We've got you covered for best Burns Night whiskies
Fancy a dram this Burns Night? Take a look at the must-try Scotch whisky of 2023 according to Aidy Smith, award-winning journalist and TV Presenter of Amazon Prime’s The Three Drinkers travel series.
Glen Grant 18 Year Old
Glen Grant first started producing whisky in 1840 but I'd argue now is the most exciting time within their almost 200-year history. This stunning 18-year old delight is the oldest of their ongoing range and testament to the craftsmanship which goes into each and every bottle. This bright golden dream gives a distinct rich spicy floral nose with malty camaral, dried figs and custard upon sipping. The finish? A medley of walnuts, alongside a sweet raisin spice.
Taming it’s inspiration from the first blended scotches to be bottled all the way back in the 1980s, Compass Box has created a luxury bottle that not only tastes, but looks truly stunning. The limited edition blend contains just 5,430 bottles which were released in August 2022. Four of the distillery's top Scotches have been blended using some of the rarest stock they have to produce a medley of liquid seduction. Expect to discover roasted pecans, raisins, toffee apples, mahogany and a delicate but mesmerising smoke. Discover a piece of whisky history.
When looking for a super versatile and friendly whisky it doesn't get much better than The Glenturret, you really can do anything with this liquid. Personally, I like to get started with a whisky and ginger highball before moving onto an old fashioned then just having some neat. Completely natural in colour, the 2021 release has a sweet and fruity style. Being aged in American and European oak sherry seasoned casks and bourbon barrels gives it that distinct Glenturret profile. Candied orange peel meets ginger and apricot cake with hints of nutmeg, fresh vanilla and custard tart.
One thing I love about this whisky is that they embrace how each year the result will always be slightly different based on the barley used. Despite being produced on Islay, this is very much an unpeated whisky, don’t let its locality confuse you. A quick whiff gives you fresh wild flowers and lemon drops with honey, clementine and caramelised apples. A sip reveals apples, pears, sticky brown sugar and a dark spicy plum compote.
I just adore the Glenfiddich Grand Cru series, each release brings a new discovery to drool over. The 23 Year reveals an incredible elixir, matured for 23 years in American and European oak casks before being finished in rare French Cuvee casks. This marriage of flavours witnesses the very best of Scotland and France combined. Together, creating uncomparable taste. Explore apple blossom, freshly baked bread and candied lemon on the nose with sweet brioche, apple tart, sandalwood and a long opulent finish upon sipping,
Say hello to Oban’s flagship expression which has picked up countless awards over the years. The distillery’s unique stills and oceanic geography impart a sea-salt peatiness into the bottle, giving it an added dash of personality. Rich and sweet in style with candied mandarins, dried figs and a salted honey, this dram is super full bodied and gives you that perfect kiss of peaty-smoke.
From one of the UK’s oldest and most highly regarded wine and spirits stores comes their classic Islay Malt. The Hebridean island has become a passion point for millions around the world. Carefully selected from a blend of their finest casks, you can expect that iconic peaty and smoky complexity. Layers of peated fruitcake and creamy honey with a distinct flinty smoke.
In 2018 Fettercairn decided to relaunch their single malt range; a decision that has caused nothing but excitement ever since. I dare say this has been my favourite whisky family to explore in 2022. Each age statement whisky brings something completely unique to the table and their Warehouse Editions sell out within minutes. I see huge promise and a magnificent future ahead for this distillery, so if it’s not on your radar yet, change that.
The golden amber liquid sits for years in hand-picked first fill and refill ex-bourbon American white oak casks before being finished in 100% Scottish oak casks.Their unique distillation method results in truly unique tropical notes finding their way into each bottle. Passion fruit, mango and guava jump from the glass with baking spices, cinnamon and candied apricots. Just as you think the performance has come to an end, a crescendo of honeyed brioche, redcurrant pie and vanilla hit your tastebuds in a way you never thought possible. A truly iconic Scotch.
Dewar’s new range adds an exciting twist to the whisky world, witnessing a four-step ageing process for that extra smoothness. The do ’Double Double’ aged collection showcases 3 vintage expressions (21, 27, 32) with the 27 being my personal favourite. Step 1 sees the grain and malt whiskies being distilled and aged separately before being blended within their own category and aged a second time. They are then blended together as a collective and aged a third time before being finished in individual sherry casks (icluding Oloroso, Palo Cortado and Pedro Ximinez). The result is an astonishingly beautiful orange zest, buttered popcorn and leather with milk chocolate, mango’s and an incredibly velvety smooth finish.