Top 10 whiskies for Christmas and New Year
From single to triple malt and Scotch whisky to Irish – along with Bourbons, blends, and whiskies over 30 years old – the IWSC’s range of winning whiskies has something for everyone.
There are notes of burnt sugar, toffee which leads to a palate of toffee apples, brandy snaps and red Haribo sweets. The finish is spiced apricot jam, black cherry and oak spices.
Where to buy: Amazon, £33.75
A tale of two gardens, one a fragrant and floral country cottage garden, the other a ripening vegetable garden with herbs growing alongside. Spicy and peppery on the palate with maple syrup and fresh honey-blossom.
Where to buy: Amazon, £37.99
Very intense and rich hit of spices and dried fruits like apricot and pineapple fritters. Plenty of acacia honey and white spring flowers from snowdrops to tulips. Sweet peach melba start on the palate with spicy and woody and a great array of aged notes. The entire sensation carries towards a long and lingering finish.
Where to buy: Amazon, £43.99
At this age the fresh peat smoke breaks down to aromas of delicate undergrowth and sweet floral hints with a distant beach barbecue and plenty of dark chocolate. Gently smoked palate with a fantastic definition of tropical fruits. The finish is sweet, smoky and very very long.
Where to buy: The Whisky Exchange, £79.95
Elegant and restrained nose for such a great whiskey. Plenty of fresh chocolate nougat and sweet nuts with. Very elegant and classy. Floral notes follow with cinnamon and cassis bark. The palate is round with a refreshing firm edge of alcohol keeping it balanced and building a nice gentle finish.
Where to buy: Amazon, £75.57
A delicate yet personality-driven nose that gives hints of warm croissants, light vanilla custard and some fresh, tropical fruits. The palate delivers a malty foundation with a mix of milk chocolate and turkish sweets and loads of tropical fruits. The finish is honey and lavender.
Where to buy: The Whisky Exchange, £85.45
A floral yet fruity dram, exhibiting flavours of juicy blood oranges and stewed gooseberries. Slightly savoury aromatic notes of olive oil and an idyllic country kitchen baking bread and cake. An earthy finish ties it altogether nicely.
Where to buy: Amazon, £88.99
Fresh clear apple juice at first, with elements of gorse and pear followed by light tropical fruits. The palate is more tropical fruits with some vanilla and oak spices. The finish has hints of leather but with more and more tropical fruits and juicy fruit chewing gum. Full flavoured, unusual and bold yet showing great elegance and balance. Outstanding.
Where to buy: Amazon, £90.89
W. L. Weller 12 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Great memories of the candy shop. Floral, sweet and vanilla all around with hints of white chocolate. The palate is very expressive and deep with a rollercoaster ride of sweet candy and spicy notes ending up in cedar wood and cinnamon on the finish. Beautiful expression of an aged whiskey with a lot of concentration to offer.
Where to buy: Distillers Direct, £95.99
Great and expressive start with plenty of vanilla, nutmeg and Victoria sponge cake and almonds. The palate is very creamy and bold. Sweetness balance by alcohol and the wood tannins. Round and great with a silky mouthfeel at it’s full cask strength. I’d not bother with water in this case.
Where to buy: Master of Malt, £151.95