Whisky Christmas gift ideas: With Christmas fast approaching (you can barely miss this fact what with all the festive decorations that are around) it’s probably time to buy some of your favourite people a present.
Usually, when I buy presents I try to think of what that person loves and more importantly what we can share together. So, basically something that will make us both happy (because the giving part is never enough).
And what’s bound to make to people happier in a socially acceptable way? Whisky of course!
So with that in mind I’ve put together this handy guide, with all the whiskies you’ll need to fit every taste and more importantly budget.
Great value whiskies (ranging from £20-50)
This has to be one of my favourite whiskies, an absolute gem from Gordon and MacPhail and quite rightly recognised with plenty of awards. Brace yourself because this is most poetic I get, imagine you are in an orchard, say in the middle of summertime and you are eating an apple. Then say the next field over someone is burning some wood and you are just catching a whiff of smoke. That’s what this whisky is like, it’s a goldilocks whisky, it’s just right. It has everything you need. A little bit of peat and a little bit of fruit and all for a cracking price. Price - £30 approx
57.8%abv Islay Blended Malt – Whiskies don’t come more Christmassy than this. Big Peat is a lovely peated, blended malt that features some cracking distilleries from Islay, including Ardbeg, Bowmore and Caol ila. However the real gem in its crown is the inclusion of some old Port Ellen to give it some real punch. It’s a really light spirit, with a really strong peaty nose, however the body is much lighter and fun to drink. Perfect for a post meal dram, and at natural cask strength it’s a great price. Price - £45 approx
43%abv (Speyside) – This is for those of your friends who are peat heads, a cracking little malt, that’s so far out of left field you’ll struggle to place it. It’s a 12 year old, peated speyside, finished in dark rum casks. Whatever evil genius came up with this, should get an award for thinking so far out of the box. Light bodied, with a nose that invokes smoked bananas (no really) and a great balanced finish, you can’t really go wrong with this. Price - £30-35
matured (Lowland) 46% abv - This is a very interesting little malt, that comes believe it or not from further south than Newcastle, it is still very much Scottish though. The distillery that sits on the most southern of the compass points, it has recently only been taken over and is now producing some great malts worthy of the lowlands. This bottling is very light but packed with flavour. It’ll definitely be a favourite for sherry heads. Price - £40-45
Something a little more premium perhaps?
Gaja Barolo cask (Campbeltown) – The latest release from Springbank distillery is part of their new special edition range and it’s a wee cracker. Briney, oily and with a little bit of spice from the European oak, and a zestiness from that young age it’s a great wee winter warmer. Price £59.90
Big rich and very spicy, this whisky, matured entirely in American virgin oak casks, is something very new. Traditionally, whisky has always been stored in casks that have already been used to store another spirit such as bourbon and sherry as the new oak was considered overpowering to the subtle flavours of whisky. However recent experiments have shown in some cases the virgin oak works and this is a strong example of that success. Price £65
Sherry 58.8% abv (Highland) - The long awaited second batch of the Teapot Dram has made its return to Glengoyne. For almost 150 years, workers at Glengoyne were allowed three large drams while on duty throughout the day, with the extra being kept in a copper tea pot for additional nips on their tea break, this whisky is aimed at replicating those days. It’s a sherry monster, with hints of brown sugar and Christmas cakes. Any sherry head will love this whisky. Price £59.99
Looking for something really special? Try these:-
50.8% abv (Highland)– Some distilleries do sherry well and some do them great, this distillery however simply does it best, showing what can be done with the production values and the right casks. Absolute winter warmer and at cask strength it’s as natural as they come. Christmas pudding and Plum Jam. Price £113
48.2% abv (Lowland) - Ok so now we are onto the real older stuff, this 47 year old, is one of the oldest you can get on release from Girvan, don’t be fooled by the fact it’s not a malt, it’s an absolute cracker and a must have for those who like single grains, want something different or just love that light, rich vanilla flavour. Price £140
And for those you really love:-
43% abv (Highland) – This is without a doubt a most amazing whisky, rare but entirely worth it, from a distillery that has been mothballed for a long time. Rich, subtly fruity with just the perfect hint of smoke, it’s hard to describe how good this whisky will make you feel unless you try it. Price £350
And for those of you looking for something a little different…..
51.4% abv (Japanese) - Winner of more than a few awards this is quite simply one of the best value whiskies available worldwide and definitely one that will fit snuggly into anyone’s collection. An incredible wee dram with just so much punch, Nikka are a Japanese distillery who really know how to make a good whisky. Price £35-40 (500ml)