Themed tastings

Whiskies of the year: Dave's picks

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Dave Broom's whiskies of the year

Here's a trio of whiskies which have tickled my fancy over the year. They’ve been chosen not just because of their quality, but also for what they represent. As a result, they’re not necessarily the highest scoring – which says something about numbers (we’re not going into that again, Ed).

All have been retasted and given a more festive theme. Anyone wondering why there are references to specific Yuletide manifestations should pause to consider that, like a puppy, Santa isn’t just for Christmas. Enjoy sharing your drams at this time of the year – and always. Oh, and there’s some tunes for you to share with your nearest and dearest, one of which will bring a tear to a glass eye.

See you in 2016.

Scoring Explained

Overview

  • Tamdhu Batch Strength

    Score 8.3/10
    Scoring explained >
    Tamdhu Batch Strength
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    58.8%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Highland
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose

    Chestnuts roasting by an open fire. Mulled wine spices, orange peel, a glass of sherry on the sideboard. It’s a big seasonal gift that keeps on giving.

    Palate

    Sweet kisses under the mistletoe. Sneaking candy canes off the tree, and trying not to make the Rose’s wrappers rustle as you dip in for another. A waft of smoke comes into the room from outside. All is well.

    Finish

    Long, rich generous. Still sweet.

    Conclusion

    A true delight. Everyone should have had one of these bulging in their stocking on Christmas morning. If not, rush out and grab one. 

    Right place, right time

    This deserves the greatest Christmas song of all. All together now: 'I won’t bother you with wanting nothing Santa cos I already know that I’ve been bad…'

     

    Ardbeg Supernova 2015 Release

    Score 8.8/10
    Scoring explained >
    Ardbeg Supernova 2015 Release
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    54.3%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Islay
    Flavour camp
    Smoky & Peaty
    Nose

    The Yule log is smouldering in the corner. Maybe it’s Grandad. Sometimes it’s hard to tell. The whiff of peppermints confuses the issue further. You’re beside the sea. There’s a storm raging outside. A crash on the roof, then soot and seaweed begin to trickle into the fireplace.

    Palate

    Smoke belches out. A bemused herring, interrupted from its reading, has been caught up in the tornado and lands in the grate along with bags of vanilla and mint sweets. 'Is anyone there?' comes a voice roaring down the flue.

    Finish

    With a smoky thump, Santa – blown off course on his return to his Arctic fastness – lands on the peat fire. 

    Conclusion

    A vast, smoky, complex delight which will appeal to Ardbeggians, but also, I’d like to think, anyone who likes their whiskies big and bold. 

    Right place, right time

    Get on down with Santa James Brown y’all.

     

    This Is Not A Luxury Whisky

    Score 9.2/10
    Scoring explained >
    This Is Not A Luxury Whisky
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    53.1%
    Production type
    Blended Scotch whisky
    Region
    n/a
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose

    It’s Hogmanay. Your friends have laid on an elegant spread which sits there on their highly polished oak table. Flowers glow discreetly in the dim light, as you nibble on some dried apricots and sultanas. There’s a whiff of pine from the wreath beside the fire. A candle is snuffed out. Time to begin.

    Palate

    Fast forward to the dessert. Dark chocolate, creme brulee, black bun softened by brandy butter. All is soft and dreamy.

    Finish

    Plum sauce. 

    Conclusion

    Not only a great whisky in its own right, but let’s face it one which inadvertently became the most talked about of the year. It has to be here!

    Right place, right time

    This is not a Christmas Song.

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