Here we have put together our top ten whiskies at the moment. It’s only our opinion and we realise that there are hundreds of great whiskies that deserve to make the list, but we have to start somewhere. So based on enjoyment, availability and price…….. in no particular order, here we go!
Dalwhinnie Distillers Edition 2016
If you like a gentle whiff of peat to your dram, then this ones for you. Distilled in 2000 and bottled in 2016, this Distillers Edition is finished in Olorosso sherry casks which gives a spicy overtone, which manages not to hide the rich heather honey associated with the distillery. Starting with honey and chocolate on the nose, then moving on to a slightly fruity malt with a gentle puff of peat, this elegant whisky finishes with a warm spicy tingle that rises through the remaining smoke.
Glen Grant 10 Year Old
This “gentle, elegant Speyside Single Malt” from the Glen Grant Distillery, is matured in Bourbon casks. Rich golden in colour, it has a dry nose but a lovely fruity palate that lets almond and hazelnuts have a look in. It finishes gently and this is where the almonds caress your tongue, till they fade into the pleasant memory.
This is a scotch that deserves a place in your collection and in our opinion is priced well below it’s worth. Bargain.
Nikka Coffey Grain Malt
Here’s something a little bit different. The Japanese have a long history of producing whisky and this one is no exception. Distilled mainly from corn, using two Coffey stills bought over from Scotland in the sixties, Nikka produces a spirit resembling Bourbon. Think sweet, vanilla, maple syrup, vanilla and brown sugar.
For the scotch purists out there, this one might stick in the back of the throat (in a metaphoric way), but we say give it a go, relax and enjoy.
Glen Scotia 15 Year Old
Founded in 1832, Glen Scotia is in the Campbelton region, on the Kintyre peninsula. The more sensitive and romantically inclined noses, might be able to pick up the tang of sea associated with this coastal region, but most people will think of orange coloured fruits and ginger. The palate is drier than the nose suggests with caramel and cinnamon. This opens up to reveal the wood that comes from the american oak barrels it matures in, before finishing in a dry, firm warmth.
Ardbeg 10 Year Old
If you like your whisky peaty, then look no further. This is a big hitter when it comes to smoke, continuing the long tradition of the Islay region. Underneath the huge waterfall of peat, that hits like a toddlers punch on the nose; shocking at first but makes you smile; lies vanilla and citrus and this continues on into the mouth, where the non-chill filtered element, helps to give this famous whisky even more mouth feel. The finish lasts longer than a fathers speech at his daughters wedding; that’s right, it goes on and on. So sit back and enjoy the salty, charcoal on your tongue, because it’s not going away.
Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask Strength
Looking for something a little bit unusual. This Taiwanese cask strength whisky hits the spot. Kavalan is a relatively new distillery, beginning production in 2006, but already winning accolades. Single malt, matured in Olorosso sherry casks, produces a deep, no colour added, ruby nectar. This one comes in at 57.1% and benefits from a splash of water, to bring out thick layers of dried fruit, spices and nuts. It has a heavy mouth feel, helped by the lack of chill filtering, releasing more of those fruits and spices that hold on to give the finish a consistent feel with the rest of the experience. An interesting conversation starter that partly due to it’s hard hitting price tag, not many people will risk having in their collection.
Glenmorangie Signet Single Malt
If you can afford and source it, then the decision is simple. Grab it with both hands. Coffee, cocoa and orange peels hit the nose and the sweetness on the palate is balanced with a gentle bitterness from the chocolate malt used in the recipe. The finish is surprisingly fruity and dry.
Experience abounds in this offering from a thoroughbred stable. Some of their oldest whisky, rare casks and a hell of a lot of cloak and dagger secrecy, all go into this beautiful bottle. Bravo.
Strathisla 12 Year Old Scotch
This Speyside single malt is the backbone for all the Chivas Regal blends. I’ve always been fond of Chivas Regal blends, probably because my favourite great uncle used to drink it, and the respect I had for him transferred across to it. So, understandably I’m fond of this understated, soft whisky. Fruity is the word that comes to mind, gentle cinnamon and sultanas. Malty in the mouth, long finish with a touch of oak. Great price.
Penderyn Welsh Whisky
Wales isn’t the region most people think of when talking about whisky, but this offering from the Penderyn distillery, in the foothills of Wales is worth talking about. Matured in bourbon casks and finished in Madeira wine casks, resulting in a crisp, tropical fruit nose. It’s thick and warm on the palate, finishing on a fresh point with lingering spice.
If you like some peat to your Welsh whisky, then check out the Penderyn Celt.
Balvenie DoubleWood 17 Year Old
The Balvenie instills history, lineage, pedigree, experimentation and bravery into every bottle, earned through decades of hard won respect. Matured in American oak barrels and finished in sherry casks, this big brother to the 12 year old DoubleWood, has a more complex and interesting personality. It’s aroma has honey, vanilla and oak that transfers into the palate along with a handful of dried fruits, a pinch of cinnamon and toasty almonds. The finish is dominated by sweet vanilla and honey. The price is well justified, for this classy, 17 year old malt.
Well that’s our top ten at the moment. Thanks for sticking with us to the end and we hope you found a little inspiration!