Every year, Burns fans around the world celebrate with traditions such as a “Burns Supper” of haggis, neeps and tatties, featuring a recital of the traditional “Address to a Haggis”, and of course a dram or two of Scotch Whisky. So to honour this we have put together a selection of top whiskey’s to mark the occasion in 2023…
Paul John Brilliance whisky
Asia’s most awarded single malt, Paul John whiskies hail from the warm climes of Goa, using Himalayan barley and Goan natural waters.
Brilliance offers sweet fragrances of demerara sugar on the nose, with hints of cinnamon, hone and spices before making way to honeycomb, tinged with cacao. The smooth and relaxed finish, with deep intense vanilla, pairs perfectly with fruit pies and grilled media. Brilliance won a gold award at the Spirits Selection in 2019 and was a category winner at the World Whisky Awards 2020
RRP: £40, 70 cl, 46% abv, available from The Whisky Exchange
Compass box – The Peat Monster
Still very much the whisky for those who love big, rich, smoky-peaty malts, our latest version of THE PEAT MONSTER is older and more elegant than before. New batches of THE PEAT MONSTER boast a spectrum of powerful coastal flavours, combining the smokiness of a driftwood fire with more medicinal peat notes. Orchard fruits and rich cask-derived creaminess balance the multi-layered smoke. It is a new peaty landscape, as the Painting Label shows.
Compass box – Glasgow Blend
Aromas of sherry and smoke permeate the streets of Glasgow
In his 1930s book ‘Whisky’, Aeneas MacDonald teaches us that Glaswegians historically preferred fuller bodied and more flavour-packed whiskies than people in other parts of the world. So what better name for a whisky such as this?
Glaswegians are also famed for their sense of humour, which is why the city’s Wellington statue – traditionally dressed down with a traffic cone – is featured on the front label. Full, rich and smoky on the palate, with notes of sticky toffee pudding, Sherry wine character and impressions of a coal fire, Glasgow Blend shines in combination with rich cheeses and cured meats.
Compass box – Hedonism
Purity, sweetness and entrancing textures: the prized virtues of mature Scottish grain whiskies.
At their best, aged in good quality American oak casks, brimming with vanilla and echoing rich pastry cream on the finish, grain whiskies are amongst the most delicious whiskies in the world. They are the perfect whiskies to name…Hedonism.
Hedonism will always be lush, soft and creamy but each year we use different whiskies, in different combinations, to achieve this. The aromas and flavours hint of vanilla, caramel, a delicate fruitiness, accented by flashes of coconut in the finish. This is a whisky that will appeal to both the ardent whisky enthusiast and newcomers to whisky alike.
EDEN MILL ART OF ST ANDREWS WHISKY COLLECTION
Patience, passion and the pursuit of perfection: these have been hallmarks of Eden Mill’s first 10 years of distilling. They’re also key ingredients for the Head Distiller, whose fascination with the ancient town has found its way into every drop of the new, limited-edition single malt series: The Art of St Andrews Collection.
In celebration of the story so far and the deep craft that goes into every bottle Eden Mill produce, they have commissioned local artists to produce similarly-inspired and hand-crafted artworks which add to the unique character of these limited-run expressions, to be released annually on St Andrews Day.
For 2022, Mairi Clark created a richly textured and vividly colourful oil painting of the dramatic St Andrews coast — incorporating a subtle depiction of our upcoming distillery due to open in 2024. Mairi’s artwork perfectly echoes the marriage of flavours in this year’s expression: a sweet yet subtly spicy whisky, which brings a rush of sherry and apple notes underpinned by a toasty, buttery nuttiness and zesty bitters.
The Art of St. Andrews limited edition whisky RRPs at £150 and is now available from www.edenmill.com.
James Eadie Linkwood 10 yr Speyside Single Malt Whisky
This small batch 10 yr Single Malt from the historic Linkwood distillery was made from just three casks, each of which were re-charred hogsheads – a rarely-seen type of cask which imparts additional flavours of nuts, cream and spice.
