Proof that 2020 can still be a year to be savoured

Proof that 2020 can still be a year to be savoured

Diageo debuts a brace of fine, celebratory drams from a year that many of us would rather forget

Unfortunately, the year 2020 has given more to the authors of history textbooks than it has to the writers of diaries. Decades from now, scholars will have a wealth of material for their accounts of this pivotal time, but when the people who lived through it look back on the timelines of their personal lives, many of them will find a gap where 2020 should be.

Before we relegate all about last year to the bin, however, do also note that many great things did emerge from this trying time, albeit overwhelmed by the flurry of hard times brought about by the still-raging pandemic. And perhaps one very happy episode from last year has been Diageo’s 2020 Special Releases Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection.

There’s always plenty of anticipation for Diageo’s annual collection, where the renowned alcoholic beverage company curates a stunning line-up that celebrates the diversity of its most treasured reserves maturing in Scotland.

It is through this collection where experimental maturation techniques and unusual age points are appreciated and seen as an intrepid exploration of whisky. Best of all, Diageo’s 2020 Special Releases Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection also sees the first-ever release finished in pot-still Caribbean rum casks.

“The 2020 Special Releases Collection is the result of our Master Blender’s deep thought-process to showcase the taste of Scotland through eight single malt whiskies, each boasting a unique cask strength,” said Rajesh Joshi, Marketing Director of Diageo Malaysia. “Once again, Diageo brings the depth and intricacy of flavours to the forefront in this range of whiskies, delighting and exciting whisky enthusiasts with distinct taste notes that showcase each distillery’s nature of rarity.”

And what a selection it is too! Just to whet your appetite and perhaps to also start a shopping list in your mind for some new additions to that private bar of yours, the following is a run through of the 2020 Special Releases Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection by Diageo.

8

Talisker 8-Year-Old

This is a Talisker with a great deal of the expected maritime distillery character and a delightful twist of sweetness from the Caribbean rum cask finish.

7

Cardhu 11-Year-Old

A unique expression of Cardhu, from refill casks and new and ex-bourbon fresh-charred American Oak hogsheads, which holds the Cardhu gentleness and richness in a spicy embrace but still allows that gentleness to be found, especially with water.

6

Lagavulin 12-Year-Old

A 12-Year-Old Lagavulin chosen for its purity of cask expression alone and a true individual; smooth-textured and soaring in taste and intensity, with a long and deeply smoky finish.

5

The Singleton 17-Year-Old

A first release purely from refill American Oak casks, this is a spicier expression of the smooth The Singleton Dufftown distillery character, in which the signature grassy fruitiness is still present, especially if water is added.

4

Cragganmore 20-Year-Old

Definitely an appetising Cragganmore, with the expected complex aromas and smooth Speyside character, while the rich, sweet taste is also unusually intense and wood-spiced after part-ageing in new oak casks.

3

Mortlach 21-Year-Old

Magnificent in every way, this is a fine Mortlach further enhanced by gentle secondary maturation. Very fine to drink straight and also with a small dash of water.

2

Dalwhinnie 30-Year-Old

A fine Dalwhinnie with astonishing intensity for its age; even more vibrant and warming than younger expressions, it is easiest enjoyed with a drop of water.

1

Pittyvaich 30-Year-Old

A unique expression of a ‘ghost’ malt from a closed distillery, this is a spectacular and delicious Pittyvaich, the only one ever released to have been finished in ex-bourbon casks, which impart real richness of taste and sweetness of character.

So, why did Diageo choose to put these eight whiskies together in this rather dramatic release? Well, the main reason would definitely because they each have an interesting and unique history that exemplifies Diageo’s Rare by Nature theme.

Each of these whisky bottlings have been carefully selected for flavour and is instrumental to the history of Diageo’s Scotch portfolio. From the 20-year-old Cragganmore, with its complex aromas and intense wood-spice, to The Singleton with its grassy fruitiness and smooth expression, the 2020 Special Releases Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection gives Diageo an opportunity to bring these whiskies to both enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.

Finally, Dr Craig Wilson, Diageo’s very own Master Blender, gives us all a bit more insight into this special selection: “I’ve created this 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.”

Do take not, though: the 2020 Special Releases Collection is only available in limited quantities. Don’t miss out on featuring this collection at your own private bar by contacting Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia at [email protected]

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