You’ve got through the smoked salmon, the turkey, the ham, the pigs in blankets, the devils on horseback, the roast potatoes, gravy, sprouts, Christmas pud, Port and Stilton. Time for wafer think mint. Or you why not take a break, pour yourself something strong and lose yourself in contemplation or conversation? To help you, we’ve rounded up some decadent sippers from Taiwan, England, Ireland, Scotland and one which we’re not quite sure where it’s from. All of these would taste magnificent after a hearty feast. And then how about a ham and stuffing sandwich with lots of cranberry sauce? Tis the season and all that.
Top 10 after dinner whiskies for Christmas
We’re kicking off the post-dinner whisky round-up with an absolute sherry bomb from Taiwan’s Kavalan distillery, this single malt is called Triple Sherry Cask. The three sherries in question are oloroso, Pedro Ximénez, and moscatel, working in delicious harmony to bring a wealth of flavour to the bottling. Think dried mango, baking spices, candied nuts, and chocolate-coated cherries. Sherry heaven!
Double Double range refers to a four stage ageing process that master blender Stephanie MacLeod has developed. Step one is the ageing of the various malt and grain components. Then in step two the grains are married in used casks, and the malts married separately. In step three the grain and malt components are married before the final step, finishing in sherry casks, in this case oloroso. The result is an incredibly rich, smooth blend that’s the perfect accompaniment for rambling discussions late into the night.
The seventh addition to the non-chill filtered Batch Strength range from Tamdhu has been matured exclusively in ex-oloroso sherry casks, many of them first-fill, resulting in a stunning dram for those who like things very sherried. Bottled up at 57.5% ABV, this Speyside single malt Scotch whisky will do very well with a drop or two of water to bring out those wonderful fruit aromas.
This is the whisky of no-fixed abode, the aptly named Nomad. It began life with a selection of malt and grain whiskies blended and matured in Scotland. Next up, the blend was shipped over to Jerez, home of legendary sherry producer Gonzalez Byass, where it was filled into two types of sherry cask – Pedro Ximénez and oloroso. This Reserve expression is matured for a decade in total, it’s a splendidly rich sipper. Just don’t call it Scotch whisky or the SWA will be round with the boys.
A wonderfully sherried 15 year old dram from Glenfarclas. It’s bottled at 46% ABV simply because this was the strength that George Grant’s grandfather preferred it at. Happily, this also results in the Speysider boasting a big, juicy, Christmas cake profile. A fabulously complex Scotch while also being easily drinkable. What will you find it in? Well, there is something a little menthol on the nose, plus rancio. We think it smells older than 15 years old, and then take a sip and it explodes with orange peel, walnuts and dates.
Take all the magic of Redbreast, one of our absolute favourites and then stick some extra sherry on, and that’s what you have here. First launched in 2016, this single pot still Irish whiskey was initially matured in a combination of American and European oak casks for 9 to 12 years, before being transferred over to first fill Oloroso Sherry casks from Bodegas Lustau for a year. Expect flavours of toasted almond, orange peel studded with clove and slowly growing notes of juicy sultanas.
Festive flavours like Christmas cake, dark chocolate, medjool dates, and cinnamon are the name of the game here. And by “name of the game”, we of course mean that Christmas Cake & Dark Chocolate & Medjool Dates & Cinnamon is literally the name of this whisky. What we’ve got is a superb Speyside single malt Scotch whisky, aged for eight years and boasting a sleighful of Yuletide elements, perfect for enjoying after the big meal.
Back with a fourth batch, and thank goodness – it’s the tremendous Wormtub 10 Year Old! Weighing in at 56.9% ABV, this single malt hails from the same undisclosed Speyside distillery as previous batches, a distillery that is known for using a worm tub condenser… that little nugget of information ought to be enough for a few among you to work out which one we’re on about. The whisky was reracked into first-fill sherry casks during its 10-year maturation before being bottled at cask strength, without chill filtration or added colour. Yep, that glorious hue is all from time in the cask.
Do you like smoke? Do you like sherry? Then you’ll love Bowmore 15 Year Old. It’s an effortlessly delicious mixture of the sweet and nutty with layers of quite subtle smoke. The peat used comes from mainland Scotland rather than Islay so it’s woodier and less medicinal than most Islay whiskies. With its sweet raisin, toffee and malt notes all woven together with wood smoke and subtle peat, makes this a great digestif.
The Lakes Whiskymaker’s Reserve series concludes with another sherry-tastic release that proves English whisky can compete with the best. For No.7, it’s a blend of oloroso, PX, and red wine casks, comprising Spanish and American oak, that was bottled at 52% ABV non-chill filtered, with natural colour. We’ve always liked these whiskies but the final releases have been out of this world, those big chocolate, nut and dried fruit flavours now mellowed and softened with time. You won’t be able to resist another measure.