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November 27, 2023

Diageo Announces The Twelve by Casks of Distinction

The Twelve program marks the first time Casks of Distinction has showcased this number of casks together.

By Kim Ayling

With seemingly no end to the rare and exclusive casks hidden in the Scotch whisky industry’s reserves, the Casks of Distinction program has once again delved into the extensive Diageo (AKA the proprietor behind some of the nation’s leading names in whisky including Johnnie Walker, Talisker and The Singleton) portfolio to reveal a unique cask ownership opportunity: The Twelve.

Made up of twelve never-to-be-repeated casks, hand-selected by master whisky makers from the Diageo-owned distilleries, The Twelve program marks the first time Casks of Distinction has showcased this number of casks together. The nature of the selection method means no two casks, and no two of the liquid inside, are the same; each represents a singular day in whisky-making history, as well as the unique character of the distilleries.

The rare whiskies are being revealed to select individuals in limited markets at invitation-only presentations and tastings. Among the The Twelve lineup is an ex-sherry cask, 1993 Blair Athol; a 43 Year Old Talisker; and a 49 Year Old Port Dundas. As with the wider Casks of Distinction program, each cask is sold whole giving up to 12 individuals the chance to own a slice of Scotch whisky-making heritage.

[See also: The World’s Rarest Whiskies Head to Auction]

the twelve casks of distinction
Collectors who invest in the whisky program will gain exclusive membership to an elusive global community of fellow whisky connoisseurs / ©Diageo

The value of the casks in the program cannot be understated. In 2022, two Casks of Distinction – selected from the iconic ghost distilleries, Port Ellen and Brora – sold at a Sotheby’s auction for over $1m each.

James Mackay, global private client director, said: “Established in 2017, Casks of Distinction is a whisky experience like no other. Standing as one of the longest-running cask ownership programs 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.”

[See also: The Most Expensive Whisky Ever Sold at Auction]

As well as the cask itself, collectors who invest in the whisky program will gain exclusive membership to an elusive global community of fellow connoisseurs, access to the Casks of Distinction home in Royal Deeside, and the chance to embark on tailor-made experiences centered on the distillery of their chosen cask.

“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,” added Dr Craig Wilson, one of the master whisky makers behind Casks 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.”

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[See also: Diageo Releases Fourth Iteration of Prima & Ultima]

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