Yes, World Whisky Day is actually a thing. And yes, failing to celebrate it would be as much of a sin as forgetting Mother’s Day or cancelling Christmas.
Founded in 2012 by a Scottish university student who clearly put all that free time whilst living the student life to good use, World Whisky Day falls on the third Saturday of May each year (which just so happens to be tomorrow). It gives thousands around the world another handy excuse to pick up a bottle of the amber nectar and celebrate with a glass or three.
Always well prepared and ones to take days of cultural celebration seriously, we’re sharing our current favourite drams in advance of the big day.
From one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries, Bladnoch’s 10 Year Old hails from the rolling hills of the Scottish Lowlands and is the ultimate easy drinking dram. Bottled in a striking decanter, this whisky has been exclusively matured in American oak and really shows off the traditional characteristics of Lowland drams – refreshing, honeyed and delicate with just a hint of spice.
£53.75 for 70cl; amazon.co.uk
An all-rounder of a dram, this 15 Year Old from Speyside distillery Benromach ticks a lot of boxes. Crafted by the smallest and one of the few remaining family-owned distilleries in Scotland, this bottling is the result of a careful marriage of traditional American oak casks previously used for maturing Bourbon with Spanish sherry casks. It consequently delivers a huge range of flavours.
Unusually for distilleries on Speyside – a whisky region infamous for easy-drinking, softer styles of malt whisky – Benromach dry their barley with peat smoke to give the resulting liquid a discernible but nonetheless subtle whiff of dry smoke, making this dram one for every palette.
£52.95 for 70cl; thewhiskyexchange.com
For those partial to a smoky, coastal dram, the distilleries on the windswept coasts of the Isle of Islay are usually the obvious go-to. Looking ever so slightly further afield, however, pays dividends. From Tobermory Distillery on the Isle of Mull, an island slightly further north along Scotland’s wild, western shores, the Ledaig 10 Year Old pulls no punches.
Distilled with local island water from a private lake (or loch), which runs through fields of peat before flowing into the distillery, this whisky really shows its maritime heritage. Ashy and slightly salty but balanced perfectly with layers upon layers of sweetness and a subtly lemony note, this is one both for the fully signed up smoke-heads and those less frequent drinkers who are keen to give peated whisky a try.
£38.90 for 70cl; amazon.co.uk
Arran Sherry Cask: The Bodega
If you’re after a slightly punchier dram, Arran’s Sherry Cask release does the trick. Matured in casks seasoned with sherry from Jerez, Spain, this is a rich and deep malt bursting with spicy and fruity flavours. Bottled at a natural strength of 55.8% abv, this is whisky how it comes straight from the cask.
That higher alcohol content certainly makes a difference, giving this malt a long, warming finish that conjures up fireside memories and eating your own weight in panettone. Remind us, how many days is it until Christmas again?
£53.95 for 70cl; masterofmalt.com
Looking to pick up a slightly older and more distinguished dram? Look no further than this 21 Year Old Highland beauty from Glengoyne. One of our favourite all-time drams, this whisky represents a much-loved, traditional Highland style of crafting whisky.
Glengoyne’s distillation process runs at around a third of the speed of that of most distilleries, meaning that the spirit has maximum contact with the purifying copper stills, resulting in an incredibly smooth and unhurried dram. Coupled with maturation in top-quality, hand-selected sherry casks which impart cinnamon and baked fruit notes, Glengoyne’s approach makes for an ideal after-dinner drink – or as they put it themselves, “franky, anytime.”
£125.92 for 70cl; amazon.co.uk