Tobias Gorn is a sommelier. bon viveur and raconteur. He’s just left Michelin-starred Indian restaurant, Tamarind, for pastures new- The Whisky Shop on Piccadilly, right opposite the ritziest of venues, the, er… Ritz. Toby’s pretty excited about the move and the chance to foist a few of his finest festive tipples upon Foodepedia, and we trust him totally. This is one man who truly knows how to make proceedings go with a bang.

‘This year’, he requests, ‘Forget about he usual Champagne-Claret-Port combo, and focus on something truly inspiring to give you that classic ‘Christmas day jolly’.’

Strathisla 12 year-old

‘Let’s do a light and delicious one first: I’ve just visited this Speyside distillery in Kieth. Sadly, most of the spirit is going straight to blends, but they do have this fragrant 12 year-old single malt bottling. This expression is full of light sweet vanilla and packed with fresh fruit and a brilliantly clear floral background. Light and beautiful with no sherry at all. Even the sternest purist would surrender to this charming dram, not to mention the cracking value for money.’

Strathisla 12 year-old is available from The Whisky Shop, RRP £34.99

Balvenie 21 year old

‘Still on the Speyside, but one step up: A gorgeous 21 year-old Balvenie, finished in Port pipes. This is just a no-brainer: Port is Christmas, whisky is Christmas…So whisky is brilliant if finished in Port casks! Imagine the whisky’s honey and vanilla accompanied by the Port’s warm red fruits and seasonal spices, one can’t ask for more! Watch out for the cakes and puddings, this makes a splendid pairing.’

Balvenie 21 year-old is available from The Whisky Shop, RRP £99.99

Lagavulin 1994 Distiller’s Edition

‘For the Islay fans, here is a beautifully complex and pretty controversial one: Lagavulin’s 1994 Distiller’s Edition is finished in a PX sherry cask, giving it a total new make-up: the dry heavy smoke and seaside aromas are accompanied by beautifully lush prunes and all sorts of sweet dried fruits and nutty undertones. This is a brilliant after-dinner dram with a cigar or a pipe.’

Lagavulin 1994 Distiller’s Edition is available from The Whisky Shop, RRP £64.99

Glenfarclas 40 year-old

‘For the one who has sense and a good dollop of disposable cash. Glenfarclas is one of our trade favorites. Known for sensible pricing and a lack of flashy design. This is down-to-earth, though very elegant. This has the class lost by many distillers making silly overstatements with immature extravagant styles yielding abominable results. Plenty to smell and taste: old furniture with walnuts and chocolate. Plenty of orange, toffee, and mahogany, with a long, dry cocoa-bean finish.’ 

Glenfarclas 40 year-old is available from The Whisky Shop, RRP £389.99

Auchentoshan Cream Liqueur

‘Now we come onto a crowd-pleaser, something that everyone will love: Glasgow’s answer to the Irish Cream Liqueur! Brilliant, a wee bit lighter than the well-known brand from the ‘Emerald Isle’, and, I must say, this one goes down very quickly. I’d pop it in a tumbler or a big cognac snifter with a couple of ice cubes to sip and savour when you fancy something comforting.’

Auchentoshan Cream Liqueur is available from The Whisky Shop, RRP £26.99

The Dalmore Constellation Collection

‘And finally, if you feel like you had a pretty damn good financial year so far, please have a peep at The Dalmore Constellation Collection, probably one of the most expensive commercially-available selections of 21 single-cask vintage Dalmores. Under your Christmas tree for a mere £158,000!’ 

The Dalmore Constellation Collection is available through selected retailers, RRP £158,000