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Coming Soon: Diageo's 2020 Special Release Collection of Rare Scotch

Coming Soon: Diageo's 2020 Special Release Collection of Rare Scotch

August 28, 2020 –––––– Susannah Skiver Barton, , , ,

Fall approaches, which means the start of rare whisky season. This week, Four Roses unveiled its 2020 Limited Edition Small Batch, and news of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection should be dropping any day now. Most of the limited editions center on bourbon, but scotch lovers need not be left out, as Diageo has just announced details of its 2020 Special Release Collection.

This year's collection features eight cask-strength single malts, all selected by master blender Craig Wilson and organized around the “Rare by Nature” theme that debuted with the 2019 releases. Unlike last year, however, when just three of the whiskies were available in the U.S., the full 2020 Special Release Collection is hitting shelves stateside.

This year's release also continues the trend of releasing fewer extra-aged whiskies and more in the 12 to 21 year range—and even one with a single-digit age. The pricing has adjusted to match: Pulling back from 2017, when 70% of the Special Releases were over $300, this year there are just three whiskies over $175—and none more than $755. These are some of the most accessible prices, relatively speaking, that Diageo has set in years. Consider that the 2019 Mortlach 26 year old carried a price tag of $2,000, while this year's 21 year old from the same distillery is discounted by 62.25%, down to $755. If you think that's a bargain, consider buying two!

Diageo will launch the Special Releases in the U.S. in late fall 2020. Full details on the collection, including pricing and availability, are below. Look for reviews in an upcoming issue of Whisky Advocate.

Price, ABV & Bottle Count: The 2020 Diageo Special Releases



Cardhu 11 year old

Price: $111
Proof: 56% ABV
Availability: Unspecified limited quantities
Maturation: New and refill American oak bourbon casks


Cragganmore 20 year old

Price: $171
Proof: 55.8% ABV
Availability: Unspecified limited quantities
Maturation: Refill and new fresh-charred casks


Dalwhinnie 30 year old

Price: $722
Proof: 51.9% ABV
Availability: 6,978 bottles worldwide
Maturation: Refill hogsheads


Lagavulin 12 year old

Price: $164
Proof: 56.4% ABV
Availability: Unspecified limited quantities
Maturation: Refill American oak casks


Mortlach 21 year old

Price: $755
Proof: 56.9% ABV
Availability: 7,692 bottles worldwide
Maturation: Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry-seasoned casks


Pittyvaich 30 year old

Price: $525
Proof: 50.8% ABV
Availability: 7,056 bottles worldwide
Maturation: First-fill bourbon casks


Talisker 8 year old

Price: $119
Proof: 57.9% ABV
Availability: Unspecified limited quantities
Maturation: Caribbean pot-still rum casks


The Singleton of Dufftown 17 year old

Price: $145
Proof: 55.1% ABV
Availability: Unspecified limited quantities
Maturation: Refill American oak hogsheads