These days, when it comes to buying Christmas presents, a bottle of whisky springs to mind as readily as gold, frankincense and myrrh did to the Three Wise Men. Which can be a problem, because no one wants to feel they’re simply receiving whatever happened to be the most attractive 2-for-1 Crimbo promotion when you were at the supermarket buying cat food. So, if you want to give whisky, and you want it to be appreciated, you need to put a little bit more thought into your gift. Here are a few suggestions for some of the usual suspects on your present-buying list…
Every distillery has a story to tell, from rich histories to distinct flavour profiles influenced by their unique locations. We traverse Scotland and its islands, and as far afield as Tennessee, sampling excellent spirits along the way
Whisky is that rare drink that can stand up to the heat and spice of Indian food, as Kate Portman discovers. The trick is to match the type of spice in the food to the right style of whisky - like tandoori dishes with peaty malts
Talisker Distillery on the Isle of Skye is best approached by boat, so Charles MacLean sets sail on the Classic Malts Cruise. This is no calm ocean journey, but there's no better way to understand this spirit's origins.
The earliest records of gin production date back to 17th-century Holland. The first Brits to discover 'genever' were soldiers, who drank it to fortify themselves for battle – hence the term ‘Dutch courage’. The drink found a new audience in England when Dutch-born William of Orange became King William III in 1689 and encouraged the distillation of English spirits, while also raising import duty on French spirits.