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Diageo ends Rare Malts as stocks dwindle

Published:  23 July, 2008

Diageo will stop releasing single malts under its Rare Malts brand next year, as the stocks from distilleries it closed in the 1980s start to run out.

Instead, the global drinks giant will release its dwindling stocks from distilleries such as Glen Mhor, Millburn and Port Ellen as Special Releases under the branding of the individual distillery. Those malts from distilleries still in operation but previously released under the Rare Malts label - such as Linkwood and Glendullan - will also revert to their own branding.

According to Nick Morgan, marketing director for premium malts at Diageo: Rare Malts was fine as a concept when we launched it 10 years ago, but as interest in malts in general and special bottlings in particular has grown, it makes sense to let them stand on their own.

It is also sad but true that we have less and less stock of the malts from the closed distilleries, and we thought it would be unwise to raise the price of the Rare Malts brand, which has always sold at around 90. There are also volume commitments with the brand that we would find it hard to meet now.'

The last Rare Malts are Glen Mhor 28 Year Old, Millburn 35 Year Old, Glendullan 26 Year Old and Linkwood 30 Year Old.

This year's Special Releases include Brora 30 Year Old, Port Ellen 25 Year Old and Talisker 25 Year Old. The nine malts available range in price from 40 to 495.