Can you believe there’s only 16 days until Christmas? I’m not saying it’s time to panic… But you might want to be thinking about it. You could take all the stress out of it and check out our gift ideas – but as so many of you loved our first road of recommendations, we’ve gone out to some MORE of our favourite Birmingham whisky personalities to find out what they’re drams they’re drinking and gifting this year…
What’s your name:- Craig Mills
What do you do and where do you do it:- Shop Manager at Hard T0 Find Whisky & Co-Founder of The Birmingham Whisky Club.
What’s your Christmas whisky recommendation and why have you picked it:- Kavalan Sherry Oak 46% Taiwan Single Malt. I have chosen this to show that great Whisky does not have to come from Scotland or have an age statement. Christmas would not be Christmas without a Sherry cask aged malt and this as good as anything I have tried this year of that style. You don’t just get the dark fruit cake and roasted nuts in treacle here but the honey glazed ham, sticky dates and your after dinner glass of something sweet as well, Christmas in a glass!
Where can you buy it and how much does it cost:- £89.95 At Hard To Find Whisky or £78.95 at The Whisky Exchange.
What’s your name:- Thomas Irvine
What do you do and where do you do it:- I run an online whisky blog called Gentleman Grimm where I write up tasting notes for whiskies, review events and tastings and come up with whisky and food pairings and new whisky cocktails.
What’s your Christmas whisky recommendation and why have you picked it:- My Christmas whisky recommendation is Glen Alba 25 Year Old (Blended Sherry Cask Finish). I’ve picked this for my Christmas whisky as it just screams Christmas to me – it’s rich all the way through, from start to finish. Sweet, sherry, raisins, caramel, vanilla, a hint of marzipan and an underlying chocolate note but with a rising spice on the palate to temper the sweetness. I’ve also picked it because it’s a blended whisky and I feel blended whiskies get overlooked. This is certainly not one to overlook and as a 25 year old whisky it’s something special which is what you want for Christmas.
Where can you buy it and how much does it cost:- This is a Lidl only whisky and can be picked up for a reasonable £34.99
What’s your name:- Vicky Osgood.
What do you do and where do you do it:- Events and marketing manager for The Birmingham Whisky Club.
What’s your Christmas whisky recommendation and why have you picked it:- Glenfiddich Project XX. Since meeting Mark Thomson last year at a Birmingham Whisky Club tasting, my mind has been completely changed about Glenfiddich. I wouldn’t normally opt for a Speyside whisky at home (I much prefer a heavily peated malt), but the Project XX packs a full punch of sherry, fruit and spiciness on the nose and has a rich quality and mouth feel which is much more reminiscent of the 15yo Solera (which is another favourite of mine from the range). The palate brings to mind tropical fruits and the finish leaves a lengthy warmth as it goes down the gullet. It’s a truly lovely dram, suitable for a whole range of whisky fans. Pair that up with the slick, beautiful packaging and you have the perfect gift (for yourself or someone you really like) this Christmas.
Where can you buy it and how much does it cost:- Project XX is sadly out of stock in many places, but if you can find it then RRP is a reasonable £50.
What’s your name:- Ed Orchard
What do you do and where do you do it:- Store Manager at Connolly’s Wine Merchants in Livery St.
What’s your Christmas whisky recommendation and why have you picked it:- Glen Scotia Double Cask. Following on from their infamous “Disco Cow” releases (in short, electric neon packaging, an Angus, lovely spirit, lots of different bottlings, not enough bottles) comes the much more austere (sane?) packaged Double cask, from a much streamlined (and therefore continuous)range, the others being a 15 yr old and the un-age statemented Victoriana.
Generally known as “the other Campbeltown one, you know, the one that isn’t Springbanky”, Glen Scotia has been very much the lesser-spotted of the Campbeltowns, it’s production was always smaller and a lack of warehousing meant restricted and sporadic bottlings from an already tiny still. Recently acquired by Loch Lomand, a significant amount of investment has been promised to expand production and refurbish the distillery and add a shop, tasting room and new canteen (imagine, a distillery without a visitor centre….)
Having gone all sensible on us business wise, the actually whisky is superb- Caramel and sweet wood notes combine with light white fruit aromas. Initially sweet on the palate, a slightly dry edge kicks in before the PX sherry influence descends and big vanilla appears with a long sweet finish.
Where can you buy it and how much does it cost:- From us, £39.95 (£37.95 to whisky club members).
Psssst! As a top tip, we’re hosting the Loch Lomond Group in February – so try some of their fantastic whiskies – check out our events page!