People often ask us which whisky is considered a great one to buy? The answer largely depends on your reason behind the purchase. Rarity is a factor for some. A bottle bought as an investment. For others it’s the taste experience and the diversity of choice.
The following guide is designed to cover both those options for you in the hope that you can make a more informed choice, based on your whisky preferences.
For The Whisky Investor
For investable whisky bottles, old ones are the most common choice. But, if you have an eye for what can happen in the future (that’s most of us after a few drams, right?) newer bottles to the marketplace can also be a highly lucrative investment.
The brand and distillery of a bottle is a crucial element to consider. Macallan is considered a top investable option these days for obvious reasons, but those of you with a nose for the market, can make a real killing with some of the ‘lesser known’ up and coming gold.
Why not kick back this evening with a drop that’s old enough to drive - and consider our top 5 current recommendations for a sound investment. Just click on an image for a closer look …
This particular Macallan choice is far more affordable at the moment than some of their others. And, with only 559 bottles available anywhere, it’s expected to be an investment banker (never thought we’d hear those two words in a positive light ????).
This 45-year-old vintage Highland Park was bottled from single cask #5643.
The elegant hand-blown glass decanter is encased in a hand-crafted Tantalus made from the very casks that matured the whisky. We love the ‘care of thought’ behind that.
Here’s a 25-Year-Old Ardbeg Single Cask - Single Malt at ‘natural cask’ strength. There are just 251 bottles of this liquid heaven available worldwide. Wow!
If the colour puts you off this one, blame those four cheeky chaps from Liverpool. It’s a limited edition Bruichladdich. All bottles are individually numbered and less than two thousand exist. Kerching!
Finally, we’re off to Japan for this Hibiki gem. It was awarded a Gold 'Editor's Choice' award from Whisky Magazine - and also picked up the top prize in its category at the World Whisky Awards of 2010. A born winner already then!
You’ll definitely have your own inklings into what’s going to be golden in the long run. But we hope these five give you a burning taste for it.
Just remember the value decreases if you’re tempted to crack them open. That’s the hard part.
For The Whisky (Whiskey) Connoisseur
Let’s start with the word. The single letter difference letter is tied to the story of our golden spirit. Irish and American-made whiskeys tend to add in the ‘e’ to distinguish themselves from the Scots. The Scottish distillers always cut straight to the ‘y’ with Canadian and Japanese brands following suit.
It’s not a ‘set in stone’ practice, but the Connoisseurs of the whisky world hold it dear as a signpost for expected flavour.
If you consider yourself someone who knows what’s in your glass without glimpsing the bottle first, our top 5 diverse choices are going to be right up your still.
We’ll kick you off with a flavoursome bourbon (with the added ‘e’ of course ).
A Jim Beam Small Batch Bourbon named after a flowing creek where Abraham Lincoln grew up.
Nose: Sweet spice. Toasted oak. Caramel.
Palate: Peppery and deep. Notes of sugariness and nut oil. Subtle Spices and dark chocolate hints.
Finish: Luxuriously long and dry.
This single malt Kavalan Solist from Taiwan is a throat warming treat.
Nose: Cooked cherries, stewed pears, brown bread and a tropical hint.
Palate: Dry wood, heavily infused with sherry. Small hints of pineapple.
Finish: Woody sherry, hay, lots of fruitiness. A satisfying aftertaste that lingers.
Off to India next for this cask strength whisky from Amrut. Distilled from Scottish ‘peated barley’, this non-chill filtered whisky is bottled at an impressive 123.6 proof (61.8% ABV).
Nose: Peaty (ish). Toffee notes. Clear fruity overtones.
Palate: Earthy, fruity and a well infused subtle sweetness.
Finish: Long and smoke filled with that unmistakable Indian depth and complexity.
You can’t have a top 5 list without a great Scotch, right? This new release from Rosebank is a 30 year old masterpiece of distillery.
Nose: Soft and creamy. Caramel. Almonds. Vanilla and nutmeg.
Palate: Crisp and delicate. Pear essence with warming oak spices.
Finish: Soft and long with a hint of orange and a far off mint memory.
AND. You can’t have a top 5 list without a great Irish, right? Midleton Very Rare 2018 is the result of the careful blending of exceptional, rare and hand-selected single pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys.
Nose: Vanilla sweetness with a light floral perfume. Citrus. Herb freshness and sweet spice.
Palate: Peppery pot still spices. Charred oak and a slight touch of apple and cinnamon.
Finish: Medium linger that fades the delicate spicing and has you yearning for more.
As ever you’ll be the ultimate judge in what makes it into your collection. After all, if every single one of us filled our glass with the same gold, there’d never be a good reason to visit someone else’s cabinet.
Let us know your recommendations, whether for a solid investment, or a throat warming experience you’d like us to try.