Whisky is just the best go-to tipple on cold days, fireside evenings, after long walks on the beach or in the hills, sitting with a good book… who needs an excuse? For years my glass of choice would have been Dallas Dhu but the distillery closed in 1983 and the price soon went well beyond my reach. Thereafter it has been a good Caol Ila – warming and smooth to drink with distinctive smokey peat, seashore aromas, spice, and subtle sweetness – perfect while enjoying the atmospheric poetry of Roseanne Watt in Moder Dy, or picking up on that great novel, Nineteen Eighty Four written but an island away from Islay and from the distillery where this whisky is now distilled.
But this week I was pointed in the direction of the award-winning Benriach and today’s combination of a wet Saturday afternoon and World Whisky Day gave just cause to try it out. Crafted by the Lady Blender – Dr Rachel Barrie, Master Blender and Keeper of the Quaich – it is woody and rounded and fruity and hugely enjoyable. There is a ten year old Smoky bottle too which is still on the shopping list.
Not sure where to start with whisky? Take yourself on a tasting journey with Blair Bowman’s The Pocket Guide to Whisky. Find one you like and then, using the Whisky Tube Map, he and Nikki Welch will guide you to others that may appeal to your nose and your palate. Blair – by the way – founded World Whisky Day in 2012.
Know your whisky but appreciate the notes of others? Take a look at:
Fancy a whisky from further afield? Read an article on some of the finest new world whiskies here.
What to read with your favourite dram? Our suggestions might include: