Featuring discoveries from Diageo’s most precious stocks maturing in Scotland, the Diageo Rare by Nature special collection celebrates whiskies with distinctive maturation techniques, rare finishes and unexpected taste profiles, with extremely rare and sought-after whiskies that bring to life the unique character of each distillery.
Here are the hand-selected single malt whiskies by master blender Dr Craig Wilson, each delivering a different journey of discovery, not only for the distillers and blenders who created them, but also the whisky enthusiasts who will enjoy them in the comfort of their own home.
Lagavulin 12 Year Old
Known for its use of a slow-paced distillation process, and its pear-shaped pot stills, the 1816-established distillery in the south of the island of Islay, Scotland is home to the powerful and peaty Lagavulin 12 Year Old.
Produced in small batches after maturing in refill American oak casks, this 12-Year-Old comprises the aromas of sweet green peat, green apples and lemon oil, against the hardy wood smoke, warm tar and mineral-concentrated brine. On the palate, the salty notes prevail with savoury young oak, cinnamon and lemon lockets.
Cragganmore 12 Year Old
This never-before-released Speyside classic serves up a rich and slightly floral sherried whisky with barley notes. Matured in refill American oak casks for that unusual smoky expression, the Cragganmore 12 Year Old’s creamy texture on the nose opens up to the honey and nutty notes in taste, before its peppery finish.
The Cragganmore distillery in the Ballindalloch village of Banffshire, Scotland is still in production today since its establishment in 1869. This classic has seen approvals from the San Francisco World Spirits competition, when it bagged two double gold medals, one gold medal and three silver medals between the years 2005 and 2012.
Cardhu 14 Year Old
From the Speyside distillery in Moray, Scotland – founded in 1824 by John Cumming, who was a whisky smuggler in his previous life, this 14-Year-Old is a smooth and generous malt whisky that appeals to the palates of the connoisseurs. Fun fact: Cardhu is a name that derives from the Gaelic Carn Dubh, which means “Black Rock”.
Harvested in small batches after being double-matured for two years in Amontillado sherry-seasoned hogshead, the Cardhu takes its time to open up its texture that is rich in body, and full of delicate finesse the Cardhu character is known for: from the nutty aromas of caramel, hazelnut, almonds on the nose, to the zesty and toasted rich fruit cake and chocolate sauce tinge on the tongue.
Talisker 15 Year Old
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde author Robert Louis Stevenson wrote in one of his poems: “The king o’ drinks, as I conceive it, Talisker, Islay, or Glenlivet.” Matured only in freshly charred American oak hogshead, with the constant sea air coming in from the surrounding waters of the island, the Talisker 15 Year Old makes its debut in the Diageo Rare by Nature special collection, following the acclaimed footsteps of the 10 Year Old and 18 Year Old.
The single malt whisky carries the classic coastal characters the Taliskers are known for: rugged and smoky like the waves crashing against the coasts during choppy weather, with currents of ripe citrus and treacle sponge, against the cleft darkness of warm spice.
The Singleton 18 Year Old
Another whisky to make its debut in the Diageo Rare by Nature special collection is The Singleton 18 Year Old, from the Glen Ord distillery in the Scottish Highlands – the only remaining single malt scotch whisky distillery on the Black Isle.
This previously unreleased expression of lively rich fruit and spiced oak has enjoyed maturation in freshly charred American oak hogshead, resulting in soothing hints of cinnamon notes, with an aftertaste of marzipan that closes off the flavours with much delicateness and warmth.
Mortlach 26 Year Old
Already a key component in many a-Johnnie Walker bottlings, this heavily sherried single malt has been making a name for itself through its predecessors: from the usual suspects the 12-, 14-, 16- and 20-Year-Old’s; to the 2004 Mortlach 32-year-old special release, and the more recent Mortlach Rare Old and Mortlach Special Strength.
From the Dufftown distillery in Moray, Scotland, ‘The Beast of Dufftown’ finally emerges as one of the Diageo Rare by Nature. Matured in small batches from first-fill Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso seasoned casks, the Mortlach 26 Year Old fills the nose with aromas of black tea and jam-spread toast, before the aromas of dried fruit and caramel take over. The caramelised notes transpire on the palate through buttery pastry and hot caramel, before they open up to those of plums, liquorice and fruit cake.
Pittyvaich 29 Year Old
From one of Scotland’s youngest distilleries (established only in 1974), comes one of the eldest ‘ghost’ whisky, the 1989 ‘ghost’ Pittyvaich 29 Year Old is very much a rarity, for the Dufftown distillery closed in 1993, and was demolished in 2002.
Double matured in Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry seasoned casks, and one of the three special releases from the Pittyvaich since 2015, the 29-Year-Old is a rewarding yet complex combination of notes upon the nose and tongue: from the zesty citrus and orange, to the buttery pastry and malty caramel.
Dalwhinnie 30 Year Old
The eldest of the lot is the extra-mature and gentle highland malt Dalwhinnie 30 Year Old, all the way from the highest-elevation working distillery in the Scottish Highland’s Dail Chuinnidh or “meeting place”.
After spending over 30 years maturing in refill hogsheads and butts, the delicate “old-timer” is rich with aromas of raisins and cinnamon-baked apples on the nose, and floral and fruity flavours of vanilla toffee, apple and pear on the palate, before it finishes with zesty and buttery ovations.
Each bottle from the Diageo Rare by Nature special collection is individually numbered and available in limited quantities. While The Singleton 18 Year Old is available via Boozeat, get in touch with Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia for the full collection