Looking for some Xmas spirit to seriously impress guests? These two big boys will blow the socks off your lucky friends.

Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie

This certainly looks different, how many whiskies come in a powder blue bottle that obscures the view of the spirit inside? It’s a brave bit of packaging, the bottle actually comes inside a tin that’s the same colour. “It’s all a bit girly’ says my wife sniffily, but she’s allowed to make such a sexist comment as she is a girl. I couldn’t possibly comment.

Bruichladdich is made from 100% Scottish barley, trickle distilled, and then matured for its entire life on Islay, by the shores of Loch Indaal. So it really has totally valid provenance and I guess perhaps the blue is something to do with the sky?It’s a multi-vintage cuvee from individual casks chosen by Head Distiller Adam Hannett. Basically it’s a blend of single malts, but there’s nothing wrong with blends when done well.

Add a drop of water to break the meniscus, the ‘skin’ on the liquid and the aromas burst out. Fascinating combinations that are to my mind far more enjoyable than mono-aroma peat smpke. Floral notes and a hint of ozone, perhaps because it’s matured so near the sea.

The barley is to the fore when you taste it, sweet and sugary in a good way it coats the tongue with amber. A real joy to sip, ideally in the classic position in armchair in front of roaring fire with the rain pelting down outside and a good book – remember books?

A great gift too with it’s fancy packaging. Cost around £42.00


Bulleit 10 Year Old Bourbon

Not everyone can handle a proper whisky, just as some people can’t handle a properly rare steak. Those people eat burgers and drink Bourbon and they are called Americans.

Bourbon is easy drinking that’s for sure but it’s not a poor relation to whisky and the best are made with the same care and attention as the finest whiskies.

Bulleit 10 Year Old Bourbon was originally launched in the USA in 2013 but now we get to have a taste too. Created from a family recipe by the descendants of Augustus Bulleit, it’s  matured in charred American white oak barrels  and is rich, spicy and with strong vanilla notes. Ideal for drinking along with the Christmas Pudding.The flat sided bottle lets you see the russet coloured liquid inside and get ready for the tastes from the mix68% corn, 28% rye, 4% malted barley and the 45.6% ABV.

Average cost £40.00