It’s the most wonderful time to gift whisky to your loved ones, or if you’ve been particularly nice this year, treating yourself to a wee dram or two.
We’ve gathered up the top whisky gifts this Christmas.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society – the gift that keeps on giving
Being part of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society opens up a new world of whisky adventures that last all year long. Unique experiences are at the heart of this colourful whisky club, and annual membership starts from just £65: www.smws.com/whisky-club-membership
No other club offers the variety and ever-changing range of the Society’s one-off whiskies, released each month in a new selection from across the complete spectrum of flavour profiles. Every Society single malt whisky is hand-picked by its expert Tasting Panel for its exceptional quality and intriguing character.
But being part of the global community of more than 26,000 whisky fans goes way beyond the Society’s outstanding single-cask spirits. Membership provides exclusive access to Members’ Rooms in Edinburgh and London, with a brand-new Glasgow location opening early next year, as well as a calendar of UK-wide tasting events.
Smokehead Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky – not for everyone
Smokehead is a rich, salty and seaweedy, peppery and peaty, smoky and sweet dram that is not for everyone, but it might be for you. This brand is really firing things up – over the past nine months they have created a bespoke Ducati motorcycle with the ‘Ducati Whisperer’ Tyler Lunceford, recently launched at The Bike Shed in London.
Created exclusively for motorcycle project, The Smoker cocktail serve is a robust mix of Smokehead, lemon juice, honey syrup, ginger liqueur, a pinch of activated charcoal, shaken over ice and strained into a rocks glass, garnished with crystallised ginger – definitely one to blow the families’ mind this Christmas.
If you’re feeling really bold, there’s Smokehead High Voltage, which is not for the faint of heart, and Smokehead Sherry Bomb, which has been blasted by rich, sweet and spicy Spanish sherry casks.
Smokehead Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Priced £38.99 from www.smokehead.com/our-whiskies/smokehead-43
Smokehead High Voltage
Priced £54.99 from www.smokehead.com/our-whiskies/smokehead-high-voltage-58
Smokehead Sherry Bomb
Priced £64.99 from www.smokehead.com/our-whiskies/smokehead-sherry-bomb-48
Scarabus Specially Selected Islay Single Malt – Islay’s Mystical Dram
The family owned Scotch whisky distiller, blender and bottler Hunter Laing & Co. released Scarabus Specially Selected earlier this year at Feis Ile, the Islay Festival of Music and Whisky. Scarabus, meaning ‘rocky place’ in Nordic, is named after a mystical area of Islay and is described as a whisky for those with a curious mind and an eye for detail.
The Scarabus Specially Selected tasting notes read: “Aromas of Islay peat smoke and sea salt, followed by warming leather notes, stewed rhubarb and a wonderful vanilla sweetness on the palate, leading to a rich lingering finish.”
Hunter Laing & Co. also opened a distillery on the Islay, Ardnahoe, in April this year, which has had 24,000 visitors since launching – a must-visit destination for 2020.
It’s prices at £37.95 from www.masterofmalt.com/whiskies/hunter-laing/scarabus-whisky