The unveiling of Diageo’s Special Releases range is always one of the most eagerly awaited events in the whisky calendar. The annual series lifts the lid on Diageo’s more secretive locations and reveals the astonishing depth of its whisky reserves. The drams are always presented at cask strength, often at great age and are strictly limited in the number of bottles available.
Whisky Loot has secured some of the 2020 Special Releases Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection juices and is breaking the bottles so that whisky lovers in Australia have the opportunity to experience these rare drams for themselves.
These whiskies are regularly ranked as some of the very best you are ever going to encounter. The 2020 range continues the previous year’s theme of “Rare by Nature”.
Curated by Master Blender Dr Craig Wilson (above), the annual collection once again explores unusual age points, experimental maturation techniques, and welcomes our first-ever release finished in pot-still Caribbean rum casks. The encore theme highlights the extraordinary nature that surrounds each distillery, with each whisky visually brought to life through intricate illustrations that decorate the bottles.
Wilson said: “I’ve created this year’s Special Releases Collection, from some of my favourite distilleries across Scotland, with whisky enthusiasts in mind. For those who enjoy spicy flavours, my recommendation would be to try our Cardhu, and for those who favour rich, intense and smooth flavours my choice would be Mortlach 21 year old. If you are curious about discovering something very rare, the Pittyvaich – the single ghost distillery in our Special Releases Collection this year is an unforgettable dram.”
Showcasing six unique expressions from the Diageo 2020 Special Releases stable, discover the Whisky Loot x Diageo 2020 Special Release Packs at whiskyloot.com.
Whisky Loot x Diageo 2020 Special Release Pack Rare By Nature Explorers Edition RRP $129
● Cardhu 11 year old – This Cardhu was aged in a mixture of former Bourbon barrels, and new and refill American oak casks, before being bottled at a warming 56%. Again, this maturation was perfect for illustrating the natural flavours of the spirit itself. The dram reveals sweet, juicy apple and pear notes, accompanied by buttered malt toast, pineapple, funky honey, bright oak and some thick vanilla custard.
● Talisker 8 year old – The youngest juice in the line-up, but also one of the most interesting! For this bottling, the Skye distillery’s spirit was matured in former Caribbean Pot still rum casks, a first for Talisker. Sweet and savoury, this bottling contains notes of funky molasses, full peat smoke with sea spray, dark chocolate, burnt brown sugar and peppery spice.
● Cragganmore 20 year old – Another well aged Speysider, from another favourite distillery of ours. This bottling has been aged in a combination of refill, and new, freshly charred casks for two decades, and weighs in at 55.8%. The final result was a whisky rich in notes of honey, chilli, dusty oak, tinned peaches, white chocolate and vanilla.
Whisky Loot x Diageo 2020 Special Release Pack – Rare By Nature Collectors Edition RRP $499
● Dalwhinnie 30 year old – An astonishingly well aged offering from the beloved Dalwhinnie distillery. The highest distillery in Scotland, Dalwhinnie is very cold, and their spirit cools quickly, creating a fragrant and characterful new make. This Special Release has been matured for no less than 30 years in refill Hogshead casks, producing a whisky that is wonderfully complex, whilst allowing the Highlander’s natural profile to shine through.
● Mortlach 21 year old – This ripper dram, aged for 21 years and finished for a time in Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks is presented at a generous 56.9%. The only Sherried whisky in the range and includes notes of rum and raisin ice cream, weighty malt, sweet wine, toasted nuts and some cracked black pepper. Both fruity, and a little savoury.
● Pittyvaich 30 year old– The rarest whisky in the line-up came from “Ghost” distillery Pittyvaich (ghost is the term Diageo use to describe spirit from closed or demolished distilleries). The whisky itself has been fully aged in first-fill Bourbon casks for its three decade maturation, and clocks in at a respectable 50.8%. With notes of banoffee pie, dark honey, milk chocolate and drying oak, this sweet, decadent whisky is a real taste of liquid history.
Categories: New releases