Thursday, November 22, 2007

Christmas Picks 2007

Still taking a break from the daily Malt Mission in commemoration of hitting the 200 dram landmark, but looking forward to resuming the journey next week.

Today, at the suggestion of friends and a few readers, I am going to try and make a list of Dr. Whisky's Christmas whisky recommendations.

The last two months of the year are the most important for Scotch whisky. November and December account for 40% of annual malt sales and about a third of blended whisky sales. As a result, this is the sweetest
time of year for whisky lovers whether shopping for others or for themselves. All the major supermarkets, off-licenses, and specialist whisky shops in the UK have an abundance of money-off deals. Apologies, but this list will have a focus on the UK... cuz i live here... but I will include two of the absolute best mail-order whisky companies as well. Additionally, none of the below is a sales pitch, I am just making recommendations as an independent whisky nerd from the shops, distilleries, and writers I like best.

Additional apologies to those of you in countries, provinces, or states with liquor control boards or in countries where discounting liquor is illegal. You might want to look away now.

Best Christmas Whisky Offers and Sales

(subject to change, but they are accurate as of right now)

The Whisky Exchange (website HERE)
Glenfarclas 25yo £75 (from £84)
Glendronach 33yo £150 (from £185)
Laphroaig Quarter Cask £21 (from £26)
Dewar's 18yo £47.50 (from £54)
Dewar's Signature £120 (from £149)

Royal Mile Whiskies (website HERE)
Auchentoshan Three Wood £30 (from £34)
Macallan Speymalt 1996 Gordon & Macphail £17.50 (from £20.50)
Dalmore 12 £22 (from £26)
Cragganmore 12 £23 (from £27)
Glenfarclas 25 £74 (from £85)
and last chance(?) to buy Longmorn 15 £30 (from £33)


Johnnie Walker Black £17.50 (from £20.50)
Aberlour Abunad'h £25 (from £30)
Glenlivet 18yo £27 (from £35)
Clynelish 14yo £23 (from £29)
Highland Park 12yo £20 (from £26)

Teachers £9.60 (from £12)
Chivas Regal 12yo £17 (from £20)
Glenfiddich 15yo £24 (from £30)

and if you like Rusty Nails as much as we do, Drambuie is £15.75 (from £19.69). Try your rusty nail with Talisker 10... de-ca-dent.

Aberlour 10yo £16.98 (from £21.98)
Dalwhinnie 15yo £20.78 (from £26.99)
Talisker 10yo £20 (from £25.97)

Bailie Nichol Jarvie £12.97 (from £14.97)
Old Pulteney 12yo £18.50 (from £22.50)
Laphroaig 10yo £20.96 (from £ 25)

Readable Christmas Whisky Gifts

The Malt Whisky Yearbook 2008 (£2 off!): recent release of the annual must-have from Ingvar Ronde (with contributions from Charles Maclean, Ian Buxton, David Stirk and others). This is part magazine, part book, part distillery guide, part industry report... Amazing reading with brilliant new additions every year.

Robin Laing's The Whisky River (or HERE):
Laing's well-written guide to Willie Nelson... just kidding. This is an intentionally and incidentally poetic guide to the distilleries of Speyside told in a way only Laing can, with song and spirit on every page. A delight to read.

Charlie Maclean's Whisky Tales or Maclean's Miscellany of Whisky (hardback and softcover available): Two books from one of the world's greatest whisky scholars that are absolute fun to read cover to cover. Unique books in the world of whisky lit: no tasting notes or chronological histories... just the best stories and factual tidbits told by a brilliant writer with an obvious passion for his topic.

and, of course, for the real fact nut

Misako Udo's The Scottish Malt Whisky Distilleries(hardback also available): The life, times, still size and phenolic content of every (legal?) malt distillery to have existed in Scotland. Amazing attention to detail with the new addition of brief distillery summaries.

Drinkable Christmas Whisky Gifts
The malts above are all well-suited for Xmas and are just a selection of the various offers at each outlet made by yours truly with Christmas in mind.

A good Christmas whisky should be pleasant to drink for both new and experienced whisky drinkers. An added bonus is if they have some rich, winter-warming spice, dried fruit, etc. (but we all know brandy or port is better at Christmas anyways, hehee...). So here are 5 recommended Christmas Whiskies, irrespective of price, but hopefully there is something for everyone's budget:

Johnnie Walker Black Label (£20... but on offer at Tesco and Waitrose for less)

Dalmore 12yo (£26... but £22 at Royal Mile Whiskies)
Glenfarclas 15yo (£34)
Chivas Regal 18yo (£40... but on offer at The Whisky Exchange £37.99, or Waitrose for £35)
Royal Salute 21yo (£80... but on offer at World Duty Free if anyone is flying soon)

Hope this post has been of use. It took me a couple of hours and the help of MH to compose. Thanks, buddy.

If you have any Christmas, whisky, Christmas whisky, or other questions, don't be shy... get in touch.

Top picks from past 200 Malt Missions coming tomorrow...

MM200 Celebrations
MM100 Celebrations

Malt Mission HOME


Anonymous said...

For a more quirky present can I suggest Spot the Whisky Barrel?

You can actually give an entry to someone else as a gift, so that might be an interesting option.

Anonymous said...

Hehe. Nice.

I might also add Whisky Works from Premium Bottlers
maybe a Scotch Malt Whisky Society membership

Dr. Whisky said...

I endorse all three of those recommendations Thanks, guys.