Regardless of whether you prefer to mix a little whisky in an exotic cocktail or sip your neat sample slowly letting the flavours melt on your tongue, no home bar would be complete without a selection of good whiskies. You can’t just pour a dram of what you happen to have on hand and hope it’s going to suit every occasion.
Here are some of our favourites and why they’ve earned a place in our collections. Read on...
1. Lagavulin 16
Simply one of the best smoky drams anywhere, this single malt whisky is exactly what you need when an old friend comes over and stories of conquests and disasters need to be shared. Aged for 16 years (at least) in oak, you can’t miss the Islay peat, wood and smoke: close your eyes and breathe deeply and you’ll also catch the scent of crashing waves along the coastline of the island of Islay. We are not alone in our passion for this earthy whisky. A double gold winner in 2017 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Lagavulin 16 consistently gets high marks whenever it makes an appearance at a connoisseur ’s table.
2. Redbreast 12 Year Old
You always need a good mixer on hand and Redbreast 12 Year Old is a great Irish whiskey and great value for money to boot. This clear, light single pot whiskey is a better mixer than Johnnie Walker. Produced at the Jameson Distillery in Midleton in copper pot stills and then aged in sherry casks, Redbreast is velvet smooth with a complex taste that is still light and fresh. At the 2013 Irish Whiskey Awards, Redbreast 12 was named Overall Irish Whiskey of the Year, an honour well-deserved.
3. Starward Wine Cask
This sweet Australian single malt whisky is aged in Barossa Valley wine casks and the shiraz history is what first greets you when you take a sip. Dry with a lovely warm mouthfeel in the cheeks, the intent behind this whisky was to break free of tradition and forge a bold new way forward. CEO and founder David Vitale has managed to do just that with this bold, adventurous addition to what New World Distillery has to offer. Winner of the Best Australian Single Malt award at the World Whiskies Awards in 2017 and Double Gold winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2016 this whisky may have originated in Melbourne, but it hasn’t taken long for the world to sit up and take notice.
4. GlenDronach 21 Parliament
When a special occasion calls for a toast, you can’t reach for just anything, so keep a bottle of GlenDronach 21 single malt handy when you want to take your celebration up a notch. A fine, rich whisky with a little spice to it, GlenDronach 21 is hard to beat in its price range. Aged in sherry casks (Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez), this Scotch whisky is named after the parliament of rooks living in the trees close to the distillery. Sherry bombs like this just don’t come around that often, so if you have a chance to add one to your home bar, go for it.
5. The Macallan 12 Fine Oak
Complex and elegant, this is a delightful single malt whisky seasoned in a combination of sherry and bourbon oak casks. The result is a well-balanced taste where no one flavour overpowers another. Smooth, mellow and seductive, a gentle whisky with notes of dried fruit, and honey this is perfect to pour as you settle down for a long evening of intimate conversation. Ever since it was founded by Alexander Reid above the river Spey in north-east Scotland, the Macallan distillery has been obsessed with quality. Have a sip of this fine tradition when you pour a dram of this fine single malt.
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