The Whisky Tasting Club The Whisky Tasting Club

Winter Warmers

Snuggle up in front of the fire with our Winter Warmers.

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The world of whisky is vibrant and diverse. New finishes, boutique distilleries and sexy marketing abound. This is all very well, but sometimes you want a traditional whisky to warm the cockles of your heart: golden brown, full of sherry and fruit flavours and perfect for a cold winter night. Whisky your granddad used to drink. WTC bring you five winter warmers: the Arran Amarone, possibly the strangest colour whisky you will have seen; Mortlach 16 year old, a Christmas pudding of a whisky; the trifle like Royal Lochnagar; Timontoul 12 year old, a full on sherry treat; and the Glendronach 12, a fruity feast. Tuck in to the alternative Christmas dinner!

Aberlour 10 year old

Aberlour 10 year old is their entry level malt and is widely available. This is matured in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks and is a perfect introduction to the classic Speyside taste profile.

The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: Cinnamon, currants, bread and butter pudding.
Palate: Egg custard, milk chocolate, more cinnamon, patisseries.

Retails for around £25

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Tamdhu 10 year old

Until 2012, Tamdhu would have been listed as a lost distillery, having been surprisingly closed by owners Edrington in 2009 to "rebalance their distillation capacity". Happily, Ian McLeod distillers (owners of Glengoyne) bought the distillery and reopened it in 2012, releasing this expression at the Spirit of Speyside festival in 2013. Previously, the equivalent version was matured in bourbon casks, but the new owners have decided to mature it exclusively in sherry casks.

The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: Sweet, aromatic and heavily sherried. Dates. Apples. Wood spice.
Palate: Surprisingly spicy. Sweet. Lighter than the nose suggests. Hazelnuts. Mincemeat. Toffee. Spicy, but with an underlying richness.

Retails for around £35

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Royal Lochnagar 12 year old

Royal Lochnagar is Diageo’s smallest distillery (capacity 375,000 litres). Situated in the Highlands near Balmoral Castle, Lochnagar gained the royal warrant from Queen Victoria in 1848. Despite its small size, Lochnagar is part of Diageo’s classic malts range, and as such has a higher profile than Mortlach.

The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: Big, with some smokiness. Sherry, red fruits, orange cream, fruit cake with a merest wisp of smoke.
Palate: Light smokiness, restrained fruitiness and malty sweetness. Sherry trifle, tangerines, lightly spiced. Slightly doughy at the end.

Retails for around £35

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Tomintoul 12 year old

Tomintoul (pronounced tom-in-TOWEL) distillery was founded relatively recently in 1965. It takes its name from the nearby village, the highest in the Scottish highlands. Initially Tomintoul went mostly into blends, but recently they have released a range of excellent single malts, including this lovely sherried whisky.

The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: Toffee, hint of citrus peel, glace fruits, fresh sweet mincemeat, lemon sherbet.
Palate: Fresh sherry, effervescent wood spice, chocolate mint biscuit.

Retails for around £30

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Glendronach 12 year old

Glendronach, in the Deveron area of Speyside, was taken over by BenRiach in 2008 and has since undergone somewhat of a renaissance. The new owners re-launched a core range of sherry cask matured whiskies which capture the classic old flavours.

The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: Deep and rich with a startling clarity to the sherry. Almonds. Butterscotch and banana custard.
Palate: Rich and rounded with a tiny hint of oak. Plummy red fruits plus a crisp helping of green apple.

Retails for around £35

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