£30-40, Blends, Ireland

Writers’ Tears Copper Pot (Walsh Whiskey)


A blend of single malt (60%) and single pot still (40%) whiskey but no grain. The Writers’ Tears is triple distilled, non-peated and matured in American Oak bourbon casks. A gold Medal winner at the International Spirits Challenge in London and one of the highest rated Irish Whiskeys in Jim Murrays Iconic “Whiskey Bible” it also features in Ian Buxton’s publication “101 Whiskeys to try before you die”.

Nose: Fruity with both apples and pineapples. Underlying mintyness with chocolate, like after eight mints.

Palate: Sweet warm rhubarb sprinkled with sugar

Finish: Boozy hot chocolate

Price: around £35

Blends, Over £100

Cutty Sark 33

Picture: Cutty Sark
Picture: Cutty Sark

Colour: Polished Copper

Nose: Very sweet on the nose, maple syrup, apricot, butter with a dash note of mixed spice.

Taste: Extremely smooth from its 33 years maturity. Brilliantly yummy on the palate we got mandarins with chocolate sauce and a spattering of pepper on top.

Finish: Very smooth creamy warming notes that are very long lasting.

Price: This extremely accomplished dram, with matching art deco glasses and book will set you back a cool £650. There is only 3,456 bottles released by Cutty Sark which might find itself snapped up by collectors pretty fast.

£30-40, Blends

Johnnie Walker Double Black

jw double black
Colour: Dark Toffee

Nose: A cleaning lady let loose in your local library – lots of TCP in there with the oakness of bookshelf and the smell of old books, you know the ones you find at the back of a cupboard. Also a bit of spice – peppery.

Taste: Bit like chewing on a piece of moss to begin with but develops beautifully into a prickly affair loaded with peat. There is a bit of leather in there as well as a very subtle taste of salty fish or seafood.

Finish: Extremely smooth for the initial peatiness – something rare to find in anything but the best Islay malts. Quite an uncomfortable cling to the mouth however and a strong aftertaste of brandy flavours.

Price: £32 not bad for a smooth peat dram but there are some very good malts out there that can be picked up for a similar price. Certainly worth a try, maybe a half bottle?

£40-50, Blends

Sheep Dip – Amoroso Oloroso 1999


Colour: Golden Sherry

Nose: A trip to the allotments to savour the fresh sugar-snap peas. Sitting on an overcast day eating sugar coated strawberries and drinking a hot chocolate, afterwards making a pot of bramble jam.

Taste: An after Sunday lunch treat, a sweet rhubarb and custard trifle infused with Grannies best gin. Followed by the sherry in Mothers Day fruit chocolate liquers. Pretty mellow all round and smooth for its age.

Finish: Spicy undertones but dissapoints with its lack of warmth, after taste is a regrettable vegtable oil and all round mellow yellow.

Value: a mid-range £47