close
Everything You Need to Know About the 2021 Diageo Special Releases

Everything You Need to Know About the 2021 Diageo Special Releases

September 30, 2021 –––––– David Fleming, , , ,

Fall is a time for whisky lovers, and among the highlights of the season are the Diageo Special Releases—the company's annual collection of limited, highly sought-after single malt whiskies. This year's edition was unveiled this morning.

Curated by Diageo master blender Craig Wilson once again, the collection includes the usual number of whiskies—eight in total. This year's picks are a 13 year old Mortlach, 19 year old Singleton of Glendullan, 16 year old Royal Lochanagar, 8 year old Talisker, 14 year old Cardhu, 12 year old Oban, and two expressions from Lagavulin—a 26 year old and a 12 year old, the Lagavulin 12 being a perennial member of the group.

In keeping with a trend of recent years, the releases include fewer ultra-aged (and thus ultra-priced) whiskies. This year's oldest and most expensive expression—and only real bank-breaker—is Lagavulin 26 year old at $2,400. The pricing then drops to $250 for Royal Lochnagar 16 year old, and the remaining six are pegged at below $200. Compare that to the 2017 collection, when five of the eight whiskies were older than 20 years—including a 52 year old Port Dundas ($900), 37 year old Port Ellen ($3,500), 34 year old Brora ($1,700), 32 year old Convalmore ($1,400), and 24 year old Blair Athol ($460). Only three Special Releases in 2017 were priced below $200.

This year's edition is named Legends Untold, and each bottle carries a QR code linking to what Diageo calls a “multi-sensory experience” of legends and tales from the distilleries in the collection. The whiskies will be available this fall at specialist retailers in Europe, the U.S. Canada, Australia, selected Asian markets, and airport Travel Retail.

2021 Diageo Special Releases



Cardhu 14 year old

Style: Single malt scotch
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 14 year old
ABV: 55.5%
Price: $150
Release: Autumn 2021
Availability: Limited
Cask type: Refill American oak casks, finished in red wine casks


Lagavulin 26 year old

Style: Single malt scotch
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: 26 year old
ABV: 44.2%
Price: $2,400
Release: Autumn 2021
Availability: Limited (7,542 bottles)
Cask type: PX/Oloroso seasoned first-fill casks

Lagavulin 12 year old

Style: Single malt scotch
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: 12 year old
ABV: 56.5%
Price: $150
Release: Autumn 2021
Availability: Limited
Cask type: Refill American oak casks


Mortlach 13 year old
Style: Single malt scotch
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 13 year old
ABV: 55.9%
Price: $125
Release: Autumn 2021
Availability: Limited
Cask type: Virgin and refill American oak casks


Oban 12 year old
Style: Single malt scotch
Origin: Scotland (Highlands)
Age: 12 year old
ABV: 56.2%
Price: $115
Release: Autumn 2021
Availability: Limited
Cask type: Freshly charred American oak casks


Royal Lochnagar 16 year old
Style: Single malt scotch
Origin: Scotland (Highlands)
Age: 16 year old
ABV: 57.5%
Price: $250
Release: Autumn 2021
Availability: Limited
Cask type: American oak and European oak refill casks


Singleton of Glendullan 19 year old
Style: Single malt scotch
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 19 year old
ABV: 54.6%
Price: $175
Release: Autumn 2021
Availability: Limited
Cask type: Refill American oak casks, finished in cognac casks


Talisker 8 year old
Style: Single malt scotch
Origin: Scotland (Skye)
Age: 8 year old
ABV: 59.7%
Price: $115
Release: Autumn 2021
Availability: Limited
Cask type: Heavily peated refill casks