In the run up to Christmas this year, we've asked our Whisky Marketplace retailers to have a look through their shelves to select some whisky recommendations that would make great presents or enhance your festive whisky cabinet.
First up is Richard Hawley from The Whisky Vault. To begin with, we asked him tell us a little about his business and how he became interested in whisky.
We’re going to share our take on a classic whiskey cocktail, perfect at any time of the year, especially refreshing during the summer months. We’ve been incredibly self sacrificing while writing this piece, trying various combinations of ingredients and methods to bring you the definitive recipe. Ladies and gentlemen, we present the, thoroughly well researched, Whisky Marketplace Old Fashioned...
As any chef will tell you, it’s all about the ingredients, and that’s a maxim mixologists will no doubt echo. Some of you may baulk at the idea of putting expensive or high quality whiskey into your cocktails but before we get too protective let’s examine the idea. In our view there are broadly two types of cocktail, long drinks with plenty of non-alcoholic mixer and shorter concoctions that are chiefly made up of pure spirit plus a few additives. We’re going to nail our colours to the mast here, the short cocktails are the ones we really like - hey, we’re whiskey drinkers, right? So if the cocktail is primarily made up of the whisky with a few additional flavourings, you’re going to want to put decent components into it. Otherwise, what’s the point?
[Editor's note] First publishes in 2012, this article still gets a huge amount of traffic but we noticed that some of the recommendations were out of dates so we've updated the list for 2014.
Buying a Christmas present for the whisky lover in your life? Youve perused their whisky collection and read Stu's excellent Christmas Whisky Gifts: Buying Guide. But you want to buy them something other than, or perhaps in addition to, a bottle of whisky.
As the memory of cold turkey, sore heads and family arguments fade the new year kicks off and as the long nights slowly loosen their grip, we Whisky lovers have something else to look forward to. If the Christmas and New Year consumption simply wasn’t enough for you dear friends, then let us look to Burn’s Night! Scotland’s own foremost man of letters left a great legacy for both his homeland and indeed the world, therefore it seems only fitting that a night be dedicated to his memory and indeed that another of Scotland’s great exports plays its part.
With that in mind we felt it timely to offer a few suggestions for those of you feeling inclined towards staging a little Burn’s Night tasting of your own (and we thoroughly suggest you do). Below are some ideas to get you started; namely three complete flights of 5 whiskies starting at the affordable, easy-going end of the spectrum and proceeding on from there. Feel free to mix different costs together of course but try if you can to keep a good spread of flavour profiles and consider setting up your tasting blind (simply wrap up the bottles or have everything poured before your guests arrive), that should offer a few surprises!
Ahh Christmas. The festive cheer, the holly, the children singing, the tree…..the nerve-inducing gift hunting! Not the least stressful of times perhaps and when a loved one’s desire happens to be a bottle of Scotland’s nectar or Kentucky’s finest, it can be understandably hard to know where to start. It’s true, whisky is a vast and multifaceted subject but selecting an ideal tipple for the Whisky lover in your life needn’t be as confusing as first it appears. Indeed, we at WhiskyMarketplace have the answer!
Does your whisky lover’s cabinet contain five or less bottles, all of which you’ve spotted at your local supermarket or nearby bottle shop? Or does it conceal twenty plus bottles – some of them unopened and many with esoteric names & dates? If it’s the former, your whisky lover is probably someone who likes an occasional dram but has only reached geek level 1. If it’s the latter, they’re well on their way to full blown geek level 3!