourbon barrels, and is then aged in rare casks sourced from Sherry makers Gonzalez Byass of Jerez, Spain. These casks were previously used within the solera system to produce The Dalmore’s 30 Year Old Matusalem Oloroso Sherry. On the nose, the whisky offers Seville oranges, bitter chocolate, Colombian coffee, and vanilla. The palate delivers sweet liquorice sticks, Black Forest fruits, roasted walnuts, and thick marzipan. The finish features peaches, ginseng, pear tarte tatin, and Sanguinello blood oranges.
GlenAllachie 21-year-old Cask Strength Batch 3 ($326)
Limited to just 2,400 bottles globally, Batch 3 follows in the footsteps of highly sought-after previous installments of the annual expression. The small-batch Scotch marries single malt matured in three vintage Pedro Ximénez Sherry puncheons. Each cask was personally selected and blended by Master Distiller Billy Walker. The Spanish Sherry casks imparted bold and complex flavor attributes, joining the distinctive heather honey character of The GlenAllachie’s house style.
GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 10 ($99.99)
Master Blender Rachel Barrie crafted the GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 10 from a marriage of Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks. By bottling at the whisky’s natural cask strength, whisky lovers get a deeper insight into the distillery’s signature character. Chestnut bronze in color, it offers aromas of mocha, apricot and baked orange chocolate cake, with roasted almond, walnut, and raisin on a base of aromatic toasted oak. The palate delivers richly spiced fruitcake with nectarine, dark cherry, and honeyed sultana raisins.
Glengoyne Legacy Series: Chapter Three ($83)
The Glengoyne Legacy Series: Chapter Three tells 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 Scotch as it’s known today. The whisky boasts a rich, fruity flavor profile, featuring notes of boozy raisins and spiced buns, slowly giving way to the silky caramel taste of Tarte Tatin and smooth cream sherry. The finish is light and fruity, which deepens with hints of pineapple, dried fruits, dark chocolate, and lingering spice.
Glenmorangie A Tale of the Forest ($85)
Following in the footsteps of last year’s A Tale of Winter and 2020’s A Tale of Cake, the latest narrative-stimulated release from the Highland whisky makers took inspiration from the woods near Dr Bill Lumsden’s home. Glenmorangie A Tale of the Forest is the brand’s first whisky crafted from barley kilned with woodland botanicals, in this case juniper berries, birch bark, and heather flowers.
Kilchoman Casado ($80)
Kilchoman Casado (Portuguese for marriage) is a limited edition bottling which was matured in fresh bourbon barrels for 6 years before 38 casks were selected and married together for two years in two 6,000 litre Portuguese red wine vats. On the nose, the whisky opens with intense campfire smoke balanced with ripe summer stone fruits; peach, plum, and cherry. Deep notes of marzipan become the focus combined with layered maritime notes. The red wine vatting brings pepper and spice on the first taste. Dry, salty peat smoke sits on the palate, yet fruit notes of apricot and lemon find their way through. The finish is long, which brings a hot, spicy character from the marriage in Portuguese red wine vats. Stewed, cooked fruit notes bring a sweet-jam profile providing an on-going sweetness that the classic Kilchoman smoke balances beautifully,
Laphroaig Càirdeas 2022 Warehouse 1 ($116)
One of the last whiskies created by former distillery manager John Campbell, Laphroaig Càirdeas 2022 was matured in first-fill Maker’s Mark bourbon casks, inside the distillery’s historic Warehouse 1. The warehouse gives its whiskies a distinct maritime flavor due to its exposure to the sea on the southern tip of Islay. On the nose, the whisky is peaty, sweet, and nutty with “medicinal” notes, featuring aromas of strong vanilla cake, fudge, heather-honey, golden syrup, walnuts, and nutmeg. The palate is full-bodied with powerful peat-reek and ashy notes of tar, which combine with sweet Manuka honey and burnt toffee. Oak spices, tannins, white pepper, plus dried herbs and flowers add an herbal touch. The finish is peaty and acidic with lingering herbal and spicy notes leading to a floral aftertaste.
Macallan Harmony Collection Inspired by Intense Arabica and Smooth Arabica ($185)
Macallan explored the connection between whisky and coffee with the second edition of its Harmony Collection, featuring The Macallan Harmony Collection Inspired by Intense Arabica and Smooth Arabica. The releases were inspired by the Ethiopian Arabica coffee bean and were created to pair with the drink.
Mortlach Midnight Malt 30 Years Old ($4,500)
Bottled at 49.1% ABV, Mortlach Midnight Malt was initially aged in refill American oak and European oak casks. The whisky was then split into three different seasoned casks: Bordeaux wine, Calvados, and Guatemalan rum. Finally, the liquid was married in custom quarter casks.
Nick Offerman Lagavulin Charred Oak Cask Aged 11 Year ($80)
Nick Offerman unveiled the Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch Whisky Charred Oak Cask Aged 11 Years, his third release with the Islay Scotch brand and the smokiest whisky yet from the collaborators. Aged in both American and European oak casks that are shaved down then heavily re-charred, the whisky is made to be paired with a well-barked, medium-rare steak.
Old Pulteney Pineau des Charentes ($89)
Old Pulteney launched the Coastal Series with its Pineau des Charentes bottling, bringing flavors of the French coastline to The Maritime Malt. In new territory for the brand, Old Pulteney’s whisky is further matured in ex-Pineau des Charentes wine casks, carrying echoes of the iconic, sweet aperitif native to the Charente-Maritime region on the southwest coast of France, and intertwining them with the flavors of the North that the brand is known for.
Rosebank 31 Year Old ($2,131)
Almost 30 years after being shuttered, Rosebank — once one of Scotland’s premiere Lowland whisky distilleries — is preparing to open its doors once again, and is whetting Scotch lovers’ appetites with the launch of a 31 Year Old whisky. The rare bottling was drawn from casks that were salvaged before the distillery’s closure in the early 1990s. Despite spending over three decades in casks, the Lowland single malt retains a bright and zesty nose, with hints of lime and lemongrass. This light, vibrant profile continues onto the palate, where mint and chamomile are met with more robust notes of leather and banana bread. The finish features long herbal notes, sweet peaches, and a hint of oak.
Talisker Elements 27 Year-Old ($586)
Bottled at 58% ABV, Talisker Elements has been created “in homage to the power of the ever-changing elements on the Isle of Skye.” It is the second ever triple-matured Talisker released to date. The whisky has been aged in three different types of casks – first in refill casks, followed by heavily-charred casks, and finally in old European Oak Puncheons. Just 2000 bottles were made available.
Tamdhu Cigar Malt No II ($232)
For the second year in a row, Tamdhu brought back the age-old pairing of Scotch and Cigars with the release of Cigar Malt II. The Scotch is characterized by Tamdhu’s dedication to full maturation in first fill European Oak Oloroso Sherry Casks. Like each leaf in a cigar, the casks contribute to this whisky‘s distinctive natural color and robust flavor, which is designed to complement the profile of the world’s best cigars.
Tomatin Portuguese Collection ($100)
Comprised of The Port Edition, The Moscatel Edition, and The Madeira Edition, the Tomatin Portuguese Collection is made up of three whiskies distilled on September 8, 2006 and laid down in traditional oak casks for more than eight years. On April 23, 2015, the whiskies were transferred into Tawny Port, Moscatel de Setúbal, and Madeira wine casks for a further seven years. Finally, each expression was bottled at 46% ABV.
Who do you think will release the best limited-edition Scotch whiskies next year?