Each month, we ask Bar Manager and Scotch Whisky Experience managerial apprentice Ian Clement to choose a selection of Scotch whiskies to showcase as our whiskies of the month. This month’s theme is celebration, so read on to find some perfect whiskies to bring to the party…
“Here at The Scotch Whisky Experience, we are always looking for a good reason to celebrate, and this month, what better reason than the Diageo Claive Vidiz Collection, the worlds largest collection of Scotch whisky, becoming available view on whisky tours again!
The Collection is looking better than ever after the recent work to upgrade the lighting, air conditioning and general storage facilitation of this amazing piece of Scotch whisky history. To celebrate that, here are 8 whiskies we’ve chosen to say “welcome back”!
Lowland: Ailsa Bay
Unusually for a Lowland single malt, Ailsa Bay has been peated, meaning it’s got a real smoky kick to it, however it is also matured in very small casks (around 50 litres) giving it an intense sweetness as well. Ailsa Bay is perfect for anyone who’s looking to dip their toes into the world of peated single malt, or for anyone who is already a fan of peated single malt and looking for something a little bit different. A perfect ‘talking point’ whisky at any shindig!
Highland: Tomatin 14 year old Port Wood Finish
Tomatin is a distillery that likes to showcase the softer side of the Highlands in their core range, and this particular expression is no different. As the name suggests, this 14 year old Tomatin has been finished off in Port casks, which means it has a really intense sweetness to it. Think blackcurrant jam, butterscotch, and strawberries: all perfect additions to a celebratory table!
Speyside: The Glenrothes Whisky Maker’s Cut
This is part of the newly Soleo range from the Glenrothes distillery, matured in first-fill sherry seasoned oak casks. It’s bottled at a much higher strength compared to the rest of the range (48.8%), giving it a bit of a kick that’s perfect for rounding off a celebratory evening. This Glenrothes has plenty of creamy vanilla and oak spice, alongside dried fruits, and a light ginger spice.
Campbeltown: Glen Scotia Victoriana
Glen Scotia perfectly captures the maritime character that you expect from a Campbeltown distillery, and with the Victoriana this is particularly apparent! Alongside that typical sea spray you will also find some strong oak notes, vanilla, pepper and just a hint of smoke. If you’re new to the whisky region of Campbeltown, what better way to start exploring their range than with the recently announced Campbeltown Malts Festival, a big celebration of this tiny, unique region that runs from the 21st-23rd May 2019.
Islay: Port Charlotte Islay Barley
A heavily peated whisky, this particular Port Charlotte expression has been made using barley grown entirely on the island of Islay, celebrated by the Bruichladdich distillery as a “dynamic, energetic community”. Expect a lot of peat smoke, and some savoury meatiness alongside vanilla sweetness. Think a beach barbeque with toasted marshmallows – the best kind of summer party.
Blended: Ballantine’s Finest
It wouldn’t be a party without a cocktail or two, and Ballantine’s Finest is a favourite among mixologists the world over for its smoothness and flavour compatibility. Unsurprisingly the flavour profile is subtle and balanced, with some lovely notes of chocolate, red apple and vanilla. Try it in our very own Whisky Smash cocktail for a surefire crowd-pleaser.
If you are in the mood for something sweeter then this has you covered! This is a liqueur which uses Old Pulteney single malt and its pure sweetness is an ideal after-dinner dram if you’re having a more of a low-key, high-class get together. It also goes perfectly with its sister single malt Old Pulteney 12-year-old, in the best Rusty Nail cocktail recipe you’ll ever find – just mix equal parts single malt and liqueur over ice, and enjoy. On the palate, expect lots of honey, toffee, and a little hint of fruit.
Luxury Scotch: Dewar’s 25 year old
A proper celebration calls for a touch of luxury, and if you really want to treat yourself then you can’t go wrong with something like Dewar’s 25 year old. Released in 2017 to instant acclaim, this much-loved blend is incredibly light and fresh, with notes of banoffee pie, citrus, a little bit of oak, and an incredibly silky smooth texture.