Special Releases is a limited edition range of whiskies released each fall by Diageo.
The series was introduced in 2002 and highlights the best and the rarest malt and grain whiskies from the company portfolio bottled at natural strength. The 2019 release included eight single malts – from the oldest of the bunch 30 years old Dalwhinnie to the youngest, 12 years old Cragganmore and 12 years old Lagavulin. Four out of eight: Dalwhinnie, Cragganmore, Lagavulin and Talisker used to be part of the legendary Classic Malts series launched in the late 1980s. Lagavulin 12 years old is a regular in Special releases line-up; the 2019 expression was matured in refill American oak casks.
Nose: lots of peat smoke, tarry ropes, seaweed, forest floor, lemon oil, green apples, vanilla, white chocolate, dash of white pepper and oak.
Palate: sweet and smoky, vanilla, sugar syrup, salted caramel, apples, peaches, lemons, pepper, cinnamon, leather and delicate vegetal note (asparagus).
Finish: very long, with notes of peat smoke, cocoa powder, white pepper, lemon peel, tobacco and whiffs of sea breeze.