Being the world’s largest whisky company, Diageo has the widest range of whiskies by default. So when they release special collections like ‘Rare by Nature’, you know you’re getting the rarest selection from the world’s top whisky distilleries.
Hand picked by master blender Dr Craig Wilson, each of these eight single malts carries the native and distinctive characteristics of their distilleries coupled with the knowledge and skill of the people behind them.
This highly popular annual series also features Diageo’s first-ever release finished in pot-still Caribbean rum casks, and a release that’s from a ghost (defunct) distillery.
Let’s take a closer look at the special collection…
Cardhu 2008 11 Year Old
“For those who enjoy spicy flavours, my recommendation would be to try our Cardhu,” says Dr Wilson.
Matured in refill and ex-bourbon American-oak casks and new oak, the Cardhu 2008 11 Year Old has a tinge of green apples and herbs in its aroma, a zesty honey taste on the tongue, and a burnt toffee aftertaste.
The new oak maturation lifts up this otherwise balanced whisky by leaving it with a fruity, spicy finish.
Pittyvaich 1989 30 Year Old
This 30-year-old vintage release comes from a distillery that was closed in 1993.
Matured with ex-bourbon casks for a considerably longer period, the Pittyvaich has one of the most unique characteristics in this collection.
From its sweet fruit notes of pineapple, pear and apple, to its creamy and soft-rounded texture and minty finish, this peculiar-tasting whisky is for those who have grown bored with the usual fair.
Singleton of Dufftown 2002 17 Year Old
Though the brand Singleton is well-known in Malaysia, this special release from its Dufftown distillery will not be like anything you have tasted from the brand.
Matured in refill American-oak hogsheads which are notably larger than barrels, this single malt has a heavier chocolate taste than most vanilla-led oaks.
This is in contrast to its smell which has strong floral tones. Paired with sweet desserts, it will leave a rich and creamy coffee aftertaste on the palate.
Dalwhinnie 1989 30 Year Old
Another vintage and another whisky matured in refill American hogsheads, the Dalwhinnie has an elegant, butterscotch aroma that lures you in.
Again, we would suggest having this with sweet desserts, but it can be very well enjoyed on its own with its toffee creaminess balanced with its spicy fruitiness.
Mortlach 1999 21 Year Old
Another one of Dr Wilson’s favourites “for those who favour rich, intense and smooth flavours” according to the good doctor.
Much lighter on the sherry cask-taste than its previous special collection releases, the Mortlach 1999 21 Year Old focuses on a sweetness and smoothness.
The result is a whisky that is as sweet to the nose as it is to the tongue, with hints of pineapple, toffee, and vanilla, and a dash of spice at the end.
Talisker 2011 8 Year Old
Another well-known whisky brand in Malaysia, Talisker’s addition to this special collection is most notable for its different approach to production which is, weirdly enough, from Jamaica.
A whisky finished in pot-still Caribbean rum casks from Jamaica, it’s a first for Talisker and maybe even Diageo in general.
With the characteristics of rum blending into the whisky, the Talisker 2011 8 Year Old smells like the sea over a peaty, spicy bowl of fruits, and hits the tongue with a bit of heat and lots of zest.
This peculiar whisky might be one of the most interesting creations of recent times. It stands out boldly, just the way we like it to.
Cragganmore 1999 20 Year Old
Quite literally a fiery entry into this collection, the Cragganmore 1999 20 Year Old is the smokiest of the lot here.
Matured in refill casks and new fresh-charred American-oak hogsheads, the heavy smokiness of this whisky makes it the ultimate single malt to pair with red meat.
With a deep breath, you can pick up a hint of brown sugar over the smoke. Sweetness rounds off its taste too with coffee and chocolate being the primary notes experienced.
Lagavulin 2007 12 Year Old
Lagavulin, as with Talisker and Singleton, might be a more common sight in Malaysia than the rest of the distilleries on this list but its contribution to this collection is on par with the rareness offered.
Matured in refill American oak, this whisky has a smoky, citrus-led sweetness to the nose and a bitter mint-chocolate zest on the tongue.
For a young whisky, it has incredibly strong expressions that might be slightly too complex for some palates, but experienced whisky enthusiasts will certainly find it refreshing.
Get Diageo’s Rare By Nature Special Collection at our online shop now and we’ll delivery it to you on the same day.