This post will be updated regularly to include whiskies that have caught our eye. From time to time we may also feature the occassional rum, brandy or gin.
It would be fair to say that over the years we’ve changed our position on the adulteration of whisky. Simply put, we used to be strict whisky purists who considered putting anything other than a drop of water in whisky to be a crime. And as for cooling whisky in any way, we wouldn’t even speak to you if you mentioned it. Well things change, people move on and, frankly, we’ve become quite partial to the occasional whisky cocktail.
Chocolate makes an obvious Valentine’s present. So does whisky. So how about whisky and chocolate?! We picked out some readily available whiskies and paired them with some interesting chocolates. And some Maltesers! We had one chocolate pick left over - Super Dark Truffles by Vosges - these go with just about any whisky you can think of so we didn’t bother narrowing it down to just one!!!!
This month’s staff picks collection is inspired by a conversation we were having here at Whisky Marketplace HQ about how we fell in love with whisky and, more importantly, which whiskies made that happen. Our 'first loves' if you will. Not the rarest or most expensive whiskies we’ve ever tasted but the whiskies which really started our journey. Expressions that keep us coming back for more.
Every year since 2001, Diageo, owners and custodians of some of Scotland's most treasured whisky distilleries, have released a limited selection of single cask whiskies. Earlier this week we were lucky enough to attend the launch of 2015's "Special Releases" and, having sampled the full range of these sublime liquids, our recommendations for this month almost pick themselves.
The whiskies are always special, always rare, and always selected with the utmost care from the best stocks available to Diageo. Prices range from £80 to £2,400 so there really is something to suit most people's budget.
It is a common misconception that blended whiskies are inferior to single malts and I was reminded of this recently when I overheard a conversation in the pub. "Single malts are far better than the blended whiskies" boomed a voice at the bar "go for the Macallan 10".
It goes to show that a little information can be a dangerous thing, I have nothing against Macallan's entry level malts, but the pair had overlooked some really nice blends behind the bar including Ballantine's 17 Year Old and a very tempting Black Bull by Duncan Taylor.
Okay! A short but sweet post coming up, this one is packed with exotic goodness as we explore the rums of South and Central America.
For August we thought we'd steer away from whisk(e)y for our staff picks so here is something a bit different – a lovely selection of rums (or maybe rons or perhaps even rhums?). Anyway these are four absolute crackers.
Notice anything unusual about these staff picks? That’s right, there’s only two whiskeys. The remaining two items are bottles of bitters. Confused? If you read this article with our take on the classic Old Fashioned whiskey cocktail you won’t be.
Like most serious whisky commentators we’ve always told you not to put ice in your whiskey. Cocktails are of course an exception to that. But as any of you who have ever tried it will know, ice does strange things to whisky. As it cools certain flavours are suppressed and others seem to come to the fore. Not all whiskeys remain pleasant and some are distinctly uncooperative in cocktails.
We haven’t posted any staff picks for a few months - ahem, five to be exact. We have no excuse. So this is something of a new start and for that reason we have chosen to look at some new products. We haven’t tried them so they're here because they’re new and because they caught our eye.