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(£228.57 per litre)
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The blend to end all blends? Collectivum XXVIII is a blend of all 28 operational single malt distilleries currently owned by Diageo – hence ‘XXVIII’ in the name, which is 28 in Roman numerals. This unique whisky delivers complex aromas and flavours: expect everything from richness to dryness, nuttiness to sweetness, chocolate to citrus zest. A well-balanced homage to the greatness of Scotch whisky distilleries.
Collectivum was named Jim Murray's Scotch Vatted Malt of the Year in his 2019 Whisky Bible.Tasting Notes (2)
- Dark Chocolate
Tasting notes by Billy Abbott (The Whisky Exchange)
Chocolate cornflake cakes, red berries and waxy apples to start. Custard and cocoa sit underneath and a sprinkle of candied lemon lies on top.
Quite hot to start – it takes water well – with intense cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness. Orchard fruit comes in through the middle, surrounded by lemon and orange. Spice fades and then builds again, with liquorice and hints of smoke at the back.
Damp leaves and spice fading to chocolate milk.
A densely packed dram that needs time to reveal itself. A drop of water helps – while it's great that the Special Releases are bottled at full strength, this one definitely needs a drop to show its full potential.
Tasting notes from the producer
Pale clear amber.
Surprisingly mild in feel. The overall aroma is tightly integrated: spicy-sweet and fruity, combining spiky green leaves and dog roses with autumnal forests, toffee and rich vanilla sauce. The greenness comes to dominate, although the sour notes are tempered by sweet brown butter and a slice of candied fruit. Time reveals more herbal notes, with minty toffee and hints of pastry. Water opens all this up, drying and introducing Speyside notes of the sweetshop, with candy and dried apple rings joined by floral touches.
Rich and rounded.
A balance of sweetness, acidity and tannic dryness. Nuts and spice lead, with hazelnuts and almonds joined by bitter walnuts and hot cinnamon. Sweetness builds behind, with candy, barley sugar and sharp candied lemons. The almonds reappear, now sugared, only to disappear amid more citrus, tempered by toffee and fudge spiced with cinnamon, and finally by fruity dark chocolate. Water cools; the smooth sweetness and spice rise, bringing a refreshing bitter note; cream, apple sauce and milk chocolate laced with oak, clove and dark chocolate.
Of medium-length, with buttery pastry, warming spice and a thin layer of sharp fruit; a fresh apple pie ready for the oven. The fruit lingers as apple skin, joined by crisp pear.
This is possibly the best value whisky I have encountered in decades; closest to a top Brora costing 20 to 30 times the price, touching on all the range that this vaunted and shuttered distillery musters. Of course this is a blend of multiple regions, but you suspect with micro contributions from many and large contributions from a few, particularly leading with a wonderful Clynelish (sibling distillery of the defunct Brora), and a masterfully light backing of an Islay, amongst others. This has a wonderful soaring range. I have both held and participated in single-malt whisky flights with many; this has had only rave responses, and from a wonderfully obscure and very cost-effective blend, that carries itself like an apex lightly-peated highland single-malt. I suspect the unorthodox story and lack of any historical reference lead to what I see as a deep discount, but also make this a wonderful “discovery”. When price and quality come together, I will buy for future years, and have happily loaded up on this one-off to the full extent my budget and conscience would let me. Just brilliant.
A lovely perfumed nose, and then spice, a bit of heat, some smoke, and lots of other things going on and great length. Really lovely whisky, I like a lot!
Superb and complex whisky. Maybe needs drop of water to fully appreciate the taste. Perfect option if you are tired of binary selection of peated/unpeated whisky.
While we endeavour to provide full and accurate information on our website, there may be occasions where producers have updated their recipe or failed to provide full details of their ingredients and processes. This may affect factors including the product style and allergen information, and we would advise that you always check the label and not solely rely on the information presented here. If you are at all uncertain about a product then please contact our customer service team before purchase.
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