It is the time of the year to make merry, have fun and enjoy life just a little bit! After all, Christmas is only around the corner! The team at WhiskyGeeks are preparing for the Christmas countdown with some lovely whiskies, and we thought that it is nice of us if we share our list with our readers too!
So, buckle up and go for a whisky ride with us as we go on a journey with these ten different whiskies.
Entry-level whiskies are great for trying, especially for people who are not serious whisky drinkers. These whiskies are mostly light and aromatic, with an acceptable alcohol content that is suitable for all. These whiskies are also great for whisky drinkers who are looking for something simple to spend the Christmas holidays. The price range for the entry-level whiskies is below $100 to less than $200 per bottle.
The Glenfiddich IPA is a newly launched whisky by one of the most well-known distilleries in Scotland. Finished in IPA beer casks, the whisky is a light, yeasty drink that delights all beer drinkers. The aromas of hops are prominent in the nose of the whisky, and it follows through in the palate and the finish. It is a thoroughly enjoyable drink and one that you can buy easily at duty-free shops. The best part about this whisky is the price tag. It is less than SGD$100 – an attractive price for whisky!
Bruichladdich – The Classic Laddie
The Classic Laddie from Bruichladdich is yet another excellent whisky to choose for Christmas. While it is a NAS, the whisky has proven to match the likes of aged whiskies. Sweet and flavourful, The Classic Laddie is perfect for Christmas! The aromas of caramel and toffee, coupled with the sweetness of candies are bound to please both beginners and experts alike. Most online whisky stores in Singapore sell The Classic Laddie for around $160-$180.
Dalmore 15 Years Old
Another entry-level whisky to try is the Dalmore 15 years old. Slightly older than the Dalmore 12 years old, this whisky is more flavourful than its 12 years old counterpart. The 15 years old is said to spend three years in a 30 years old Matusalum sherry cask, so the end result is a soft and elegant whisky. It is suitable for people who love sweet drinks with its candied orange taste. It is also a duty-free bottle that is selling near $200. Slightly pricey for an entry-level whisky, but worth a try if you have not tried a Dalmore yet!
Glendronach 18 Years Old Allardice
The Glendronach 18 Years Old Allardice is slightly older than the above bottles. Matured in Oloroso sherry casks, it is all sweet toffee and candies. It is a typical sherried-matured whisky which is good news for anyone who is celebrating Christmas! The nose is full sherry with hints of pineapples and rum. The palate reminds us of a Christmas log cake, chocolate and honey! The finish is just as sweet with berries and maple syrup leading the way. While it is not exactly an entry-level whisky, it is so affordable (priced around $160-$180) that we have to label it as one so that you can try it for yourself.
Mid-tier whiskies are perfect for those who wish to spend a little more during the holidays to enjoy some beautiful expressions. The whiskies showcase here are a bit more complex than what you would expect from the entry-level whiskies, so if you are trying any of these, be sure to spend more time with them to get all the aromas and flavours. These mid-tier whiskies have price tags of $200 to $300 per bottle.
S.M.W.S 35.176 Surf and Snowboard (Glen Moray)
If you have not heard, let us share the good news with you! S.M.W.S is now in Singapore! The first partner bar for the S.M.W.S is none other than The Single Cask! We tried the 35.176 Surf and Snowboard expression at TSC recently, and it just screams “Christmas” in our face! The nose is full of fresh bananas and pineapples. The aromas follow through to the palate, and it feels like you have a mouthful of bananas! Then there are pineapples, sweet pears and a hint of caramel. The finish is delicious candies and lingers for a while. This sounds like a great Christmas whisky, doesn’t it?
The catch for S.M.W.S bottles is that you have to be a member to buy them. The basic membership is not expensive though. At $140 per year, you get to enjoy rebates and discounts when you buy bottles or drink at SMWS Member Bars worldwide. If you do not fancy the membership, all you need to do is head down to The Single Cask and check out the whiskies by the dram! Tell Brendan that WhiskyGeeks sends you and asks him to recommend some of the best S.M.W.S bottles for you!
Santis Malt Snow White No. 5
This is something special. It is not Scotch, not Japanese and not Irish. It is a Switzerland single malt whisky! Santis Malt is a lesser-known single malt as it is not distributed in Singapore yet. As of now, they are looking for distributorship here. Nonetheless, they are somewhat famous in Taiwan. The Santis Malt Snow White No. 5 is their annual winter limited release. Each winter release is matured in old beer casks and finished in special fruit liqueur casks. The Snow White No. Five finished in apricot casks shipped all the way from Austria! Exceptionally balanced, this whisky comes with apricot, hops, sweet pears and tropical fruits.
Currently not released yet, the Snow White No. 5 is a real hit for us! While this is not available this Christmas, you can do something about this and buy it for the next Christmas! If you want to purchase a bottle, send us an email, and we will see what we can do to help you with the purchase!
Mid to High-tier Whiskies
Possibly one level up from the mid-tier whiskies, the mid-to-high-tier whiskies are those that set you apart from your friends. If you are feeling generous this Christmas and wanted to share the joy of whiskies with your friends, these bottles are perfect for an intimate Christmas party. The price range of these bottles is around $300 to $500 per bottle.
The Single Cask Macduff 19 Years Old (1997)
Macduff is not a well-known single malt because it is bottled and marketed as Glen Deveron in the whisky industry. It is part of the blend of the John Dewars & Son blended whiskies too. The Single Cask Macduff 19 years old is a good start for anyone who is keen to explore independent bottlings of Macduff single malt. The nose is herbal, slightly sweet with some pepper and develops some savoury meatiness after a while. The palate is sweet with some heat, almost like a spiced wine on Christmas Day. It is a perfect dram for Christmas! You can find this bottle at The Single Cask or buy it at their online shop! This bottle is retailing at $392.
Bunnahabhain 12 Years Old Cask Strength (Exclusive Quaich Bar)
Quaich Bar is the first whisky bar in Singapore, and it celebrated its ten anniversary a few months ago. This Bunnahabhain 12 Years Old Cask Strength is an exclusive Quaich Bar bottling to celebrate its anniversary. Specially chosen by the owner, this whisky is full of sherried goodness. It is a sherry bomb and one which aims to please any sherry cask whisky lovers. You can try to find this bottle at Quaich Bar (we are not sure if it is sold out). It is retailing at $398 a bottle.
Bruichladdich Black Art 4.1
This is the second Bruichladdich whisky that we are adding this list, and we are proud to say that the Black Art 4.1 is one of the best drams that we have ever tasted so far. The Black Art 4.1 is a 1990 bottle and one of the “old” bottlings from Bruichladdich. The whisky is an enigma. The nose and palate change every 10-15 minutes, showcasing the deep layers of complexity that represent the Black Art. Crafted with passion and hidden recipe, this is one of the famed bottles from previous whisky master, Jim McEwan. If you did not own a bottle, you should buy one!
Last but not least, here is the only peaty whisky that we added to the list. The Octomores are known as the peatiest whiskies in the market right now, and the Octomore 8.3 is the peatiest of all at 309 ppm! For those who have not tried an Octomore, you would think that this whisky is not for Christmas. Why did we put an Octomore on this list?
Well, the fact is this – Octomore 8.3 is sweet and floral! WHAT?! Yes, it is true! The sweet peat that wafts up the nose is aromatic and so appealing that we just keep wanting more! The high ppm makes the whisky soft and sophisticated, and the high alcohol content is hardly noticeable. This whisky is a mellow, lovely dram that is perfect for Christmas! Retailing around $400 – $425, you can find the Octomore 8.3 in most online whisky stores in Singapore.