Choosing the perfect whisky!

If you’re new to Scotch whisky, or you are buying for a lover of whisky but don’t know what to get them – don’t worry! Our team have come up with some things to consider when buying a bottle. Head to our Whisky Shop and ask one of our highly knowledgeable team of advisers to help you find the perfect whisky!

Christmas is immanent so if you can’t make it to the shop (and we know how stressful it can be choosing the perfect gift) we hope this guide helps ease the festive fluster!

Who is it for? 

Firstly, is the whisky for yourself or a gift? If you are buying for yourself, you will likely already know your whisky likes and dislikes, however if it is a gift, you may not know the preferences of the recipient. If this is the case, it is always good to gain some background knowledge on the preferred flavours of the person. Even just being aware of other drinks that they enjoy is helpful when choosing a whisky to match their palate.

If you are still not sure about different flavours have a look at our ‘Flavour Profile’. Here we have set out different aromas and flavours that can be found in whiskies – choose your favourite and see which whiskies match these flavours. Easy!

How important is the “look” of the whisky? 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being drawn to buying a whisky which has had as much craft spent on it’s appearance as it has on the spirit itself.  Seeing the amount of care and attention a brand, the bottle and the story have received, shows the passion and care the team has put into matching the hard work done by their colleagues who distilled the spirit. Give the adviser a feeling for how much this matters to you to help narrow down the choice.

Do you have any connections to places in Scotland?

Each bottle of whisky contains a story and we are hugely fortunate to create whisky all over the country from the towns and cities to the most remote, rural corners.  Finding a whisky that connects to a place that you have visited or is meaningful to you will bring back the memories with every sip.

Did you know there are 5 different whisky making regions in Scotland, we have – Lowlands, Highlands, Speyside, Campbeltown and Islay. Each region is known for it’s different whisky making styles, flavours and heritage!

Ask your adviser

Always ask your adviser about their personal favourites and how their preferences have changed over time. A true whisky fan and expert will happily answer this question with plenty of anecdotes and tales, showing you how their love of Scotch has flourished. Make the most of their journey to inspire your own – something that they say will resonate with you. 

Try before you buy

If you can, try before you buy; whether it’s the perfect gift for you or for a loved one. If you are gifting, you can impress your recipient by giving a detailed tasting note of the bottle as they open it. On the other hand, if you are choosing a whisky for yourself, create a shortlist of two whiskies – this will clarify your choice as you can really determine the differences and you will be far more likely to continue to enjoy the whisky when you take it back home.

Finally you’ll notice that there is no mention of price.  Price should be the final element not the first.  Keep your mind totally open and you’ll discover so much more if you don’t lock yourself into the price to start with.   It doesn’t change your budget, but it may well change all the information you glean from all the above!

We hope this guide helps and you enjoy the experience of choosing a Scotch whisky, whether for yourself or for someone else!

Slàinte Mhath!

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