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Scotch Whisky

Scottish whiskies are among the world’s most revered spirits. There are varying styles, though all can be delectable masterworks in their own right. Some are flavoured heavily by peat and smoke, others are light and fruity. Coastal whiskies are often flavoured by the sea and a refined salinity can be found. There is always a sweetness; sometimes in omnipresence, sometimes lurking in the substrata.

There are regional distinctions in Scotch whisky much like the wine appellations of France. The robust, aromatic clarets of Bordeaux can be paralleled with the pungent, powered single malts from the Highlands. The sweet, fragrant, floral whites of Alsace are comparable with the gentle, fruity expressions from the Lowlands. The profusion of Scotch distilleries is such that it is difficult, and unwise, to make broad generalisations. To truly master the subject, one must first embark on a lifetime’s journey - a journey of knowledge, history and experience.

Scotch Whisky

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Speyside Whisky

Speyside proffers the lighter, sweeter drams. Body is brought with age and some of the heavily sherried, well-aged Speyside single malts are particularly full. The lighter, younger whiskies can be rather delightful with superb balance. The sweetness is often honeyed and delicate and peat is rarely used, nor are the drams particularly salty. Speyside whiskies are rarely finished in exotic wood.

One of the many splendid Glenfarclas Family Cask bottlings - this one was distilled in 1990 and matured in refill Sherry cask #1362 all the way until March 2014, when it was bottled as part of the Summer 2014 release. 608 bottles were produced, all filled with top-notch, well-Sherried single malt Scotch whisky. Yum.
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£224.80
A Distillers Edition bottling of Cragganmore single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1997 and finished in port pipes before being bottled in 2010. These Distillers Editions are often pretty darn good, and great value to boot!
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£42.49

Islay Whisky

Single malts from Islay tend to be the most pungent and peaty of all Scotch whiskies. This is particularly true to the south of the isle, where peat smoke is rife, as is tar and salinity. Further north there is not quite the peaty intensity; instead there is often plenty of fruit and refinement. There is always a good degree of balance, wherever one is on the isle.

A much sought-after single malt with the massive peat-smoke that's typical of southern Islay - but also offering richness and a dryness that turns it into a truly interesting dram. The 16 year old has become a benchmark Islay dram from the Lagavulin distillery.
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£47.79
Ardbeg Uigeadail (70cl, 54.20%)
Uigeadail derives from the Scotch Gaelic for 'Dark and Mysterious Place' and is named for the Loch from whence Ardbeg draws its waters. Jim Murray's 2009 World Whisky of the Year, this cask-strength bottle exudes breathtaking balance.
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£49.49

Island Whisky

The Islands is a diverse region, though the single malts are usually rather rich. Smoke is a recurring theme, as is balance and richness. There is often a good peat, salinity and counteracting cereal sweetness. There are no hard and fast rules for the Islands, for the terroir and production methods differ greatly between distilleries.

Highland Park Dark Origins is a new core bottling that celebrates the early days of Magnus Eunson's illicit distilling on Orkney, back before the distillery was even founded in 1798. Magnus worked as a butcher and church official by day, but by night he was a legendary whisky smuggler and distiller outwitting the exciseman. To honour their hero (the Batman of the Orkney Islands, if you will), Highland Park have created a whisky with a suitably 'dark' character. Using 80% first-fill Sherry casks (20% refill) - 60% are first-fill European oak, with 20% being first-fill American oak - an exciting, spicy, chocolatey whisky has been produced.
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£61.34
A cask strength bottling from the Talisker distillery, bearing no age statement. This was named for the Isle of Skye sits on the line of latitude 57 Degrees North.
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£56.73

Highland Whisky

The Highlands is a broad appellation, though the whiskies tend to be full in body. The Highlands is divided into four regions; Northern Highland whiskies are full, cereal sweet and rich; Southern Highland whiskies are slightly lighter with dryness and fruit; Eastern Highland whiskies are full, dry and very fruity; Western Highland whiskies are full and pungent with plenty of peat and smoke.

Edradour is one of Scotland's smallest distilleries and at the heart of the range, this 10 year old Eastern Highlander is a rather unique single malt, a decidedly rum-like dram with a thick mouthfeel.
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£34.65
Malt from the most northerly mainland distillery in Scotland. This 21yo is an exceptionally well-matured version well worth a try. This was just rated the best whisky in the in Jim Murray's 2012 Whisky Bible.
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£80.68

Lowland Whisky

Whiskies from the Lowlands tend to be light and gentle. The single malts are usually quite dry. Peat is very rarely used. The single malts are soft and delicate and triple distillation is practiced, indeed it is for this that the region is known. There is very little salinity and plenty of floral notes and balanced fruit.

A Lowland single malt matured in 3 different casks, namely: Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks, bourbon casks and Oloroso sherry. A distinctive triple distilled whisky from Auchentoshan.
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£38.41
This 12 year old is the new entry level bottling from Glenkinchie, released in 2007 to replace the 10 year old.
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£31.03

Campbeltown Whisky

Campbeltown single malts are rather dry and gentle smoky. The proximity to the coast proffers a salty character. One can imagine a cross between the Western Highlands and the Lowlands, with a little salinity. There are now just three whisky distilleries in Campbeltown.

The 10 year old from the Springbank distillery in Campbeltown, a mixture of both bourbon and sherry matured whisky.
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£32.67
A 15 year old from the Springbank distillery with plenty of sherry notes and spice, dried fruits and nuts.
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£63.02

Other Scotch Whisky

Blended whisky is Scotland’s best-selling spirit. A Scotch blend is made up of both malt and grain whisky. The grain whisky is easy to produce, it being distilled in a column still. It is a little more neutral in taste, thus the malt whisky is added for flavour and body. Currently, blended whisky accounts for 90% of Scotland’s whisky production.

It's here, the 2014 Whisky Advent Calendar! Look at it. Regard it. What is surely the greatest advent calendar known to humankind is back for a third Christmas countdown, and there's still no better way to get into the festive spirit! Behind each of the 24 windows lies a different 3cl Drinks By The Dram sample of delicious whisky, so this year be sure to count down to Christmas in style (again). And if you like this, why not take a look at The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar! SPOILER ALERT! You can view the contents below if you really want to know by selecting 'Read more' - although we've still placed them in a random order below so the surprise won't be completely ruined! Read more
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£149.95
Is this the ultimate advent calendar? We certainly think so. For The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar from Drinks by The Dram contains 24 wax sealed sample drams of top quality whiskies behind its glorious windows! This really is a thing of beauty, a step up from the already incredible Whisky Advent Calendar, this is the way to count down to Christmas in consummate style. Expect all manner of treats from top distilleries in Scotland and around the world! SPOILER ALERT! You can view the contents below if you really want to know by selecting 'Read more' - although we've still placed them in a random order below so the surprise won't be completely ruined! Read more
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£279.95

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