Campbeltown single malts are rather dry and gentle smoky. The proximity to the coast proffers a salty character. One can imagine a cross between the Western Highlands and the Lowlands, with a little salinity. There are now just three whisky distilleries in Campbeltown.
Springbank's 15 year old is a rich, sherried Campbeltown malt with great flavour. Expect oodles of flavour from this one…
The second batch of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Springbank is an oily, coastal malt, typical of the Campbeltown region. It has a wonderful comic book-style label featuring a drawing of Caskstrength.net's Neil and Joel operating the famous Porteus Mill at Springbank.
The second batch is a release of 450 numbered bottles.
The Highlands is a broad appellation, though the whiskies tend to be full in body. The Highlands is divided into four regions; Northern Highland whiskies are full, cereal sweet and rich; Southern Highland whiskies are slightly lighter with dryness and fruit; Eastern Highland whiskies are full, dry and very fruity; Western Highland whiskies are full and pungent with plenty of peat and smoke.
Named the best whisky in the world in the 2012 Whisky Bible from Jim Murray, Old Pulteney's legendary 21 year old is full of flavour and is made at Scotland's most northerly mainland distillery.
A very interesting whisky, Edradour's 10 year old has a creamy, almost rum-like mouth-feel. The distillery is Scotland's smallest, and well worth a visit!
The Islands is a diverse region, though the single malts are usually rather rich. Smoke is a recurring theme, as is balance and richness. There is often a good peat, salinity and counteracting cereal sweetness. There are no hard and fast rules for the Islands, for the terroir and production methods differ greatly between distilleries.
You can spend years waiting for a new release in Talisker's core range then two come along at once! Hot on the heels of Talisker Storm in early 2013 comes Talisker's Port Ruighe, pronounced 'Port Ree'.
This no age statement release is finished in Port wine casks, imparting a new dimension to this Isle of Skye single malt.
This whisky is regularly described as one the best in the world. In fact, Highland Park 18 year old was the winner of a prestigious Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2005. Great stuff.
Single malts from Islay tend to be the most pungent and peaty of all Scotch whiskies. This is particularly true to the south of the isle, where peat smoke is rife, as is tar and salinity. Further north there is not quite the peaty intensity; instead there is often plenty of fruit and refinement. There is always a good degree of balance, wherever one is on the isle.
A classic Scotch whisky, Lagavulin's 16 year old is a benchmark malt from Islay's south coast. This is perhaps more smoky than peaty, and has a wonderful flavour that pertains to Lapsang Souchong tea…
Allow us to introduce one of our very favourite whiskies - Ardbeg Uigeadail. This is aptly named for a Loch near the distillery, the name of which, 'Uigeadail', is Gaelic for 'dark and mysterious place'. This was brought to fame in 2009 when Jim Murray named it World Whisky of the Year in his Whisky Bible...
Whiskies from the Lowlands tend to be light and gentle. The single malts are usually quite dry. Peat is very rarely used. The single malts are soft and delicate and triple distillation is practiced, indeed it is for this that the region is known. There is very little salinity and plenty of floral notes and balanced fruit.
Auchentoshan's classic Three Wood is so-named for its maturation in three different cask types: American white oak Bourbon barrels, Spanish Oloroso sherry casks, and sweet Pedro Ximenez dessert sherry casks. The result is a rich, creamy triple-distilled gem from the Lowland distillery.
The fruity, malty Glenkinchie 12 year old, launched in 2007 to replace the previous - and very popular - 10 year old.
Blended whisky is Scotland’s best-selling spirit. A Scotch blend is made up of both malt and grain whisky. The grain whisky is easy to produce, it being distilled in a column still. It is a little more neutral in taste, thus the malt whisky is added for flavour and body. Currently, blended whisky accounts for 90% of Scotland’s whisky production.
Immensely popular last year, the Whisky Advent Calendar made by Drinks By The Dram is back for the 2013 holiday season. With a different 3cl dram of wonderful whisky behind each of the twenty-four doors, it’s certainly very full of cheer indeed. A brilliant pre-Christmas treat for whisky lovers in the run up to the big day, it looks to be a fantastically festive December.
Looking for something extra special? How about The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar
Prefer gin? Take a look at The Ginvent Calendar
For whisky enthusiasts that have been incredibly good this year, Drinks By The Dram have created the Premium Whisky Advent Calendar new for 2013. Behind each of the twenty-four doors is a different 3cl sample dram of premium whisky. The contents of the Premium Whisky Advent Calendar may vary slightly due to the limited nature of some single casks and premium releases. Even so, there’s no better way to warm up this December.
Fancy gin instead? Have a look at The Craft Ginvent Calendar
Speyside proffers the lighter, sweeter drams. Body is brought with age and some of the heavily sherried, well-aged Speyside single malts are particularly full. The lighter, younger whiskies can be rather delightful with superb balance. The sweetness is often honeyed and delicate and peat is rarely used, nor are the drams particularly salty. Speyside whiskies are rarely finished in exotic wood.
One of the best value for money whiskies in the world, especially considering its epic age, Glenfarclas 40 offers up all the complexity and character we've come to expect from the distillery. Brilliant.
A 1995 vintage of The Macallan's classic 18 Year Old Sherry Oak. Dried fruit and spices abound from this revered dram with delicious vanilla toffee making an appearance too. Textbook Sherry matured Speyside whisky from one of the world's most popular distilleries.