Which whiskies should you have on your list this Christmas?
Are you looking for a festive dram to leave out for Santa? We asked six whisky experts to select their festive favourites for you to try. Here’s what they came up with:
1. Ryan Chetiyawardana (AKA Mr Lyan), bartender: “Glendronach 21 Parliament – a rich heavily sherried Christmas dram. Sweeter and more stewed in dried fruits than my second choice, which would be The Macallan Master’s Edition No2, but ideal for that clichéd fireplace and leather armchair indulgence.”
2. The Whisky Lady (Anne-Sophie Bigot), whisky blogger: “Christmas is all about spending great moments in good company to me, meaning you need to find a dram that will suit everyone’s taste, whether they are whisky newbies or die-hard malt maniacs. This whisky to me would be a Green Spot Château Léoville Barton – I’ve been pouring it for many guests over the past few months and never went wrong.”
3. Blair Bowman, World Whisky Day Founder: “You simply can’t go wrong with Highland Park. It works well as an aperitif with Ginger Ale if you want a bubbly alternative to fizz as a pre-xmas-dinner drink. It also makes for an excellent post-xmas dinner dram when everyone is dozing around on the couch after the meal. The sweetness of the sherry notes and the faint wisps of peat smoke add to the winteriness of this very warming dram.”
4. Gavin D Smith, author of Let me tell you about whisky: “I’d suggest a Glenfarclas 21 year old. A classic sherried Speyside, beautifully balanced, complex and satisfying, and a bargain compared to most of the opposition at less than £90.”
5. Alwynne Gwilt (Miss Whisky), blogger and Whisky Specialist at William Grant & Sons: “A perfect post-meal winter warmer, the smoky, sweet Ailsa Bay is ideal for sipping beside the fire and celebrating the season.”
6. Fred Minick, author of Bourbon: The Rise, Fall & Rebirth of An American Whiskey and Bourbon Curious: A Simple Tasting Guide for the Savvy Drinker: “Old Crow Chess Decanter Series from the 1960s. It was 10-year-old, 86 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and the most complex bourbon I’ve tasted – rich vanilla on a different level and profound baking spices that sent chills down my spine. It had a 10 to 15-minute finish I can still taste when I close my eyes.”