Got This? Get That – Distiller’s Single Malt Scotch Whisky Gift Guide 2022By Stephanie Moreno
In case you missed our Bourbon Gift Guide earlier this week, we’re offering our whiskey recommendations differently this year. We understand that not everyone purchasing whiskey for gifts is an expert on the topic. And while we may like a whiskey for its characteristics, the gift receiver may not. So rather than offer you a long list of whiskey bottles to seek out (which may or may not be suitable), we’re providing alternatives to some popular classics. The bottles suggested have some similarities to these classic brands, but they’ll offer a unique method of production or are made from a different area of the country, for example.
For this Single Malt Scotch Gift Guide you won’t find any smoky bottles suggested. But don’t worry, if you’re shopping for one who prefers the bold and peaty Scotch whiskies, we’ll have that gift guide for you in the coming days. If you recognize any of the classic brands pictured below, read along to discover a great similar gift.
Got Glenlivet 12 Year or Glenfiddich 12 Year? Get These:
Speyside classics Glenlivet 12 and Glenfiddich 12 are two of the most popular brands of whiskies in the world. While their labels have gotten a bit of a makeover in recent years, the liquid inside is easy drinking and widely available. These bottlings below are crowd-pleasers, indeed.
Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2013
Since 2001, the barley Bruichladdich uses in its whiskies is 100% Scottish-grown. But this bottling takes the idea of keeping it local a step further by using barley grown entirely on Islay where the distillery is located. Of course, the distillery does produce peated whisky (both heavily and super-heavily peated whisky, in fact). But its flagship Bruichladdich line is unpeated. Here you’ll find a complex whisky which allows the barley notes to shine along with a gentle spice and red fruit from the American oak and European wine barrels used in maturation. (SRP $75)
Compass Box Orchard House
Okay so Orchard House doesn’t exactly fit the bill for a Single Malt Scotch Gift Guide. But it’s not because it isn’t great, it’s just not a single malt. It’s a blended malt that is made of nothing but single malts, so we think the suggestion is close enough. Best of all, it’s a new core offering from Compass Box — one of the best blenders in the business. Flavor wise, it’s fruit-forward and with notes of vanilla shortbread and ginger. And how about that label? It’s pretty gift worthy if we do say so ourselves. (SRP $50)
Got Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year or Glenmorangie Lasanta 12 Year? Get These:
Both Balvenie Doublewood and Glenmorangie Lasanta feature a combination of American oak ex-bourbon and oloroso sherry casks in their maturation process. As a result, these whiskies offer a rich malty profile with a layer of sweet fruit. Nowadays you can find many whisky producers finishing their single malts with sherry casks. These are a couple of our favorites.
GlenAllachie 12 Year
One of the few independently owned distilleries in Scotland, GlenAllachie is currently led by Master Distiller Billy Walker with over 40 years experience under his belt. This 12-year-old bottling is one of its core single malt whiskies which uses barrels selected by Walker in its maturation. The Pedro Ximénez sherry, oloroso sherry and virgin oak casks used present a creamy single malt with flavors of honey, vanilla and raisins. (Avg. Price $75)
Royal Brackla 12 Year Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish
Introduced in 2022, this is one of three new core whiskies in the Royal Brackla portfolio. Malt Master Stephanie Macleod finished each of the three expressions in different sherry casks from Bodegas Jose y Miguel Martin in Jerez, Spain. For this 12-year bottling oloroso sherry casks were used. The honeyed malty notes couple well with the cooked fruit making this a great daily dram. (SRP $70.99)
Got Macallan 12 Year Sherry Oak or Dalmore 12 Year? Get These:
Aged entirely in sherry casks for a minimum of 12 years, these classics from Macallan and Dalmore offer rich, dark fruity profiles with loads of barrel spices. Our single malt Scotch gift guide offers a couple brands that are a bit under the radar, but are no less delicious (and perhaps a bit more affordable!)
GlenDronach 12 Year
Founded in 1826 in the Highlands of Scotland, GlenDronach has Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie crafting its whiskies. Dubbed “The Original,” GlenDronach 12 Year is its flagship bottling made using both oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks for its entire maturation. You’ll find a rich and chewy single malt with loads of dried fruits, barrel spices and vanilla. (SRP $65.99)
Arran Sherry Cask “The Bodega”
Arran is an island off the west coast of Scotland and its eponymous distillery was established there in 1995. The distillery offers a range of products including blends and cream liqueur in addition to its single malt whiskies. The Bodega is a recent addition to its core portfolio and it ages entirely in ex-sherry hogsheads. It’s bottled at cask strength so feel free to add a bit of water to open up the dram to expose the cherry and chocolate notes. (SRP $79.99)
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