IT is in some ways its strength yet in others a weakness that whisky has such a breadth and depth to its character.
While the variety of flavours on offer is key to the enduring success of our national spirit, choosing a malt as a gift can be a daunting task.
Here Mark Connelly of the The Good Spirits Co. in Glasgow selects ten malts to suit any palette and wallet.
• GlenDronach 15 year-old - £43.50 - Christmas cake in a bottle. Full, rich, fruity with a dusting of spices.
• Nikka from the Barrel - £33 - A cask-strength Japanese blended whisky which is rich and fruity like the GlenDronach.
• Old Pulteney 12 year-old - £26 - A staple in our drinks cabinet. A well-balanced Highland malt with a subtle, salty, coastal tang.
• Springbank 15 year-old - £50 - Softly smoky with a rich, oily mouthfeel. Springbank is one of our favourite distilleries and always gets it right.
• Glen Garioch 1995 - £52 - Rich, Highland malt with a touch of smoke and spice.
• Glenglassaugh 26 year-old - £159 - A sumptous malt from the older stocks of this newly reopened distillery. One to watch.
• Ardbeg Uigeadail - £53.50 - One for the peat heads. This is classic, smoky Ardbeg and is as rich and as pungent as this distillery gets.
• Muckle Flugga - £33 - A blended malt which is overwintered in Shetland. Very smooth and easy-drinking.
• Isle of Skye 50 year-old - £925 - One of the best blends we’ve ever tried. Definitely something for that someone special.
• GlenDronach 1993 19 year-old - £75 - Yes, another Glendronach but this UK only single cask bottling that’s so good we’ve all bought ourselves one for Christmas.