It’s hard to imagine in the winter holiday season without the smooth goodness of these single-malt treats. Even today, most single malts are not that prevalent on the market but this is starting to change. One of the best-selling blends in the world is Dewar’s White Label. It relies on a combination of more than 40 single malts along with grain whisky. Among those 40-plus are five owned by John Dewar & Sons. One of those, Aberfeldy, has ever been widely available as a single malt. All five have just been released as single malts, each getting its turn in the spotlight.
Another first placeholder is Craigellachie, currently available in 13- and 23-year-old expressions (priced at $55 and $280, respectively), is an interesting offer. It’s been around since the 1890s (although it’s been used almost exclusively in blends until now), and it continues to be made the same way. It’s one of the only whiskies that malts (cooks). Connoisseurs are treated to a tangy, fruity, slightly sulphuric flavour that has been described by many as “meaty.” Both expressions are unlike anything else on the market.
The Woodford Reserve Brandy Cask Finish is an atypical whiskey (priced at $100)—it cannot legally be called bourbon but it contains various elements that influence a bourbon’s character. Although it starts out as a fully mature Woodford Reserve bourbon it is then finished for almost two years in brandy casks. The result is a smooth bouquet of apple pie, crisp caramel, and dried fruit, all wrapped in a delicate veil of vanilla and maple.