The GlenAllachie 12-year-old
To celebrate the national bard in 2023, we recommend a dram of our flagship 12-year-old single malt. Matured in a combination of Sherry, red wine and virgin oak casks, this rich and complex Speyside whisky delivers layers of warming mocha, damson jam, wild heather honey and dried fruits. Bottled at 46% ABV, natural colour and non chill filtered, it ticks every box for whisky connoisseurs without blowing the bank.
Jura 12 Year Old
In 2018, the Isle of Jura whisky range got a rather snazzy relaunch, which included this tasty 12 year old single malt. Distilled on the eponymous Inner Hebridean island, this expression was initially matured in American white oak ex-Bourbon barrels, before being moved over to Oloroso sherry casks for a finishing period. A great example of Jura’s delicious malts, more than suitable as an after dinner dram.
Available from Master of Malt
Cotswolds Signature Single Malt Whisky
The award-winning Cotswolds Signature Single Malt Whisky was launched in 2017 and is the first whisky ever distilled in the Cotswolds. Rich and fruity, Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky is sippable with notes of honey, Seville orange marmalade and dark red fruits.
Available from: Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Ocado, Majestic, The Whisky Exchange, Amazon and Cotswolds Distillery
For something a bit different we recommend this Celtic whisky from Brittany in France. The nose is rich and opulent with the first powerful notes of grain and slight peat give way to an aromatic palette combining the sweetness of vanilla, the complexity of leather and smoky tobacco and some honey. In the mouth the honey extends supported by slight peat and saline notes with aromas of gingerbread combined with flavours of candied fruit.
Availability: The Whisky Exchange, Master Of Malt
Diageo’s Elusive Expressions Special Releases Scotch Whisky Collection
Pouring from some of our oldest whisky dynasties in Scotland, the collection pushes the boundaries of flavour uncovering treasures and rare finds in limited quantities. This cask-strength whisky collection embraces prominent contrasts, experimenting with extended secondary maturation techniques and new cask finishes including Tawny Port and Red Muscato casks to impart different flavours for fans of the distilleries to enjoy.
For this collection, Diageo partnered with well-known illustrators Ken Taylor and Kevin Tong for the on-pack illustrations, and a graphic-novel team in London to create the first ever Special Releases cocktail – incentivising to experiment with the liquids in the collection while exploring the legends behind each protagonist. For the first time ever, Diageo has also launched some bottles in a 20cl format for only £35 – perfect for gifts as well!
Available on Malts.com and independent retailers
The English Whisky Company
England’s oldest whisky distillery and has been producing whisky since 2006. Produced in Norfolk, one of the finest barley growing regions, this multi-awarded English distillery produces high quality single malt whiskies. The English – Original is a delicious whisky aged in bourbon casks. With a gentle aroma with hints of vanilla and tropical fruit it melts on your palate. ABV 43%. Priced from £45 – https://www.englishwhisky.co.uk/product/the-english-original/
Bowmore 15 Year-Old
Matured in an inspired combination of both bourbon and sherry casks, it’s the final three years spent in Oloroso sherry casks that gives Bowmore 15 Years Old its rich, deep colour.
Glenfiddich Fire & Cane
The ideal dram for a rustic winter’s day, Glenfiddich’s Fire & Cane is the fourth concept in the Experimental Series and marries whisky with non-peated malts that have been matured side-by-side in bourbon casks. Providing an explosion of campfire smokiness, the Latin finished rum leaves a lingering woodiness on the palate with a surprising long-lasting flavour of sweet toffee, soft spice, and toasted marshmallow.
Glenfiddich’s Fire & Cane is available to purchase for £38.00 (RRP 70cl) from Master of Malt
Oxford Pure Rye Spirit
An English rye spirit from Oxford Artisan Distillery, made with organic heritage grains grown in the English countryside. Aromas of sandalwood and vanilla fill the nose, complemented by notes of creamy praline, sourdough toast, nutmeg, cloves, roasted nuts and creamy vanilla throughout the palate.
Available from The Whiskey Exchange