I lived in Scotland for a couple of years and became rather a fan of whisky. I know it is a bit of a cliche to do so but once you’ve found the type of whisky you like, there really is no going back. My favourites (in no particular order) are:
The 12-year old Old Pulteney was the first whisky I ever tried that I really enjoyed – it thus is a very special whisky for me and I often indulge in a dram on a Friday night. It was whilst on holiday a few years ago in Edinburgh and we had stopped by for a little drink at the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile. It had a slightly salty/sea taste that I love and have looked for ever since in whiskies. Last year I tried the 17-year old which is even better, if significantly pricier. My only regret with Old Pulteney is that I haven’t been up to do a distillery tour yet.
The 12 year-old usually retails for approximately £35 and the 17-year old at £75.
For more info check out http://www.oldpulteney.com
I stumbled across Highland park at a food show in London a few years ago. There was an opportunity to do a guided tasting and we were there so early that we had one all to ourselves. I’m glad we did as the various ones we tried were all excellent, including the ‘basic’ 12-year old. It combines the maritime taste I like so much with a lightly peated taste; something else I’ve begun to look for in whiskies. I was also lucky enough to go on a tour at the distillery last year when I visited Orkney and that was an excellent experience.
The 12-year usually retails for around £35
For more info check out https://www.highlandparkwhisky.com/
Discovering the Oban whisky was a chance encounter as we happened to be on holiday in the Oban area on a very rainy day. What do you do on a rainy day in Scotland?…Go to a distillery obviously! The tour was very well done but most importantly the dram at the end was fantastic. For me it was a halfway-house between Old Pulteney and Highland Park.
The core range 14-year retails for approximately £40
For more info check out https://www.discovering-distilleries.com/oban/
I love Talisker and have done ever since I first tried it in a bar in Edinburgh. Against it has the maritime taste but it is more heavily peated than the those above. More often that note it is my whisky of choice, either at home or when out. I first tried the 10-year old which if fantastic, but I also treated myself to a bottle of the Distiller’s edition which is a much richer flavour. Whilst on Skye last year we also did the distillery tour (on another rainy day) and that was excellent.
The 10-year old usually retails for around £35 and the Distiller’s edition (if you can find it) at £50-£60.
For info go to https://www.discovering-distilleries.com/talisker/
One of my favourite places in Scotland is lovely Pitlochry in Perthshire. This small town boasts two distilleries, though the only one I have been to is Blair Athol, the home of Bell’s, but also of the splendid Blair Athol single malt. The single malt is a delicate and floral whisky, much unlike any of the other whiskies I like. However it is very pleasant and drinkable on its own. Getting hold of the single malt is difficult though and easiest if you are at the distillery shop or one of the other Diageo discovering distilleries sites (e.g. Oban). I would also highly recommend the distillery tour.
If you do manage to get a bottle it will cost you approximately £40-£50
For more info visit here https://www.discovering-distilleries.com/blairathol/