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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett

Drinks giant Diageo has pledged to continue its annual release of rare, single malt whiskies. This year, nine Special Release whiskies have been launched, including Glen Elgin 32-year-old, which will retail at 310 and is limited to 1,500 bottles. The whiskies vary in age from 12 to 50 years old, and range in price from 40, up to 950 for the 50-year-old Glenury Royal, of which only 500 bottles are available worldwide. Diageo's marketing director for premium malts, Nick Morgan, said: We had a lot of people saying to us "You have these fantastic whiskies up here; why don't you bottle them?" When we bottled the Port Ellen and Talisker, they were very well received. Each year, we will do this. Next year, we'll carry on with the Brora (a Northern Highlands whisky), and we'll do an older Talisker, too. With each whisky we find, if it's not good, we don't put it in a bottle. It has to be fantastic quality.' * Do you like Scotch but tire of the heather and haggis clichs? Well, former master distiller of The Macallan, David Robertson, has created three new whiskies that do away with the old image. They are: The Smokey Peaty One; The Rich Spicy One, and The Smooth Sweeter One. Mr Robertson said: We've chucked out the rule book, so drink it where you like, when you like and how you like - it's for enjoying, not worshipping.' Bottled at 40% ABV, they retail at 17 and are available at Oddbins. * After a gap of nearly a decade, Tullibardine Distillery in Scotland is to distil malt whisky again. The Perthshire distillery has laid dormant since 1994, but in June this year, four businessmen bought the site and announced plans for a 10 million visitor centre and 4,650m2 mixed-retail attraction. To mark the first distillation, Tullibardine will offer personalised casks of the new whisky. Tullibardine's director, Michael Beamish, said: It has always been at the heart of our development to bring Tullibardine back into production. We also plan to launch a newly packaged expression of Tullibardine Single Highland Malt Whisky to the market shortly.'