Drinks blogger James Robertson recommends five whiskies to toast the Bard.
ROBERT BURNS said that “There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing” and also said “Suspense is worse than disappointment”. On Wednesday, many around the world will celebrate Burn’s birthday. There is a sure thing that whisky will be on the menu, but – in all the suspense of what whisky it will be – will there be disappointment?
Here are some that I have recently been lucky to have tasted to hopefully avoid that.
Woven Experience N.5.1 Joy in Nature
Sometimes there is a formulaic aspect to drinks; this is not something that you will find from the team at Woven in Leith. Its whiskies are all about the art of blending, finding whiskies that once married together brings out the best of each other. I have to declare that I love blends as it is not just about the whisky it is about the human element behind the making of the whisky and finding the best combinations the name of this blend says it all. There are five whiskies, including one from Campbeltown and some grain whisky that has a balance and a wonderful freshness about it. Trust me this is joy in a bottle. £50, www.wovenwhisky.com
Raasay Single Malt
In a relatively short space of time, the distillery has produced some wonderful whisky. This is its standard release called Batch R02.1. The whisky has been matured in ex rye whiskey casks, new oak casks, and also ex-red Bordeaux casks. This has produced a delightful albeit young whisky that has light peat but with honeyed barley, dark spice and fruit notes. £47.95, Royal Mile Whiskies.
Kingsbarns Balcomie Single Malt
Another whisky from a young distillery but a whisky that belies its age. Matured in ex-oloroso sherry casks, this is a whisky that has notes of orange citrus, chocolate, Dundee fruit cake with a hint of baked apple on the finish with a sweet nut and barley note. £49.95, Royal Mile Whiskies.
Glenmorangie 12 year old Lasanta
A recent medal winner in the Scottish Whisky Awards, this whisky was matured in American oak barrels for 10 years then transferred for two years in Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry casks. There is still that vanilla, honey and nutty note that one finds with Glenmorangie but that extra time in the sherry casks adds another layer of sultanas, baked banana, orange peel and spice. £45, Tesco.
I have to say I thought that this was one of those marketing ploys to add another product to the portfolio, however the whisky won me round. There is a mix of various aged whisky going as far back as 1993 from both bourbon barrels and European hogsheads. This has that classic Islay seaside minerality with peat smoke, caramel, spice and a touch of sweet fudge on the finish. £59.99, Master of Malt.
Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s food and drink pages, in association with Cask & Still magazine.
Plus, don’t miss Blair Bowman’s whisky column in the February issue of Scottish Field magazine.