What? Already a Christmas post? Well did you know that some people start Christmas shopping as soon as October comes. Also there is no wrong in buying some whisky in advance, it's not gonna go bad. The biggest risk is probably not to drink it before giving it to your loved ones! Wether you know about Whisky or you want to please someone who is a real amateur, here are some ideas, divided into three price categories to fit everyone's budget.
This is in no way an exhaustive list, hundreds of great whiskies could be listed there and that also wouldn't be enough. This is more some ideas gathered along the way. You can't go bad with any of the whiskies listed here under, but you surely can find plenty of other greats ideas using the whisky-hamster.com's search engine.
4 recommended whiskies under £65 / 70€
Scallywag Winter Edition (2020) - The perfect Xmas feeling
This Scallywag limited edition is a perfect bottle for any Speyside lovers. Thanks to a 100% Sherry Cask maturation in Oloroso and Pedro Ximenés casks and bottled at 53.6%, you can expect notes of dark fruit and chocolate which is great in winter, especielly as it will finish with some seasonnal spices. Only 3000 bottles have been produced of this first Scallywag winter edition, so while it's not a rarity it's still not gonna be around for too long.
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Amrut Fusion - The indian outsider
Well Amrut is not really the new kid in the block. It has been there for years now and they have far long proven their knowledge to bottle great whisky. Amrut fusion is part of their core range, bottled at 50%, and it's a mix of indian and Scottish barleys. With this bottle you can surprise your loved one with something different in order to discover new territories of the whisky world.
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Bunnahabhain 11y.o. Gordon & Macphail Discovery - The non peaty islay
Bunnahabhain is a very sought after distillery. It's the one distillery on Islay that doesn't specialized in smoky and peaty whisky. This sherry cask matured Bunna has been bottled at 43% by the independent bottler Gordon & Macphail. It's part of their discovery series which is a great collection to discover famous distilleries at an affordable price range and outside of the classical core range offerings.
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Ardbeg Uigeadail - For smoke and peat lovers
Part of the core range of the Ardbeg distillery, thie Islay is probably one of the best quality price ratio when it comes to smoky and peaty scotch. Bottled at a cask strength of 54.2% this single malt has been matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry cask. This gives it a pretty sweet note to balance the smoke. A must have for peat lovers!
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Our 4 picks up to £135 / 150€
NSS Sirius - 31y.o. blended malt - The perfect higlander mix
North star spirits is a wonderful bottler that can do great single casks but also has a speciality of doing wonderful blended malts. This whisky is no exception to the rule. To have a 31-year-old for this price and with this quality is a chance that you shouldn't pass on. Bottled at cask strength of 43.1%, Sirius is a mix of single malts from the Highland region. Waxy, citrusy whisky with a strong malty profile, it opens up nicely with some air.
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Macallan Edition No.6 - The classic
A distillery that does not need presentation anymore. The 6th edition of Macallan got out in 2020 and it's already a must-have. Matured in a combination of European and American oak hogsheads and butts, this Speyside whisky will give you lot of fruity notes, both on the nose and in the mouth. You can expect some vanilla, chocolate and toffee as well with some oak touch in the finish. A classy bottle for a classic distillery.
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Heaven's door - double barrel 100 proof - The american dream
It's not all about Scotch Whiskies and if you want to find a gift for a bourbon lover then that's a good pick. Bottled at 100proof, that's 50% in european terms, this bourbon is a blend of three American whiskeys that have been matured together for one extra year in an American oak barrel. You can expect a strong caramel profile with some citrusy notes. Originally created by Bob Dylan, the Heaven's door bourbons from Tenessee are always a pleasure to drink.
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Benromach 21 - The smoky speyside
Matured in 1st Fill Bourbon & Sherry Casks this brand new addition to the core range of Benromach is a 21-year-old single malt Speyside whisky with some smoky notes melted with sweet sherry aromas and some ginger touches. In a wonderful box following the new design of the distillery, this brand new bottle from 2020 is surely gonna become a classic over the years. A great alternative to Islay for smoke lovers.
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4 bottles for budget higher than 150£ / 170€
Douglas Laing X.O.P Black, Bowmore 1995 25y.o. - Independent high-end Bowmore
The X.O.P Black series is the higher end of independent bottler Douglas Laing. Anything part of this collection is no other than a wonderful whisky. This 25-year-old Bowmore is just another great example. Bottled this summer 2020 at 46.9%, it has spent 25 years in a refill Hogshead. As most of the Bowmore you'll have salty, maritime notes with some light pead and iodine on the nose. When you taste it a whole new world opens to you with a meaty charcoal Islay style mixed with marmalade and vanilla. What a combo!
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Imperial 23y.o. 1995 - Carn Mor Celebration of the cask - The one from the lost distillery
Every whisky amateur, lover or collector will appreciate having some bottles from a lost distillery. The Imperial distillery from Speyside closed in 1998 and therefor the remaining stock of whisky produced there is getting low. Morrison & MacKay has bottled this 23-year-old Imperial especielly for one of our partner shops. Only 42 bottles numbered bottles have been produced. Yes, 42 only so imagine getting this to your loved one, if that's not making someone feel special!
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Longrow 21 - Campbeltown smoke
3600 bottles only were produced of this twenty-one years old Campbeltown whisky made from malt that has been peat dried for 48hours. Campbeltown is one of the most sought after region nowadays in the Scotch whisky community and all of their old and limited edition bottlings are treasures for the whisky lovers. This bottle 60% Sherry, 40% bourbon is no exception to the rule. A wonderful dram!
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Teeling Vintage Reserve 30y.o. - The Irish unicorn
Well, we are on the very high end of what the Whisky, or rather WHiskey in this case, world can offer us. Only 500 bottles were produced of this 30-year-old irish Whiskey bottled at 46%. Individually numbered, distilled in 1987 and initially matured in ex-Bourbon casks, it has then been finished in ex-White Burgundy casks, adding an extra layer of complexity. With this unicorn for any Irish whsikey lover, you can expected tropical fruits, grapes and coffee, wonderfully mixed together.
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