Saturday, December 17, 2011
Best Scotch Whisky of 2011
Santa is coming soon. What will he bring you? Santa, if you are reading this, please take note.
Over the past year, I reviewed a number of blends and single malts. Who were the stunners that would make excellent gifts to good boys and girls the world over?
GlenDronach 15 year old Revival ($75)
This is a sherried dram. Bursting forth with lots of frothy red fruit, blackberry, orient spices and tobacco. Powerful, leaving a long taste of smoke and plums. Highly recommended for the boys and girls who like sherried whisky.
Te Bheag Connoisseur's Blended Scotch ($35)
This is not a well known blended scotch. Very hard to find in the US, but available in Canada and the UK.
Probably the best blended scotch whisky discovery in my opinion of the past year was Te Bheag (pronounced che vek). It's reasonably priced and delivers great flavors of tobacco, peat and sherry, woven well, with no bitterness, bite or alcohol peeking through. I was amazed by this blend and frankly I think it disappeared off my shelf in about two weeks!
Black Bottle Blended Scotch Whisky ($20)
Another blend makes Santa's list this year: Black Bottle Blended Scotch Whisky. Incredibly affordable at around $20, but damn impressive if you like peat and smoke from Islay to tickle your taste buds. Sweet peat, gentle fire smoke of damp spruce tree branches by the beach on an overcast day. Wow!
Highland Park 15 years ($72)
Highland Park 15 years was a discovery of mine in 2010, but I revisited it (click here) again in 2011. Simply an expensive and brilliant shining diamond of a single malt. This malt brings together what is magical about whisky in one bottle. You have peat and heather, honey and toffee complimented by smoke.
Johnnie Walker Green Label ($50)
Sometimes Santa needs to give a gift that he is sure is a well recognized crowd pleaser that gives a taste of all the regions of Scotland. Johnnie Walker Green is soft honey, drizzled over toast with lemon zest, sea spray and a hint of peat that always makes those good girls and boys happy on Christmas day!
Hopefully, we have all been nice and not naughty, so that ol' St. Nick will bring us something we can enjoy over the holidays!