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We love a dram of whisky any time - but if you’re after something new, here are nine of the best new Scottish whiskies to try in 2022
If you’re an expert in all things whisky, skip straight to the product gallery. A neophyte? Here are a few guiding principles to get the most from the drop.
Hardly surprising to know learn that Scottish whisky is whisky made in Scotland - some may say the finest whisky in the world.
To begin, then, the chief rule of drinking whisky - there are no rules.
Enjoy it however you like.
That said, there are some guiding principles that can help you get the most out of your whisky.
Water can be useful to ‘open up’ the flavour of a whisky. If you try a whisky and it has an oiliness or richness to it, water might mollify that slightly and make it a more enjoyable sip. Sip your whisky, gauge how it is, and add water if it’s too ‘dense’. Remember you can always add more water, but you can’t add less, so dribble in and taste to check.
Ice cools whisky down, dampening the flavours. This can be good if you’re finding your dram a little too fiery or full on.
Keep a glass of whisky by your side to drink as you sup - it helps dampen any reflux, and keeps your throat lubricated.
Styles of whisky
Single malt: a whisky made using only malted barley, produced by a single distillery.
Blended malt: whisky made using only malted barley, produced by several distilleries and blended together
Single grain: whisky made using only grain (not malted barley) produced by a single distillery
Blended whisky: the most common whisky, a blending of single malts and grain whisky from many different distilleries.
Purists will tell you a Single Malt is the finest and blended whiskies are poor - but such snobbery can be misleading. Some Single Malts are unrefined and unentertaining, while the right blended whisky can be delightful.
Named in honour of Robert Burns’ famous poem, To A Mouse?, Timorous Beastie from Douglas Laing is a Highland single malt from, amongst other, Glen Garioch, Dalmore and Glengoyne distilleries, that’s bursting with sweet vanilla, malted barley, meringue, honey and citrus flavours.
Priced at £31.95, it’s a bargain buy, plus there’s also a sherried version, a 10, 18 and 25 year old for those looking for something special.
The award-winning Glen Scotia Victoriana is finished in deep charred oak, offering a smooth single malt whisky where aroma and flavour work in harmony.
Bottled in the traditional way straight from the cask and without filtration, its subtle wood and vanilla flavour is enhanced by a full-bodied spicy fruit aroma and mildly smoky aftertaste.
Master Distiller at Glen Scotia distillery, Iain McAlister, said: “Full of flavour with lots of smoke, Glen Scotia Victoriana is the perfect dram to pair with a traditional Burns Supper as the haggis is piped into the room. Enjoy with a drop of water, or neat.”
Gaelic for “warmth and passion,” the 12-year-old single-malt Lasanta is extra-matured in Spanish sherry casks.
Described by the team as ‘revealing enticing aromas, full-bodied flavours and a lusciously soft texture,’ the whisky is aged for 10 years in first and second fill ex-bourbon casks, then ‘finished’ in Oloroso and PX Sherry casks.
Glenmorangie Lasanta is a smooth, sweet whisky which works well with haggis.
This malt has been endorsed by the World Burns Federation, so what better way to toast your Burns supper than with a whisky produced especially for the occasion?
Arran distillery’s Burns malt is a zesty and malt-filled with notes of apples and pears, perfect for complementing your haggis, neeps and tatties.
This unpeated single malt from Annandale Distillery is a tribute to the man himself, Robert Burns.
It, along with Man O’ Swords, a peated single malt that’s a tribute to Robert the Bruce, make up the distillery’s core collection. They also produce some blends.
Annandale Distillery was first established in 1836 and ‘reborn’ in 2014.
It has been restored by new owners David Thomson and Teresa Church and now produces Single Malt whisky and blends.
Glenfiddich’s brand ambassador for Scotland, Mark Thomson, recommends pairing their 15 year old with haggis.
He says: “Aged in a marriage of three types of cask – ex-sherry, ex-bourbon and virgin American oak – this produces a savoury, almost mushroom note, which is just right to handle the spice and meatiness of a haggis.”
Also, if you’re cooking at home, a splash of whisky on the haggis can add another dimension to the flavour.
Mark continues: “This course needs a bolder whisky, typically from a sherry cask (try, for example, Glenfiddich Vintage Cask), and maybe one with a hint of smoke (in which case I’d suggest Glenfiddich Distillery Edition).”
Inchmoan 12 Year Old is born from a combination of malt whiskies from Loch Lomond distillery’s traditional swan neck and unique straight neck pot stills, to create a complex peat character.
Matured for 12 years in a combination of re-charred American oak and refill bourbon American oak casks, it imparts sweet vanilla background notes that complement the soft peat style of Loch Lomond’s unique still set up.
Master Blender at Loch Lomond distillery, Michael Henry, said: “Inchmoan 12 Year Old is created using Loch Lomond’s traditional swan neck pot still and unique straight-neck stills, creating an outstanding balance of fruit and smoke, perfect for whisky lovers looking to try something exciting and new with their Burns Supper.”
An Oa - part of Ardbeg’s core range of whiskies - is named after the Mull of Oa in the south west of Islay where the distillery is situated.
The whisky is singularly rounded due to time spent in the bespoke oak Gathering Vat where whiskies from several cask types - including; sweet Pedro Ximénez; spicy virgin charred oak; and intense ex-bourbon casks, amongst others, mingle unhurriedly.
The result is a dram with smoky power, mellowed by a delectable, smooth sweetness and a truly untamed single malt.
Ideal for those whisky lovers who prefer a more peaty, smoky dram.
Hailing from what was the most northerly distillery on the mainland, Old Pulteney is a wonderful example of a maritime malt, taking its character from the fishing village of Wick in which it is located.
Matured wholly in ex-bourbon casks, the Old Pulteney 12-years-old is the definitive expression in the Old Pulteney family.
Mixing the citrus fruit flavours of lemon and lime with honey and a hint of coastal sea air, it’s a distinctive character worthy of those looking for something a little more complex.