Whisky Focus - Diageo Special Releases 2020

Diageo Special Releases 2021


1st October 2021
The Diageo Special Releases 2021 Legends Untold Collection.

Diageo Special Releases 2021 Legends Untold Collection

Diageo has unveiled its Special Releases 2021 line-up, this year they are offering whisky enthusiasts a collection of eight cask strength, single malt, Scotch whiskies which have been curated by Diageo Master Blender Dr. Craig Wilson.

This years Special Release highlights includes a Lagavulin 26 year Old, a young fiery, full-on peppery Talisker 8 year old and of course the Diageo Special Release stalwart Lagavulin 12 year old, said to be a perfect expression of this Islay distillery’s character.

The annual, carefully selected line-up highlights the diversity of Diageo's most treasured whisky reserves maturing in Scotland. Each whisky in the 2021 line-up will be visually brought to life with heavily detailed illustrations and design work from renowned digital illustrator Ken Taylor. His striking signature style and interpretation of the mythical creatures takes cues from his portfolio of pop culture artwork.

Activated through an on-pack QR code, a multi-sensory experience begins with a narration of the cask-strength Single Malts’ tale. Enthusiasts are then guided through a mixed reality tasting experience, designed to captivate their senses and bring a taste of Scotland to their homes.

All eight of the whiskies have been bottled at cask strength, all are limited releases, but this year Diageo has only revealed the number of bottles available for one of the bottles, the Lagavulin 26 Year Old, for the other seven bottles Diageo has not revealed the numbers available other than to say they are available in limited quantities worldwide.

So what are the the eight Diageo Special Releases 2021, well they are as follows:

Diageo Special Releases 2021 - Mortlach 13 Year Old, Talisker 8 Year Old, Oban 12 Year Old, Lagavulin 12 Year Old, Lagavulin 26 Year Old, Cardhu 14 Year Old, Royal Lochnagar 16 Year Old and Singleton of Glendullan 19 Year Old

  • Mortlach 13 Year Old
    Bottled at a cask strength of 55.9% ABV. There is an undisclosed number of bottles of this Mortlach 13 Year Old Special Release available worldwide.

    Matured in a combination of refill and virgin oak casks. Described as vanilla-sweet yet easily embraces a savoury finish, spicy-dry as the new oak makes its presence felt, with a surprising kick of chilli-pepper in the swallow. Magnificently feral and full of life on the palate.

    Recommended Retail Price: £135
     
  • Talisker 8 Year Old
    Bottled at a cask strength of 59.7% ABV. There is an undisclosed number of bottles of this Talisker Special Release available worldwide.

    Said to have matured in "heavily peated refill cask", described as salty and lightly sweet throughout, wonderfully peaty and smoky from the specially selected casks, this fiery sea monster has a full-on peppery catch to savour late on.

    Recommended Retail Price: £90
     
  • Oban 12 Year Old
    Bottled at a cask strength of 56.2% ABV. There is an undisclosed number of bottles of this Oban Special Release available worldwide.

    Matured in American ex-Bourbon and refill casks, described as having a very smooth, soft and mouth-filling texture, the taste is fruity and lightly citrus-sweet, balanced by a pinch of salt mid-palate and an insistent yet never overpowering spiciness from the fresh-charred casks. The effect is lush and vigorous, with a great balance between crunchy wood spice and fresh, fruity distillery character. Staying sweet throughout.

    Recommended Retail Price: £105
     
  • Lagavulin 12 Year Old
    Bottled at a cask strength of 56.5% ABV. A regular in the Diageo Special Release line-up, as always there is an undisclosed number of bottles of the Special Release favourite available worldwide.

    Matured in refill American oak casks, this years Lagavulin 12 release is described as being smooth and attractively oily; the taste sweet to start then soon growling with an intense lemon acidity, with a sprinkling of sea-salt and persistent char talking each sip.

    Recommended Retail Price: £130
     
  • Lagavulin 26 Year Old
    Bottled at a cask strength of 44.2% ABV. Limited to 7,542 bottles worldwide.

    This 26 year Lagavulin was matured in a combination of first fill Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. Described as having a ultra-smooth and oily texture a sweetness briefly gleams, soon tinged with salt and pepper, the whole growing more savoury and smokier all the time. The precious sweet-smoky style of Lagavulin, in a glowing, well-rounded form.

    Recommended Retail Price: £1,650
     
  • Cardhu 14 Year Old
    Bottled at a cask strength of 55.5% ABV. There is an undisclosed number of bottles of this Cardhu 14 Year Old Special Release available worldwide.

    Matured in refill American oak casks before being finished in ex-red wine casks. Described as having a soft, creamy-smooth and quite full texture, the sweet taste suggesting home-made toffees. Soon, that taste becomes more fragrant and hints of Parma violets, a note further enriched by winey red apple and pear fruit and made more appetising still by crisp, clean oak.

    Recommended Retail Price: £120
     
  • Royal Lochnagar 16 Year Old
    Bottled at a cask strength of 57.5% ABV. There is an undisclosed number of bottles of this Royal Lochnagar 16 Year Old Special Release available worldwide.

    Matured in American oak and European oak refill casks, a combination of sherry and bourbon oak casks. Described as having a creamy texture smoothly which rolls across the palate, a lively taste barley-sugar sweet and intense from the start with luscious fruity acidity mid-palate, and a developing oaky dryness.

    Recommended Retail Price: £200
     
  • Singleton of Glendullan 19 Year Old
    Bottled at a cask strength of 54.6% ABV. There is an undisclosed number of bottles of this Glendullan Special Release available worldwide.

    Initially matured in refill American oak casks before being finished in ex-Cognac casks. Described as having a soft, smooth and mouth-filling texture, oaky-dry at first, brings out layers of richly fruity flavouring which a lusciously sweet taste of ripe green apple is enriched by exotic hints of grape spirit and sweet coconut.

    Recommended Retail Price: £140
     

Dr Craig Wilson Diageo Master Blender commented on his 2021 selection, saying: "We have delved into the core characteristics of several classic distilleries, for the Legends Untold collection. Taking inspiration from the mythical creatures of this year’s collection, we have revealed new depths of flavour and embraced the essence of each whisky’s unique profile revealing the legend it brings to life. This year’s collection is just the very beginning of the story."

The Diageo Special Releases 2021 are currently available to pre-order from The Whisky Exchange and will soon be available from other specialist online whisky shops such as The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt
 

History Of The Diageo Special Releases


Each year Diageo, Scotland’s leading distillers, examine their incomparable stocks of old, rare or unusual Single Malt Whiskies from their working distilleries and their several closed distilleries to see what can be released that year to satisfy the demands of the world’s connoisseurs, collectors and whisky enthusiasts.

The Special Releases series was first launched in 2001, and until 2005 it ran in parallel with the annual Rare Malts series. The Rare Malts bottlings ceased in 2005 to allow all future premium and rare Single Malt Whisky bottlings to be made available in the annual Special Releases series.
 

Where To Buy The Diageo Special Releases


Select a country for a list of specialist Whisky shops who delivers to you:

Whisky Focus



<<<Back to Whisky Focus for more Whisky News

Top Of Page

 
 Drink Safely   Add Your Site   Other Whisky Sites    Links   Contact Us 
 

© 2021 www.scotchmaltwhisky.co.uk All rights reserved.