Everyone likes a bottle of something warming in their stocking from Santa, but what to buy isn’t always that simple. Well it seems that whisky is the tipple of the season, with many special offers and great gift sets in stores and online. So if you’re stuck for what whisky to buy your loved ones this Christmas, we’ve compiled a complete guide to Scotches to suit everyone!
Scotch fans usually have a particular whisky character they are fond of year-round, so whisky gift buying at Christmas can be the perfect occasion for experimenting with new styles and discovering new lifelong favourites.
No longer is whisky gifting intimidating, but a time where enthusiasts embrace change and enjoy the simple pleasure of unearthing new brands, ages and expressions. With so much choice available, from Speyside single malts to aged blends, we hope our guide will help novice drinkers learn the ropes, while allowing seasoned fans the opportunity to expand their whisky horizons.
The smooth one – Chivas Regal 12
With a radiant, warm amber colour, and an aromatic infusion of wild herbs, heather, honey and orchard fruits, this rich and fruity Chivas bursts with the smooth taste of ripe, honeyed apples, and notes of vanilla, hazelnut and butterscotch. Balancing style with substance and tradition, Chivas Regal 12 is a blend of the finest selection of malt and grain Scotch whiskies, matured for at least 12 years. RRP £28.19, stockists include at Tesco, Waitrose, Morrison’s, ASDA, www.thewhiskyexchange.com and all specialist retailers.
The approachable one – Glen Moray Classic Single Malt
The Glen Moray is a classic Speyside Single Malt offering excellent value for money, and great as an entry into the world of whisky. An approachable drink with butterscotch and shortbread on the nose, this is guaranteed to please whisky-lovers of every level. Available from Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Co-Op. RRP £20.00.
The fruity one – The Glenlivet Founders Reserve
With a palate of zesty orange, pear and toffee apples. this whisky has a creamy and smooth finish. The original single malt that started it all, the Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve makes a truly special gift to remember. The Glenlivet has created an expression to honour the original vision of its pioneering founder George Smith; The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve pays tribute to the uniquely smooth and fruity taste Smith first envisioned in 1824, but with a contemporary twist. The result is a whisky with delicious aromas of citrus fruit and notes of oranges and pears, while the long, creamy, smooth finish makes this a deliciously satisfying dram. RRP £34.15, stockists include at Tesco, Waitrose, Morrison’s, ASDA,www.thewhiskyexchange.com and all specialist retailers.
The exotic one – Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky
Handcrafted and aged in the foothills of the Himalayas and styled as The Kohinoor of Single Malts, this super premium malt whisky is steeped in the rich Indian heritage and enduring traditions of the Maharajas. Available exclusively from The Whisky Exchange, www.thewhiskyexchange.com RRP £40.95.
The rich one – Aberlour 12
A soft and rounded whisky with fruity notes of red apple, a wee dram of this is warming with a lingering sweet flavour and spicy aftertaste. Founded by James Fleming in 1879, the Aberlour Distillery produces a distinguished range of rich, rewarding and complex single malt whiskies, beloved by whisky experts and connoisseurs around the world. Aberlour 12 is a classic example of how the Aberlour new-make spirit is matured, with a subtle and well balanced Sherry cask influence. The citrus character of the new spirit is not overpowered but perfectly complemented and enriched by superlative use of ex-Sherry casks. RRP £35.25, stockists include at Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Morrisons, Tesco,www.thewhiskyexchange.com and all specialist retailers.
The mysterious one – The Glenlivet Cipher
Presented in an opaque, black bottle without any tasting or cask information, The Glenlivet Cipher is a Scotch whisky shrouded in mystery that helps whisky lovers to push the boundaries of flavour exploration. Crafted from a unique cask combination that has never before been used by The Glenlivet, Cipher will offer a new flavour experience to explore whilst staying true to the flawlessly smooth and fruity flavour that has made the distillery famous. The Glenlivet Cipher is available at Selfridges for £110.
The indulgent one – Winchester Vintage 1966
With a deliciously sweet nose with the aromas of treacle, moist raisins and apricot jam, the palate is then gratified with the release of candied, sumptuous soft fruits, sweet treacle and juicy orange, layered by delicate spice – a teasing intermingling of cinnamon and liquorice. An assault on the senses if ever there was one! The finish is exceptionally long and smooth, with a pleasing hint of dryness. The subtle, exotic spice set in relief against the signature soft sweetness is just one of the elements that differentiate this special vintage from the prestigious Vintage 1964.
1966 is the second edition in this exquisite collection of 50-year old single malt. The pinnacle of the Glenlivet range, the series of rarefied 50 year-old single malt whiskies have been crafted over generations, matured over decades and hidden within the walls of the Glenlivet distillery. With only 100 bottles of this rare and precious liquid in existence across the globe, the historic The Glenlivet Winchester Vintage 1966 is available at prestige retailers including Harrods for an RRP of £20,000.