Whisky for the Troops

Right,  as a couple of  chaps have recently pointed out that they live in a small town and the delights of buying malt whisky is limited to Tesco or online, I thought I would stick up a few suggestions and links. Please comment and let me know what you think, especially if you go out and make a purchase.

First off I want to make a couple of points: none of the whiskies here is the best on offer but they’re still decent drams for the money. Feel free to text me if you want any advice. The other point is – stop putting ice in your whisky!  Do you think that the men who have spent their lives making beautiful Scotch whisky, pouring every ounce of their heart and soul into making perfection would be happy knowing that you were fucking it all up adding bastard ice to it?

Tasting Tip: take the whisky in the glass and swirl it about and take two big deep sniffs, get immersed in the scent then take a sip. Let it swirl around your mouth before swallowing. Now feel free to add a little room temperature water the glass (a few drops will do) and taste again – this releases oils within the drink and makes it a more complete taste. Add more water if you need too and don’t feel bad about doing it. Using ice, however, is a sin which would have you shot in certain parts of Scotland, and by certain parts I mean all parts. Good luck and enjoy your whisky!

Right Tesco actually has a few half decent drams on offer, mainly ten year old single malts and decent blends. Buying a ten year old is like buying an off the peg suit rather than bespoke; nothing wrong with them at all, but you’re never going to get the complexity of 12+ malts.

First off is currently on offer in Tesco and is an okay drink with a real depth of flavour and should be your first point of call if they have any left.

1 This is a 15 yearold Glenlivet and so offers more on the nose and palate than the standard drink and it’s on offer people.

2  A 12 yearold Bunnahabhain is well worth a look for under 30 notes, lots of malt and salt going on and a little sweetness. With all Islay whiskies you get a hint of peaty smoky goodnesss but because they are in the North East of the island the drink is lighter than the monsters such as Ardbeg.

3  Right now we’re moving onto the 10 year olds. Nowt wrong with these as I’ve said before but you get what you pay for with whisky… well up to a point you do! These are easy drinkers and enjoyable. This first effort is from Aberlour – you can spend silly money on Aberlour and their entry level 10 year old is good value for money and lovely drink, easy going on both the nose and tongue and was described by the Malt Maniacs as the best “bang for your buck” value whisky of 2006.

4  Now everyone should have an Islay Peaty job in their home collection and there is nothing wrong with this. I was actually drinking a 1990 Olorroso finish Bowmore the other night and it was a belter of a dram, but again this is entry level stuff. You’re going to get lots of smoke and salt on the nose – think of bonfires on the beach – and a nice warm peaty glow on the tongue. This needs a little more water than the others to really enjoy but is well worth a stab. Maybe not for total beginners but something to try after you’ve had one or two lighter drinks.

5  For some reason Tesco only have this for 35cl or 1 litre online but I’m sure you can get the standard 70cl in store. If not, why not? Right, Glenmorangie (pronounced glenmorangie, not glen morangie) is another entry level for the range. The 16 men of Tain produce whisky for as much as 200 notes a bottle, so getting a bottle for under 30 is worth a look. Highlands whisky is easy drinking and this is the highest selling malt whisky in the world due to its cost and easy-going flavours of vanilla and malted biscuits.

Okay I’ve stuck up 5 single malts and now I’m going to talk about blends. There is nothing wrong with a blend if you want to mix your drink or perhaps once you’ve had a few and are losing the sensation of the more expensive drinks. Tesco currently stock Bailie Nicol Jarvie for under 15 pounds and if your going to drink blends your better off with this.

Can I also recommend a couple of online suppliers – Royal Mile Whiskies and The Whisky Exchange have excellent selections as well as offering advice and tasting notes.

I hope this has helped you out and please let me know what you think.

The Captain