Best Whisky

Coorie in with Scotland’s national drink this winter. As the amber nectar is so prolifically produced on our shores, buying a bottle for a gift or yourself, keeps your beverage-related carbon footprint low. A wee dram will also keep you warm, whether served solo, with water, on the rocks, or as part of a cocktail. Here are our favourite buys this season.

Glenmorangie A Tale Of Winter

A Tale of Winter takes its cue from the humble winter jumper. It was first imagined by Glenmorangie’s Director of Whisky Creation, who came up with the idea for the new incarnation when snowed in at home by a roaring fire. The 13-year-old single malt is matured in Marsala wine casks from Sicily, bringing notes of fruit, honey, cocoa dust, red pepper, brazil nut toffee and the Christmas spices of cinnamon, ginger and clove.

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Glenlivet Licenced Dram

The distillery was the first to be licensed in Speyside, back in 1823, and Glenlivet’s new dram pays homage to this heritage. It’s the second limited edition from The Glenlivet Original Stories series, a 12-year-old bottling dedicated to the brand founder George Smith, who received the licence. Matured in first-fill American and first-fill European Oak-Casks, this whisky is bottled without chill-filtration with an ABV of 48%vol.

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Bunnahabhain Stiuireadair Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Stiùireadair means ‘helmsman’ in Scots Gaelic and specifically the Bunnahabhain helmsman in this instance. This expression celebrates the sea and the coast where the whisky was matured (by the Sound of Islay) in first and second fill sherry casks. It’s non-chillfiltered and left with its natural colouring. The result is a creamy liquid with notes of dried fruit, sea salt, caramel, nuts and gentle spice. This particular Islay single malt is is unpeated, allowing for a sweeter flavour, representative of its home island.

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Black Bottle’s Island Smoke

Brand new in 2021, is Black Bottle’s  Alchemy Series. It’s made up of two whiskies, including this blended Scotch whisky titled Island Smoke and the Double Cask expression. Island Smoke it one for those who prefer a peatier, smoky taste to their tipple and for those who enjoy a hint of something coastal – the liquor has a nose of coastal air, scorched oak and seaweed and alongside vanilla sweetness and kicks of spice.

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Tobermory 23-year-old Oloroso

Derived from the popular Tobermory 15 Year Old release in 2008, this incarnation has luxuriated in extra years of maturation, for a deeper flavour profile.The 23 year old single malt has been finished in Gonzales Byass sherry casks after ageing in refill hogsheads. It has notes of caramelised dates and walnuts, orange, barley, blackcurrant jam and brioche, with a palate of crunchie bars, melted butter, rum cake, sultana, fig, vanilla tablet and milk chocolate.

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Glenmorangie X

The Highland single malt has been created in collaboration with leading bartenders, as, unlike others from the distillery, it’s been made with a view to mixing, rather than drinking straight. It contains notes of pear, vanilla, orange and fudge, lending itself nicely to a fruity, rich cocktail.

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Ardbeg Blaaack Single Scotch Limited Edition

A very special and unusual whisky from the monster-themed distillery, it’s limited edition and comes in a beautifully designed presentation box. It’s a feisty liquor celebrating Ardberg’s 20 years in the business. Pinot noir casks from New Zealand have been used to mature the liquid, resulting in flavours evocative of summer fruit pudding, bitter cherry, soot and Ardbeg’s hallmark smoke.

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Blue Spot 7-Year-Old

Another great option for those who like their whisky spicy! This brand has had a recent resurgence after disappearing from supermarkets and off licences back in the 1960s. Relaunched by Mitchell & Son as a triple distilled 7-year-old single pot still Irish whiskey, Blue Spot is matured in bourbon, sherry, and Madeira casks, then bottled at cask strength. As such, it’s full of character, flavour and packs a punch.

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Glen Scotia 30-Year-Old

This is the latest release from the Campbeltown-based distillery. This single malt was drawn from European oak casks and bottled up at cask strength and with only 500 bottles produced, it’s a limited edition. It has notes of violet, lavender, seaspray, green apple, nutmeg and allspice. Honeyed pear and candied lemon peel break through the spiciness and into the smoothness of dark chocolate and espresso.

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Benromach Classic Speyside 15-Year-Old Whisky

Like your whisky neat? Choose this 15-year-old Speyside designed to be enjoyed by itself (or perhaps with a little splash of water). It comes from the family-run Benromach distillery and has a deep flavour. Sherry aromas blend with vanilla pod, zesty orange and spicy ginger along with chamomile and menthol notes. To taste, it’s reminiscent of fruit cake with stewed plum, red apple skin and the tanginess of kiwi fruit.

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Tamdhu Batch Strength #6

The perfect festive gift or digestif for the yuletide season, this bottle contains notes of Christmas cake, cinnamon and dates. It’s Tamdhu’s sixth batch of this single malt strength and has been matured in Oloroso sherry casks, before being bottled at a whopping 56.8% ABV. As such, it’s sure to last you a while and will certainly keep you toasty on chilly nights.

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