Christmas is a time for bubbles, but as the New Year draws near the only way to welcome in 2019 is with a fine whisky. We sample some of the best from Old Pulteney and Benromach.
Old Pulteney comes from Wick in Northern Scotland and calls itself the Maritime Malt.They’ve been making malt whiskey for over 200 years now, letting the sea air blow over their warehouses and maturing their product in American oak ex-bourbon and Spanish oak ex-sherry casks for a unique flavour profile.
Old Pulteney 25 Year Old
Their 25 year old single malt is a cracker, Aged in American, then in Spanish, oak it has toffee in its taste and a lingering spiciness.Old Pulteney 12 Year Old
The 12 Year Old is perhaps the definitive Old Pulteney, matured in ex- bourbon casks and a multiple Gold Winner, it goes down easy and has a hint of saltiness set against a nice honeyed not.
In between these ages are the 15 and the 18 year olds. The former giving off a rich peatiness that doesn’t overpower. The spices are Christmas cake with some exotic vanilla drifting gently in at the end.
The 18 year old is very warming whisky, ideal to welcome in friends who’ve travelled far and are feeling cold. After the warmth comes some zest to get conversation flowing and hunger piqued.
Benromach Single Malt Whisky
You’ll find the Benromach distillery on the outskirts of the ancient market town of Forres.
Originally built in 1898, Benromach distillery was brought back to life in 1993, the distillery was extensively re-equipped over a five-year period.
Benromach is one of only a few distilleries in Scotland to use traditional methods to handcraft its whiskies, managing the process by sight, sound and touch to create the unique, handcrafted and authentic Benromach taste.
Benromach whiskies have a classic Speyside character, balanced with a light touch of smoke.
Benromach 10 Years Old
Matured in a mixture of first fill bourbon barrels and first fill sherry casks, Benromach 10 Years Old exemplifies the classic Speyside single malt character, with notes of rich sherry, spice, green apples and a touch of light peat smoke. It is the perfect malt for those who enjoy the sweet notes of a traditional Speyside whisky dram.
Benromach 15 Years Old
With a smart golden amber colour, thanks to long maturation in sherry and bourbon casks, Benromach 15 Years Old has balanced sherry aromas first on the nose followed by flavours of stewed plum, red apple and kiwi fruit on the tongue.
Recently crowned Best Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky at the World Whiskies Awards 2018 RRP £59.75
Benromach 100° Proof
The Benromach 100° Proof will be welcomed by serious whisky drinkers. Its Intense sherry notes, followed by stewed apple, pear and vanilla aromas soon give way to toasted malt with an underlying menthol edge.
You also get cracked black pepper and fresh strawberries and raspberries on the palate, as well as notes of milk chocolate. With a long, rich finish of lingering, subtle smokiness and bonfire embers, it is a big boy to welcome in the New Year.