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5 MUST-TRY RARE AND UNUSUAL WHISKIES
FROM THE LUXURY AUCHENTOSHAN 1965 TO THE ATTAINABLE STRONACHIE
I guess the word unusual could be construed as subjective. However, there are some Whisky brands that purposely push the envelope - to do something that sets them apart from their contemporaries. All this without reverting to skull-shaped bottles or pithy innuendos. Here for your sampling delights, the top 10 Rare and Unusual Whiskies you need to try.
The Dalmore Quintessence
Exclusive Single Malt Whisky makers, The Dalmore, release of The Dalmore Quintessence, the first and only single malt whisky in the world with a five red wine cask finish. This limited edition release is a truly exceptional and unique expression. “The Dalmore Quintessence has been a long-term project which I am delighted to share with the world. It is a combination of two of my great passions, The Dalmore distillery and exceptional red wine.” - Richard Paterson, Master Distiller. You'll have fun presenting this tipple to friends and asking of which of the selected casks they can detect. The Dalmore Quintessence, the only single malt whisky in the world with a five Californian red wine cask finish, it is the perfect embodiment of a true master’s art.
40 year old British shoe maker George Cleverley and The Balvenie distillery collaborated to produce this exclusive 40-year-old whisky, which comes in a handcrafted box made using 1786 Russian reindeer leather. So not just any old leather, or any old reindeer. But Russian reindeer. Only the best for the captain's table. Whilst serving this beaut at your boat-party you can casually mention, "this box is handcrafted from reindeer don't you know, and by the way, I bought 8 legs of venison for £20 down Lidl the other day, do you think that's two deer?" Watch your clever friends chortle with smug glee at your witty pun.
The Stronachie Distillery produced a traditional Highland-style whisky until the distillery closed in 1928. A bottle of Stronachie 1904 was purchased at auction - one of only four bottles left in existence. A small sample of whisky was drawn from this bottle and tasted. Apparently the taster took a hit, replaced the cork and whispered "No wonder they went bust." Not really, but imagine how funny that would be.
This very rare Auchentoshan 1965 was limited to only 123 bottles. What's unusual is the name Auchentoshan was also the name of my invisible friend at school. Unfortunately Auchentoshan was a bigoted-xenophobic, a racist and a bore. Not to mention a Man United supporter. We literally hated each other. Of course I digress. The Auchentoshan 1965 has mint notes. So once the hit of alcohol has settled, the mint tones provide an immediate coolant.
Super Nikka Revival
What makes this bobby-dazzler unusual is the sentimental back story. The first edition of "Super Nikka" was blended by the founder Masataka Taketsuru as a tribute to Rita, his Scottish wife. Masataka overcame the sadness after her death by devoting himself to creating this ultimate blend. And who says that the answer can't be found at the bottom of a whisky tumbler? The special 'Revival' blend is composed of grain whisky with malt from Yoichi, lending it a heavier, slightly peatier style when compared to today's Super Nikka bottling.