There they are: Diageo’s Special Releases 2020. First observation: the Rare by Nature theme is here to stay, and you’ll need good eyes to set them apart from the 2019 Special Releases at first glance.
Not only the visual identity remains the same. Many of the distilleries, even the ages and vintages are often the same. Some are simply new batches of what we saw in the past few years, like a new Talisker 8 Years or a Dalwhinnie 30 Years for instance.
I was hoping Diageo filed the common whiskies first and had one or two unique things up its sleeve, but with a total of eight Special Releases this will probably be the final line-up already (in 2019 we also had eight expressions).
Cardhu 11 Year Old
An 11 year-old version with very few other details. Bottled at 56% ABV with smooth and honeyed layers, as well as spiced oak.
Cragganmore 20 Year Old
Again very little information, except the bottling strength (51.4% ABV). Complex and deeply wooded according to the label.
Dalwhinnie 30 Year Old (2020 release)
1989 vintage, bottled at 51.9% cask strength
Some of the last drops from this vintage, they say.
Lagavulin 12 Year Old (2020 release)
Bottled at 56.4% ABV
Mortlach 21 Year Old
Bottled at 53.3% ABV. Finished in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso casks.
Pittyvaich 30 Year Old (2020 release)
A 1989 vintage bottled at 50.6% ABV. The first expression finished in bourbon casks.
Talisker 8 Year Old (2020 release)
A new edition of the 8 year old that was introduced in 2018. Bottled at 57.9% ABV. Interestingly it is the first ever Caribbean rum cask finish for Talisker (or for a Special Release if I’m not mistaken).
The Singleton 17 Year Old
A single malt Dufftown release. Bottled at 55.1% ABV. The first release from exclusively refill casks. Should be sweet and grassy according to the label.
Special Releases 2020 prices
The Special Releases 2020 will probably be launched after the summer.
Prices are yet to be confirmed – I will add them here as soon as possible.