The nights are drawing in; you’re having to scrape your car every morning before skidding your way to work and all you really want to do is sit in front of a log fire with a good dram.
Never fear, Christmas is almost here with its many days of food and drink! Whether you are looking to buy a cheap bottle for that uncle you haven’t seen since last year or are looking for a scrummy malt to enjoy on a mince pie belly we have put together a series of Christmas shopping list of aWfW favourites. First up is our Bargain Buys and these are all much better presents than getting sports socks 2 for a £1 from the guy outside your local Aldi.
Bargain Bin – Great deals on bottles for around £25
Glenrothes 8 Year Old
It’s that age old argument you have with someone in a whisky pub every time you order a cheap dram. Age ≠ Quality. True the 25-year-old Glenfarclas is famous for its rich and silky texture but not all young whisky is to be cast aside like a disappointing pair of socks of Christmas morning that say ‘super dad’.
No longer available the 8 year old Highland Park by MacPhails’ Collection was one of such these gems. But never fear, the lads Gordon and MacP have realised another edition in their collection, this time the 8 year old Glenrothes. We tasted this last week and cannot believe the price for such an accomplished whisky. If you like fresh and fruity drams that still have the pepper heat (think Macallan, Glenlivet or Auchentoshan) this will be right up your street. Coming in at around £25-£28 this is super value from a distillery whose whisky is in high regard from famous blenders.
Ledaig Single Malt
Maligned in some whisky circles, the small Isle of Mull distillery still punches above it weight on the world whisky market. Recently bought over by the African drinks firm Distell as part of a £160m deal, Tobermory distillery still makes a decent range of whisky that will suit the pocket of even the shrewdest of shoppers.
A light and fresh dram, this malt is peated but not so much to make your eyes water. If your into your Islay whiskies this may leave you disappointed but if the thought of a peat bog in your mouth puts you off have a go at this instead of one of the more well-known ‘peaty whiskies’.
Old Pulteney 12 Year Old
A story of rags to riches this wick distillery hit the headlines in 2012 when it won award after award for its outstanding 21 year old. It was never had such luck in 1922 when the townsfolk of Wick voted to close the distillery doors after banning the sale of alcohol, a ban that lasted over 25 years, no mean feat in Scotland.
Despite being launched into the super stardom of whisky lovers last year the 12 year old version still sells for less than £30, last week we even saw a bottle at the bargain price of £24. Great to see that some distillers don’t just jump their prices for every ‘medal sticker’ they can stitch to the packet. This dram has the fantastic balance you never expected to see outside the 90 or so minutes of ‘Man on Wire’.
One question though is it pronounced Pul-ten-ey or Pult-ney? We’ve had whisky fans the world over tell the aWfW team off for pronouncing it both ways. We better ask Brian: