World Whisky Day arrives on 16 May, and we are ready for it! Celebrate and update your drinks cabinet with one of these top whiskies for 2020. There is something for everyone with a range of whiskies that are perfect on their own, with a mixer or part of a summer whisky cocktail. Also, a perfect opportunity to look for a Father’s Day present on Sunday 21 June.
Article by Ellen Pope
With its unique distilling location of the Himalayan foothills, Rampur Select Indian Single Malt is exposed to polar opposite climate conditions throughout the year, allowing this whisky to mature significantly more quickly than other whiskies, such as Scotch and Irish Whiskey.
This super-premium malt whisky is distilled in traditional copper pot stills, matured at Rampur Distillery - India's largest and oldest distillery- dating back to 1943. Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky is smooth, with a mellow taste with a long-lasting finish. It is distinctively malty, with creamy vanilla taste with hints of apricot, apple and sweet and wine-like finish.
Price: £49.95 for a 70cl bottle
Buy From: thewhiskyexchange.com.
Cotswolds Single Malt
The award-winning Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky was launched in October 2017 and is the first whisky ever to be distilled in the Cotswolds. Keeping it local the distillery uses 100% locally grown, floor-malted barley and matures the whisky in first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels and reconditioned red wine casks.
This English whisky is rich, fruity and sippable with notes of honey, Seville orange marmalade and dark red fruits. For a personal edge, each bottle lists the barley variety, harvest year and local Cotswolds farm it was grown on.
Price: £44.95 for a 70cl bottle.
If you are looking for something a little lighter than single malts, then grab a bottle of J&B Rare. J&B Rare has been distilled, blended and bottled in Scotland since the 1930s, and is a blend of 42 malt and grain whiskies.
The heart of J&B Rare is formed from the finest Speyside malts including Knockando, Glen Spey, Auchriosk and Strathmill. The blend is returned to the cask for a further three years' maturation which brings together the bold flavours of the single malts with the lighter grain whiskies adding fullness and depth to the blend.
J&B Rare is smooth with an elegant taste, fruity and aromatic on the nose and has a flavour that layers rich fruitiness and vanilla. Its lightness means it is the perfect addition to the cocktail cabinet.
Price: £22.50 for a 70cl bottle
If you are looking for a Whisky with a story, then look no further than Jura. Jura single malt whisky is distilled on the island of Jura, a small island located just 60 miles off the West Coast of Scotland with only one road, one pub and one whisky distillery. The island is home to around 212 people, and almost every family has a member who works in the distillery or with the distillery in whisky-related tourism. Whisky and the island are inextricably linked.
Jura Single Malt Whisky has been produced on the island since 1810 and the distillery today was resurrected in 1963 to bring life back to the tiny island community. Jura has a wide range of Whiskies available, varying in price and age. If you are looking to invest in a vintage whisky for yourself or a present, then we suggest Jura Aged 21 Years - Tide. An exclusive 21-year-old single malt from the aged vintage series. Sweet and smoky from 21 long years of maturation first in American white oak ex-bourbon barrels and then further finessed with a spicy character from hand-selected virgin American white oak casks. Its honey gold colour is matched with its taste of macaroon, gingerbread, frangipane and white chocolate.
Price: £150 for a 70cl bottle
Spirit of Yorkshire
Spirit of Yorkshire's Filey Bay Moscatel Finish is a field to bottle single malt. It was initially matured in 200L bourbon casks (filled in 2016), before being transferred to 250L Hogshead barrels from Spain that had held Moscatel for ten years prior. The use of bourbon casks followed by Moscatel barrels to finish creates an exciting flavourful whisky. Still light and soft like their previous releases but this whisky comes with an added depth, more layers of fruit and sweet spices.
The use of Moscatel barrels is rare and unusual. Moscatel grapes are known for floral aromas (orange blossom, jasmine and honeysuckle) as well as citric notes like lime and grapefruit. This creates the whisky's Soft, spicy and warming taste with notes of honeycomb, orange marmalade, dried fruits and cocoa.
Price: £60 for a 70cl bottle
Buy From: Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery
Fortnum's English Single Malt Whisky
Fancy something a little exclusive?
Distilled at Cotswolds Distillery from locally grown barley, which is malted at Britain's oldest working maltings, this new whisky is exclusive to Fortnum and Mason's. This whisky has been aged in a combination of ex-Bourbon and red wine conditioned oak, and they have selected a single cask to be bottled, creating the inaugural release of Fortnum's English Single Malt Whisky. With just a single cask being used means there are just 324 limited edition bottles available. Aromas of rich and warming dried red fruits, all wrapped in toasted almond, oak spice and sweet vanilla.
The palate is full and rich, with cherry, dried cranberry, marmalade, malt, toffee and citrus-vanilla on a lingering finish. This unique developed and rounded single malt would make a perfect present.
Price: £52.50 for a 70cl bottle
Buy From: Fortnum and Masons
Adult Pick' n' Mix with Smith & Sinclair
Masters of malt and keepers of the cask unite. Smith & Sinclair, creators of the finest cocktail confectionery, have created a brand-new spirit focused selection box, perfect for whiskey lovers everywhere.
The Whiskey Club selection box contains ten vegan-friendly edible alcoholic cocktail gummies, inspired by some of the most famous and refined whiskey-based cocktails in the world:
· Bourbon Old Fashioned garnished with an orange sugar
· Whiskey & Ginger garnished with a ginger sugar
· Manhattan garnished with a cherry sugar
· Whiskey Sour garnished with a lemon sugar
Each classic whiskey cocktail recipe has been carefully deconstructed by Head of Innovation, Emile Bernard and rebuilt in gummy form, blending fresh fruit, herbs, bitters and syrups, before carefully adding bourbon or whiskey to ensuring the integrity of the spirit remains intact. The gummies hold a subtle kick at 5% ABV (the equivalent of 1/2 shot of alcohol). One for your movie pick 'n' mix.
Buy From: Smith & Sinclair
[Items in this article may have been gifted to Chatting Food. No financial payment has been made to feature in this article, and entries to the feature are made independently by members of the Editorial Team. This page contains affiliate links and we may receive a small commission for purchases]
Chatting Food Contributor: Ellen Pope
Self-confessed potty mouth, mother of guinea pig and eater of 99.9% of food (don't bring me marzipan and tell me it is food). Ellen is the founder and Editor of Chatting Food Magazine and on a one-woman mission to talk food at everyone. Usually found tweeting, eating, sleeping, repeating.