The Hottest Whisky Releases Of 2018 So Far

Explore the unbelievable new whiskies that have been released this year! From the innovation of the Glenfiddich Icewine Finish to the sheer precision of the Macallan 15 Year Old Triple Oak, and the rich fruitiness of Bowmore’s Port Pipe matured dram – you’re sure to find something here that will tickle your fancy, dance on your palate and stick in your memory for years to come. At Whisky Foundation we want to give you the chance to be one of first to get your hands on these hugely popular whiskies and create lasting moments with your friends, no matter where you are in the world. So get ready to be tantalised, excited and giddy as we share with you the Hottest Releases of 2018 So Far!

Macallan 15 Year Old Triple Cask

#1 Macallan 15 Year Old


Part of Macallan’s hugely popular ‘Fine Oak’ range, this 15 Year Old Triple Cask single malt was matured in European & American Sherry Oak casks and ex-Bourbon American Oak casks, creating a complex flavour that is the pinnacle of the Fine Oak Range. Sweet and fruity, with dark fruits, chocolate, vanilla and poached pears, this whisky highlights everything that it is to be a top quality Macallan whisky and then some.

Perfect for die-hard fans of The Macallan Distillery and an excellent gateway for those looking to try their whisky for the first time. You really can’t go wrong with this one.

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#2 Bowmore 27 Year Old Vintner’s Trilogy Port Pipes


This 2018 release Bowmore 27 Year Old is the latest edition in their Vintner’s Trilogy. The whisky has been matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon casks and Port pipes to create a well-rounded drinking experience that any fan of Bowmore whisky will adore.

Salted caramel, toffee and dark fruits from the Port pipes are the first things you’ll notice, these then make way for Bowmore’s signature earthiness, lemon zest and just a whiff of smoke. It’s an incredibly well crafted release that fans of the distillery are falling over themselves to get their hands on. This is one to be savoured and enjoyed with friends and family on a cool Autumn night.

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Bowmore 27 Year Old Vintner’s Trilogy Port Pipes
Caol Ila 35 Year Old Special Release

#3 Caol Ila 35 Year Old Special Release


This Caol Ila 35 Year Old really needs no words – the whisky and the bottle are simply stunning. The liquid is an incredible golden/amber colour that screams quality and the notes in this bottle are quick to back that up. Matured in rejuvenated refill American Oak hogshead and European Oak Sherry butts, it brings so much to the table.

Sweet and subtle at first, the whisky begins to open up on the palate with black pepper, ground allspice and sticky toffee coming to the fore. A little more pepper comes on the finish before fading to make way for the hints of smoke that are synonymous with Caol Ila whisky.

To say that this is a ‘Special Release’ is an understatement, this is the best Caol Ila release this year and quite possibly the best in a decade. Guaranteed to be the star of even the most impressive drinks cabinet.

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#4 Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve


The Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve is a 2018 release whisky from the famous Speyside distillery inspired by Captain Bill Grant Smith, the grandson of the distillery’s founder. It has been finished in casks that previously housed Cognac resulting in a delicious and gentle dram that brings baked apples, brown sugar, sticky dates and some citrus fruits, along with a creamy mouthfeel. It really does take you on a journey from the misty valleys of Speyside to the warm Cognac vineyards of France.

Already a fan favourite, this bottle is one to pull out at a party and impress your friends with – the chances are, they won’t have had an opportunity to taste this beauty yet.

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Glenlivet Captain's Reserve
Glenfiddich Winter Storm Batch 2 Icewine Finish

#5 Glenfiddich Winter Storm Batch 2 Icewine Finish


This 2018 release Glenfiddich Winter Storm Batch 2 whisky came about when the distillery’s malt master, Brian Kinsman, took a tour of a Canadian vineyard in freezing January temperatures. He learned how the grapes where picked strictly under moonlight at -10 degrees Celsius, when they were rock hard. This helped to create a intensely sweet wine that is growing in popularity all across the nation.

Like any great whisky maker, this gave Kinsman ideas of innovation in his own industry. When he returned to Scotland he began experimenting with maturing whisky is French Oak Icewine casks sourced from the Canadian winery. After some tinkering, he found that only older whiskies could deal with the intense sweetness that the wine casks brought to the spirit, and so he created what he believed to be a work of art – Icewine finished Glenfiddich 21 Year Old whisky.

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#6 Kilchoman 100% Islay


The Kilchoman Distillery is Islay’s newest and the first to be built on the island in 124 years. Whisky production began at the distillery in 2005 and they have since released several hugely popular editions of their 100% Islay single malt. This particular bottle is the eighth edition and, in our humble opinion, it’s the best yet.

As the name suggests, the whisky was made entirely with ingredients sourced on Islay, a feat that’s not easy to achieve. Before bottling, 23 ex-Bourbon barrels were vatted with seven ex-Sherry butts and the results are a tasty and honest Islay dram.

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Kilchoman 100% Islay
Glenallachie 18 Year Old

#7 Glenallachie 18 Year Old


This brand new Glenallachie 18 Year Old was released this year (2018). It is the first release from the distillery since it changed hands in 2017 and if this whisky is anything to go by, fans of the distillery have a lot to be excited about.

It’s a rich and full offering that brings butterscotch, sticky toffee and raisins together with vanilla, maraschino cherries and fresh honey in seamless fashion. Already soaring in popularity, this fine dram is one to be enjoyed in front of the fire as the days get darker and winter draws closer. Very warming and well-crafted.

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#8 Clynelish 22 Year Old (Signatory)


This Clynelish is one of the latest additions to Signatory’s highly sought after ‘Cask Strength Collection’. It was aged in a single refill Sherry butt for 22 Years before being bottled at cask strength in January 2018.

It’s a rich and full-bodied dram that brings lots of sherried fruits, sweet caramel and creamy vanilla to the table. These are topped off with yet more rich and dark notes imparted by the sherry butt.

With only 609 bottles produced this is a must have for any fan of the distillery, bottler or sherried whisky. Beautiful.

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Clynelish 22 Year Old (Signatory)
Benromach Organic

#9 Benromach Organic


The Benromach Organic is a popular and exhilarating new release from the outstanding Speyside distillery. First distilled in 2010, the spirit was matured in Virgin American Oak casks before being bottled in 2018 as the first ever completely organic whisky. It is one of few whiskies to have been matured in said casks, with virgin oak being banned by Scotch distilleries until recent years. The effect the cask has on dram is outstanding and makes you wonder why such rules were ever in place.

It’s sweet and subtle with hints of ripe bananas, toffee and gentle dark chocolate. These make way for comforting sugared almonds, creamy pepper and lots of citrus fruits. It’s a highly agreeable dram that is perfect for a warm autumn evening.

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#10 Caol Ila 14 Year Old Connoisseurs Choice


This 2018 release Caol Ila 14 Year Old is one of the latest and best releases in Gordon & MacPhail’s hugely successful Connoisseurs Choice range. Distilled in 2003 on Islay, the whisky was then matured in a refill American Hogshead barrel for 14 years before being bottled at cask strength in July (2018).

All of the characteristics you would expect from a top quality Caol Ila are on display here, with toasted barely, subtle saltiness and a range of herbs combining with flavours imparted by the cask, such as honeyed sweets, caramel doused pear and refreshing summer melon. It’s an incredibly well balanced dram that is smooth and delicious from your first sip right down to your last.

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Caol Ila 14 Year Old Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail, 2003)