I’ve always had a hard time narrowing down a favorite whisky. The word “favorite” calls in qualities that have to be met in every spectrum. One can only wish it was so simple. You know as well as I that, when it comes to whisky, we have a favorite for every mood. Let’s break it down to an easy one…..
What are the top three whiskies you can sip in any mood?
One of my top anytime whiskies is the Aberlour 16, with it’s double barreled goodness.
This is easily one of my favorite anytime malts. Hailing from the heart of Speyside, where the river spey meets the Lour burn, comes this absolutely beautiful whisky. It’s matured in ex-bourbon and sherry barrels, drawing deep traits from both. The combination of both bring out such rich character in the whisky itself. On the nose, you get hints of honey, vanilla, a slight hint of alcohol vapor, but the floral and fruit notes tie it all together beautifully. When it hit’s your palate, it envelopes it with a rich, almost creamy splash of sweet malt, slowly breaking into a bouquet of dried candied fruit with creamy orange marmalade. The floral hints touch with a splash of vanilla and comfortable spices. The finish is long, rich, and delightfully sweet, but nicely balanced.
The other two at the top of my list for anytime whiskies are from one of the northern most distilleries on the mainland of Scotland. Hailing from Wick, ……Old Pulteney 12 and 17.
The Old Pulteney 12 is easily one of my favorites malts by far. Anyone whom I’ve had a whisky conversation with, have heard all about it. I hold a deep appreciation for maritime influenced whisky and even cognac, making this one an easy and affordable anytime whisky. The nose offers a comforting hint of ocean spray, with a touch of grist and light honey. This is a very subtle and well rounded malt, that gently steps onto your palate, leaving it’s prints of sea salt, caramel and honey. It wraps itself comfortably around your tongue and opens up with more elements of dried, comfortably musty stone fruits, with a rich malty grip. The subtle oak holds hands with the back note of lightly salted toffee on the finish, leaving thoughts of staring out at the ocean on your mind.
With similar elements of the 12 year, the 17 steps it up a notch on flavor….and price. The nose is a bit more balanced, with elements that are much more subtle. The complexity steps in, introducing new elements of dried fruits, with a hint of creaminess and a slight note of melon and smoke. When it hit’s your palate, the game changes. The sea salt, oak and sweeter malted barley bring in a goody basket with a full array of flavor. Honey and lightly salted buttery toffee layers the citrus and stone fruits that lead to a rich, round and balanced oak finish that holds hands with the rest of the elements. This is one of the true gems of Scottish whisky.
Now that I have given you mine, tell me about yours. What are your top three anytime whiskies?