Christmas is just behind us, New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. Every year this holiday season brings joy, harmony, happiness and at the same time stress, frustration and anger. I’m sure anyone will agree that spending time with family so often within one week delivers a healthy mixture of good and bad, the way only family can.
Now the question is; What kind of whisky can accompany us during these times? Well I can obviously not tell you what you should prefer during the holidays, but I can at least share with you my top 3 whisky’s that bring out the jingle bells in me.
1. Aberlour A’Bunadh. For me, there can be only one at the top. Aberlour a’bunadh to me is the ultimate Christmas dram. It brings flavours of soft, gooey fruit cake, cinnamon, chocolate, cooked fruits and coffee. These for me compliment the atmosphere of Christmas perfectly. It is a warming dram, one to lift your spirits on a cold winter’s day (as it usually is during Christmas). The high alcohol percentage doesn’t just take the edge off, it carries your frustrations away in a single sip. And the fact that it’s delicious doesn’t hurt either. One of my all time favourites, especially during this time of year.
2. The Naked Grouse. Did I just go blend? Yes, yes I did. I don’t make a secret of the fact that the Naked Grouse is my favourite blend. Having emptied 2 bottles of this in the last 6 months proves that this is not just any regular dram for me. The sherry influence combined with the ‘chewiness’ and fruity flavours makes this a perfect ‘drinking’ whisky. Not really one to slowly nose and sip for hours in front of a wood fire, but one to pour a glass or two to enjoy during whatever you’re doing at that moment. Okay, maybe three or four….
3. Talisker 18. Fancy something peaty? This time of year should at least have one peaty whisky I think. And what better choice than this is there? Talisker 18 year old is my favourite expression from this distillery. It combines the strong, spicy kick that Talisker is known for with a soft, gentle touch. You get that kick in the face at the first sip, but if you give it another sip or two it just mellows out wonderfully. The vanilla sweetness, light fruit, coal ember smokiness and lovely oak influence are equal to none. I was told in the distillery that this expression is a dying breed, which is a genuine shame.
So there you have it. Three whisky’s that to me go really well with the holiday season. You might not agree, and frankly I don’t care. Like everything I write on this blog this is a personal opinion and not up for debate. Nonetheless, I’m always open to discussion, especially when it comes to whisky.