VCL Vintners

WHISKY JOURNAL

WHISKY JOURNAL

Perfect bottles to gift & enjoy this Christmas

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Perfect bottles to gift & enjoy this Christmas

Glenglassaugh Evolution (RRP £45)

If you’re into whisky with a bit more of a tropical boost, this 50% ABV Glenglassaugh Evolution, matured on heavily charred bourbon casks, might be just the one for you. It pairs incredibly well with a summer barbecue, but can also be your best friend before, during and after your Christmas dinner. Complex, but not overdone. Sweet, but not too sweet. A nice and refreshing addition to your whisky cabinet!

Nose

Sweet, malty, pear and pineapple aromas swirling around the more basic wood and vanilla notes.

Palate

Rich and creamy, Maltesers. Smoky ham and citrus fruits on a wooden layer.

Finish

Sweet and malty with notes of (smoked) pineapple. cured ham, crisp barley. Biscuits and peaches are finishing the job.

CountryScotland
RegionHighlands
TypeSingle Malt
AgeNAS
ABV50% ABV
Tomatin 18 (RRP £95)

We think the Tomatin 18 is a must-have for every self-respecting whiskylover. This dram exudes the Scottish way of making whisky and is all what scotch is about. It pleases you on every moment of the day and if you’re looking for a well-balanced, fruity and mature whisky, don’t look any further. This will be your best candidate.

Nose

Baking spices, warm, toffees with some dried fruits and honey on the nose.

Palate

An incredibly soft and creamy mouthfeel. Sweet fruits are pounding on the tongue with an earthy and nutty layer on top.

Finish

A long, spicy and warming finish. A galore of dried fruits like apples and currants, some orange peels and dark chocolate pop up as well. Slightly drying and darker on the tail.

CountryScotland
RegionHighlands
TypeSingle Malt
Age18 Years Old
ABV46% ABV
Arran Machrie Moor Cask Strength (RRP £55)

If you’re looking to surprise someone who has tasted a lot of whiskies, this would be a great pick. The chances are high that he or she hasn’t been introduced to this little underdog yet. Machrie Moor’s bottle may look menacing at first, but looks can be deceiving. This is a wonderful example of gentle smoke on top of a bouquet of tropical flavours from the bourbon casks which Arran used. Also good to introduce someone to peated whisky without scaring them off with hefty medical flavours.

Nose

Butterscotch, vanilla, barbecued pineapple, citrus, a whiff of smoked barley.

Palate

Dry on the tongue at first, vanilla, tropical fruits, citrus, wood, pear and pepper.

Finish

The palate bursts into a long and complex finish, which starts off fruity with pineapple juice and lemongrass and finishes into notes of cedar wood, smoked barley, honey, leather, apples, smoked pineapples and savoury peat.

CountryScotland
RegionIslands
TypeSingle Malt
AgeNAS
ABV56.2% ABV
Port Charlotte 10 (RRP £50)

One of the more intense whiskies among these holiday picks. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but we’re talking whisky here. This Port Charlotte 10, coming from the Bruichladdich Distillery, is an outstanding whisky for those who like fresh and peated whiskies. With its industrial and fruity notes, it’s a perfect after dinner dram. Gather your family around the fireplace, pour everyone (who is allowed to drink) a dram and enjoy some quality time.

Nose

Barley, watercolour, a bit farm-y with notes of hay. Minerals, pineapple, spicy and smoked wood, subtly sulphurous as well. Spilled wine and copper get the upper hand.

Palate

Rich and minerally. Pineapple is there again, wood and spices betray the red wine influence. With red fruits and peated barley this is a nicely balanced dram.

Finish

Long and warming. Matches and peated barley. Charred wood, some subtle red wine and citrus signing off.

CountryScotland
RegionIslay
TypeSingle Malt
Age10 Years Old
ABV50% ABV
Bunnahabhain 18 (RRP £120)

Don’t let its place of birth trick you into thinking there’s smoke involved, in fact: Bunnahabhain is known for their non-peated and sherry infused house style. This a dram for playful adventurers, who like some sweet and nutty notes in a dram that’s worthy of its age. Its gentle character makes it a wonderful pick for starters too, they’ll be impressed.

Nose

Salty fudge, kiwi, sea salt and red fruits. Slightly nutty and mineral.

Palate

Creamy, sweet and chocolaty, fresh sea salt notes, citrus and pineapple.

Finish

A candied sweetness, accompanied by salty notes and a warm whiff of oak and sherry influence.

CountryScotland
RegionIslay
TypeSingle Malt
Age18 Years Old
ABV46.3% ABV
Glengoyne 21 (RRP £140)

Just when you thought things couldn’t get sweeter after finishing your Christmas cake, we bring you this excellent example of a Highland single malt. Glengoyne 21 is everything you should look for when you’re a sophisticated sweet tooth. Left alone with patience for over 21 years in sherry casks, this whisky is the equivalent of a fruit cake in a bottle.

Nose

Fruity and juicy, a candy-like sweetness, kiwi, red fruits, minerals, peaches, dried strawberries and a malty sweetness.

Palate

Soft and well balanced, a bit exotic with notes of strawberries and pistachio, pencil shavings, kiwi, apricots and some drier notes of wood and raisins.

Finish

The finish is long, juicy, fruity and woody. Peanuts, warming spices, lightly tropical, sugar cane, barley and a drying hint of raisins. Feels very vibrant, but mature nonetheless.

CountryScotland
RegionHighlands
TypeSingle Malt
Age21 Years Old
ABV43% ABV