Find out about the best whiskies ahead of St Andrew's Day
PUBLISHED: 16:04 26 November 2012 | UPDATED: 16:13 26 November 2012
With St Andrew's Day on Friday, the long weekend to celebrate Scotland's patron saint promises parties aplenty, bagpipes, traditional food and whisky galore.
Indeed, with a growing number of followers across the world seduced by Scotland’s most famous export, the celebrations will extend far beyond Caledonia.
Here Sam Wylie-Harris goes on a whisky trail ahead of the celebrations to bring you some of his favourites.
Britain’s favourite whisky has released a Limited Edition Bell’s Whisky (£16.29, 70cl, Morrisons) to raise money for Help for Heroes, with a donation from each bottle going to the charity. Rich, nutty and lightly spiced - drinking for a good cause has never tasted so good.
The first licensed distiller on Speyside in 1824, Glenlivet is renowned for its smooth and gentle single malts. The Glenlivet 12 Year Old (£24, 70cl, Waitrose) is made from unpeated malted barley; it has a delicate floral nose, exotic fruits and subtle spice on the nutty finish.
The world’s best-selling brand, Johnnie Walker, recently launched Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18 Year Old (£70, 75cl, Waitrose). It’s soft and peaty with slow-baked apples, malty cereal and notes of vanilla and sweet almond, with a whiff of smoke on the lingering finish.
The Arran 14 Year Old Single Malt (£41.99, 70cl, www.arranwhisky.com) is all vanilla, almonds, cinnamon and spice wrapped in caramel.
Try Laphroaig Quarter Cask (£26.50, 70cl, Tesco) for a sweet, woody Scotch with a rush of peaty smoke, wafts of sea spray, ripe bananas and some spicy nuttiness on the long, smoky finish.
Ardbeg 10 years old (£38.99, 70cl, Sainsbury’s) is full bodied and complex with bursts of peaty smoke, a citrus element and even a hint of iodine with a savoury, smoky aftertaste.