January: Robert Burns Single Malt
Celebrating Burns Night with this single malt named after the famed Scottish poet seems only right. James MacTaggart, Isle of Arran’s Master Distiller, says:
“This malt has been skilfully created by combining different ages to produce a beautifully rounded whisky.”
The sweet, fruity notes and the depth of flavour mean that this malt can be happily enjoyed neat, on the rocks or as part of a classic whisky cocktail.
February: Hven Tycho’s Star
This is a phenomenal peated single malt from Sweden, which shows whisky doesn’t have to be Scottish to be scrumptious. Family-run great-quality spirits, perfect for a fireside dram this February.
‘The Matsui – Sakura Cask’ Single Malt is distilled by the Kurayoshi distillery, Kurayoshi city – Tottori prefecture. Named after a cherry blossom, also known as Japanese cherry or “sakura”, it’s the perfect drink to mark the start of spring. This tree holds an important place in Japanese culture and is often used as a metaphor on ephemerality of beauty and life.
The nose offers beeswax, flowers and orchard fruits. The palette is honeyed, with citrus and apple to the fore and finishes with toffee/caramel notes along with a hint of vanilla and oak spice from the barrel.
Overall, it’s a light, very enjoyable whisky – typical for the Lowland region – with a freshness to it that evokes springtime to me. Better than Frebeeze.
With Laphroaig being one of 5 whisky companies that holds a royal warrant of appointment, and with one of King Charles’ favourite whiskeys being the Islay Single Malt 15-year-old, it’s only fitting that for his coronation on the 5th May we drink Laphroaig all month long.
With spring still in the air and summer on its way, the Michel Couvreur is weather fitting. A delicately floral, spicy and fruity dram delivering a long, mellow finish, with the warmth of sherry aromas.
July: Glengoyne 18-Year-Old
The citrusy and jam side of Glengoyne distillery is perfect to match your best summer! The bourbon and sherry casks bring sweet notes of marmalade, pineapple and marzipan followed by some more robust notes of coffee and cacao.
The second in the annual series of seasonal releases from Lochlea, the Harvest Edition First Crop has been matured in a combination of ex-port and ex-oloroso sherry casks, making for a whisky full of summery strawberries, marshmallows and sweet cereals flavours.
The rare edition batch 2 from Copenhagen is great for September, especially with the mix of loral notes like juniper, mixed with the effect of the PX cask ageing. Makes it a bit heavier with lots of toffee, chocolate notes but still a spicy finish like pepper. I find the cask used very interesting as it’s ex PX that was previously used for gin aging.
October: Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5-Year-Old
Spooky month, spooky whisky! Ardbeg is the distillery to go for. The Wee Beastie 5 Years old perfectly blends smoke, lemon and leather – all balanced by some sweeter notes of vanilla and honey. A great vatting of Bourbon and Sherry cask.
Established in 2008, Koval produces organic whisky, liqueurs and specialty spirits in Chicago’s first distillery since the mid-1800s. Founders Robert and Sonat Birnecker chose to leave their academic careers to bring the distilling traditions of Robert’s Austrian family to America.
Sullivans Cove French Oak Single Tawny Cask Tasmanian single malt is one of the most sought-after whiskies in the world and has put the Australian whisky industry on the map, winning World’s Best Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards in 2014. One of a mere 293 bottles, it’s rare and perfect to be sharing with loved ones during the festive time, or even as a gift to be remembered.
All these whiskies are available at www.amathusdrinks.com.
Kevin Pilley is a former professional cricketer and chief staff writer of PUNCH magazine. His humour, travel, food and drink work appears worldwide and he has been published in over 800 titles.
Photograph courtesy of Amathus Drinks