Legends Untold - Diageo Special Releases 2021 Complete Set of 8
The 2021 collection, drawn from some of Scotland’s most interesting, legendary distilleries and curated by Master Blender Dr Craig Wilson, portrays the otherworldly beings which have fiercely protected the heartlands of remote Scottish distilleries for an eternity, according to our ancient fables, and the mythical creatures come to life revealing their true characters. Drawn from renowned distilleries, the collection nods to the hidden gems that can be found in each corner of the Scottish terrain amongst the lochs and rugged highlands.
The annual, carefully selected line-up highlights the diversity of our most treasured whisky reserves maturing in Scotland. Each whisky will be visually brought to life with heavily detailed illustrations and design work from renowned digital illustrator Ken Taylor. His striking signature style and interpretation of the mythical creatures takes cues from his portfolio of pop culture artwork.
The complete collection of 2021 Untold Legends 2021 Special Releases which include the following:
1. Singleton of Glendullan 19 Year Old (54.6% ABV)
2. Lagavulin 26 Year Old (44.2% ABV)
3. Cardhu 14 Year Old (55.5% ABV)
4. Mortlach 13 Year Old (55.9% ABV)
5. Lagavulin 12 Year Old (56.5% ABV)
6. Royal Lochnagar 16 Year Old (57.5% ABV)
7. Oban 12 Year Old (56.2% ABV)
8. Talisker 8 Year Old (59.7% ABV)
Singleton of Glendullan 19 Year Old Diageo Special Release 2021
A 19-year-old single malt offering from The Singleton that oozes with Speyside richness. This was matured in refill American oak casks but had a finishing period in cognac seasoned casks. Distilled in 2001 at the Glendullan Distillery, this, like the rest of Diageo’s Special Releases, is bottled at cask strength, without chill filtration or artificial colouring. A hearty 56.2% abv, this one will warm you down to your toes.
Aromas of dried figs, orange peel, apricots, dry fruitcake, vanilla-scented marzipan all arise on the nose. Oaky-dry notes combine lusciously sweet taste of ripe green apple, sweet coconut, grape spirit on the palate. The finish is lengthy and warming, sweet, and savoury.
Lagavulin 26 Year Old Diageo Special Release 2021
This dram that demands pride and place. The jewel in the crown of the King of Islay, this is a big expression in every way. The first 26-year-old Lagavulin Special Release, this matured in first fill PX and first-fill Oloroso sherry seasoned casks. At 44.2% abv, this is a cask strength dram with a deep respect for the sherry cask style. Distilled in 1994, this is a flagship Islay whisky.
Winey aromas features alongside linseed oil, vinous top notes fading into butterscotch and smokiness on the nose. The palate has medium body, with an ultra-smooth, oily texture, capturing that precious sweet-smoky flavour that Lagavulin masters so well. The finish is long, sweetly warming, faintly smoky, with little hints of chanterelle mushrooms in a drying aftertaste.
Cardhu 14 Year Old Diageo Special Release 2021
A masterpiece in harmony. This Cardhu 14 Year Old is a truly superb Speysider. This underwent most of its maturation in refill American oak casks, and then underwent a finishing period in red wine casks. With this finishing period, and the fact of it being 55.5% abv in strength, you would be forgiven for thinking this would be a heavy, full-on dram. Instead, it is miraculously light-bodied, with strong floral hints and a fruity, sweet taste. In cases like these, sometimes it’s better to let the dram speak for itself.
The nose is fresh, fruity, and surging with notes of orchard fruits, meadow flowers, and buttery pastry. The palate is soft and smooth, with a sweet toffee taste complementing crisp, clean oak. The finish is short, sweet, with a little kick of spice and perfume.
Mortlach 13 Year Old Diageo Special Release 2021
Inspired by the myth of a moonlit beast of Dufftown, this is a Mortlach 13 Year Old that packs a punch. Cask strength at 55.9% abv, this was distilled in 2007. It spent its slumber in a mixture of virgin and refill American oak casks, and has a cask-imparted colour. This dram is also free from any chill filtration.
Aromas of freshly oiled wood arrive on the nose, alongside roast pheasant, redcurrant jelly, and heather pollen. The smooth texture envelops the palate, with notes of spicy oak, chilli pepper, and an intense vanilla sweetness. The finish is powerful, with a peppery glow combining with fruit and spiciness. An elegant Speyside whisky.
Lagavulin 12 Year Old Diageo Special Release 2021
A headliner Lagavulin. This 12-year-old expression alludes to Lagavulin as the King of Islay. This single malt was matured in refill American oak casks and was distilled in 2008. Coming in at 56.5% abv, this cask strength expression is free from chill filtration and artificial colouring. Known as the ‘fiercest and smokiest’ scotch in the Diageo’s Special Releases, this is a dram with a big, peaty, hearty soul to it.
The nose is relatively mild, with a fresh sea breeze smell, accompanied by seaweed, sweetness, and a wisp of wood-smoke. The palate is smooth, with a sweet taste turning acidic as the flavour develops. Expect a grand finale of smoke, with big recurring waves of wood-smoke, chilli pepper, and sweetness.
Royal Lochnagar 16 Year Old Diageo Special Release 2021
Sunlight in a bottle. A rich, vivid Scotch that will remind you about the pleasures of springtime. A deep golden colour, this Royal Lochnagar 16 Year Old is a regal dram in many ways. It underwent a dual maturation process, between American oak and European oak refill casks. The Highland dram is presented at a hearty 57.5% abv, and is cask strength (which means no artificial colouring, or chill filtration).
The horse on the front of the bottle is somewhat less bold on the nose, with subtle hints of fruity, zesty, puff-pastry aromas. The palate is where the horse kicks on, delivering a creamy texture that rolls across, developing with fruity acidity and a quick oaky dryness. The finish is wonderful, with lingering pepper in a toasted oak aftertaste.
Oban 12 Year Old Diageo Special Release 2021
A signature Oban, but with a twist. This Oban 12 Year Old was matured in freshly charred American virgin oak casks. Distilled in Oban in 2008, this dram comes in at a hearty 56.2% abv cask strength. Like all expressions within this Special Releases Collection, it is free from artificial colouration and chill filtration. A skilful weaving between Highland and Island styles of single malt, this is sure to set the tastebuds of any Oban whisky fan alight.
Expect a strong maritime presence on the nose, with notes of seaweed and sea salt combining with sweet chilli sauce. The palate is fruity, smooth, and citrus-sweet, with lingering notes of sea salt salinity. The finish is long, smooth, and pleasantly warming.
Talisker 8 Year Old Diageo Special Release 2021
A straight, classic Talisker. This is a peated Talisker 8 Year Old that is everything you would hope for. It matured in heavily peated refill casks, and was bottled at a cask strength 59.7% abv. This one harkens back to the paired-back production methods of history. Distilled in 2012 and bottled in 2021, this dram is free from colouring and chill filtration.
A sweet, maritime character emerges on the nose, alongside seaweed and smoke. The palate is soft, oily and with lingering salty, peaty, and smoky notes. The finish is persistent, warming, and a good deal smoky.