Today is a good day. It’s International Whisk(e)y Day – a time to raise a glass to a whole world of dram-type wonders.
And to help me mark the occasion, I’ve sought out a few whiskies that are so interesting, and so tasty, that I’d recommend any of them in a heartbeat.
First up are a trio from That Boutique-y Whisky Company, an independent bottler that, as well as producing some excellent Scotch, has a range of whiskies from all around the globe.
I’ve lined up drams from the Netherlands and Switzerland, and their World Whisky Blend – and if you’re a Scotch-is-best kinda person, you’ll find them a fascinating eye-opener.
The Dutch dram is the four-year-old Millstone from the Zuidam distillery.
It’s an absolute fruit-fest of loveliness, so sherry-rich and luxurious it’s like Christmas cake in a glass. A real treat.
Up the quality scale comes a five-year-old from Swiss distillery Langatun.
This is seriously special, all lightness and grassy freshness with lovely hints of spice and tropical fruit. You can almost see the far-off mountains when you take a sip.
These drams aren’t cheap (£50 and £90 respectively for 500ml), but you really won’t be disappointed.
And if you want to sample the world at a fantastic price, I’d suggest the World Whisky Blend – £33 for 700ml and, I can guarantee, it’s like nothing you’ve tasted before.
Closer to home, I’ve grabbed a couple from those Speyside wizards of wood, GlenAllachie.
The nine-year-old Rye Wood Finish is a dram stuffed full of cinnamon and nutmeg, and the rich creaminess of butterscotch. Add a dollop of treacle and a citrus tang, and you’re on to a real winner – worth every last dime of its £50 price tag.
But the very best has been left until last – the GlenAllachie 2006 Single Cask #1450.
This is bottled exclusively for Royal Mile Whiskies, and has an elegance and sophistication that is hard to put into words.
In my notes, I wrote that it’s like walking into Gleneagles – decadent, luxurious and spectacular.
It’s a posh afternoon tea with cakes and sherry and plates of exotic dark fruits.
You’ll need to shell out £109.95 for the privilege of tasting it, but seriously, if you can afford it, you really mustn’t miss it.
So, fellow dram fans, happy Whisk(e)y Day.
There’s a whole world of fun out there – why not do some exploring of your own?
More in this series…