1. Talisker 10 Year
Bottle cost: £36.45
Packed with peat, the Talisker 10 Year Old is filled with flavour. It is the perfect island Whisky, hailing from the Isle of Skye and capturing the urged seashore of its home. This is easily detectable on the nose, which is filled with thick peat smoke and sea brine. The brine goes well the salted aroma that follows. There is also a hint of pear and green apple peel, giving the whole thing a refreshing tang. On the palate, these are joined by bananas and raisins that appear through the smoke. The peat is rich and strong, with a slightly earthy quality. This follows through onto the finish, which has a long linger and smoky end.
2. amrut fashion
Bottle cost: £41.63
Amrut Fusion is an award winning Whisky that is made with both Scottish and Indian barley, hence the name Fusion. Like the peat smoke on Talisker, this is immediately detectable on the nose, with barley and malt coming through immediately. There is a wonderful zesty citrus flavour underneath it all that gives a nice depth to the dram. The zesty flavours become slightly caramelised on the palate. They lend a nice texture that goes hand in hand with the malt and bitter dark chocolate that also comes through. There is a slight hint of marzipan and coconut alongside the barley and grain flavours. The finish is drawn out, giving you lots of time to appreciate the flavours as they mix.
3. Green Spot - Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Bottle cost: £38.25
This is a wonderfully typical Irish Whiskey. It has all the delicate flavours and the smooth mouth feel that are important to this region, but brings them together in perfect harmony and complexity. It opens with bright, bold fruits and dewy grass, giving it a distinctly refreshing and orchard orientated nose. Apples and pears are joined by limes and oranges to add a bit of tang. The fresh flavour grows on the palate where it becomes menthol and mint, with more grass and a healthy dose of oak wood. The wood brigs a wonderful complexity to the dram, and is somewhat reminiscent of Bourbon, with a smooth, toasty sweetness to it. This is especially evident on the finish, which is filled with caramel and cinnamon spice.
4. Nikka from the Barrel
Bottle cost: £38.95
This is a truly incredible dram. It is one of the greatest Japanese Whiskies on the market and is an excellent price. The nose is paced with fruit and flowers, and a soft back ground of oak. This gives it such great depth and refinement. The flowers are slightly herby, with some basil and thyme coming through. This is given real emphasis on the palate, where the floral aromas come to life and blend with the sweet oak to give this dram a full body. The oak becomes slightly more like vanilla in flavour, with a hint of cinnamon for good measure. These wrap up well on the finish, where they bring together the floral notes with the wooded qualities.
5. monkey shoulder
Bottle cost: £26.95
Monkey Shoulder is a fantastically sweet malt that has real depth and complexity to it. The nose begins with thick, whipped cream, marzipan and sweet nuts, smothered in a smooth caramel and chocolate sauce. On the palate, the caramel becomes spicier and mixes with a warming cinnamon and nutmeg flavour. Caramelised orange peels come through and bring with them cloves to join the cinnamon. This is all brought together with a rich malty note that acts as a sounding board for the other flavours to play themselves out on. The finish is just as well rounded and ends with smooth oak wood and a warming cinnamon and caramel note.