Fine scotch whisky can cure anything, someone once told me. Well, we could all use a little “curing” right about now.
The holidays are fast approaching and so is the nippy weather. The global pandemic continues to unfold before us and with it comes unprecedented circumstances and impacts on our lives.
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You may not be able to gather at your favourite restaurant or bar this year. Knowing that, we have taken the liberty of putting together a list of three premium scotch whisky options you can buy and bring back to the safety of home.
For starters we introduce a single malt whisky part of Diageo Beverage Company’s Classic Malt Series, Oban 14. Oban is a small harbour town located in the west of Scotland. Its granite stone distillery sits close to the harbour.
The Oban distillery is one of the smallest in Scotland and only has two pot stills. This single malt has a rich, honey-amber colour. Successive sips unravel its unique and dynamic characteristics of light honey, and floral notes. Plus hints of salt draw allure to its coastal environment. Oban has a body that is soft and not overpowering or too intense.
Image source: www.obanwhisky.com
Its slight smoky aroma differs from its overall flavour as it is smooth, subtle and fruity. Oban leaves a pleasant aftertaste that lingers on your palette. It could be accompanied with salted hazelnut chocolate to enhance the experience. Oban sells for $124.95 at the LCBO.
The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 Year Old
The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 Year Old Scotch whisky compliments the holiday season quite well. This whisky matures in former bourbon casks. Then they pour it into fresh oak previously filled with rum distilled in the Caribbean. It is interesting to note that this product’s predecessor was the Cuban Rum Selection, not available in the United States due to the embargo.
Master Distiller David Steward has filled these casks with his own blend of rums beforehand. The transfer of whisky into previous rum-filled casks is referred to as wet-filling. This is done in order to enhance the transfer of aromas.
Balvenie’s distillery, founded in 1892, is located in Dufftown in the northeast of Scotland, adjacent to the Glenfiddich distillery. It has been privately owned for five generations. The site hosts coopers on site to tend to the casks, in addition to coppersmiths to ensure utmost quality of the pot stills.
This Balvenie 14 Year Caribbean Cask has a warm amber appearance to it and offers a rich palette composed of notes of burnt sugar, toffee, vanilla, and dried fruits. The infusion of the rum is not too strong and the oakiness from the casks lingers on your tongue. A citrusy bitterness balances these holiday flavours that help to set the festive mood. It sells for $144.95 at the LCBO.
The Lagavulin 16 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Lastly, The Lagavulin 16 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is produced by White Horse Distillers. It has a history dating back to the 1880s. This single malt is perhaps the benchmark for those who prefer the full-flavour, smoky and peaty richness of an Islay malt.
The village of Lagavulin is found on the south of the island of Islay, southwest of the mainland of Scotland. With hints of peat, figs, dates and vanilla, the finish for this scotch whisky is smoky and dry. Its taste takes you to the hearth by the fireplace. It’s about as close to winter bliss as you are going to get. Lagavulin has a golden-amber quality to it. To complement the notes of sherry and sweet spices, try pairing it with salty cheese varieties.
Lagavulin 16 Year old Islay Single Malt Scotch is available at the LCBO for $144.95.
TOP IMAGE: ANASTASIA ZHENINA, PEXELS