Despite being made from just three ingredients, whiskies are capable are some of the most monstrously complex taste profiles in the beverage world.

After much research, deliberation and a little more research, we’ve decided to put together our list of the best whiskies for the 2013 festive season.

Famous GrouseFamous Grouse

If it’s Scotland’s favourite whisky there’s a good chance it’s going to be good. This is the perfect starter whisky. If you’re still weaning yourself off the dash of coca-cola on the top – try with a little ice (on the rocks) and this golden, medium-bodied blend will reward.

Upgrade to Famous Grouse Finest for only a couple of pounds for a more peaty and aromatic finish.

Jim BeamJim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon

If you don’t fancy the Scottish favourite, why not try the American. Bourbon has a completely different taste to scotch, with a much more oaky vanilla nose. The Jim Beam recipe has been unchanged for over 200 years so is a very safe bet.

balvenie doublewoodBalvenie Double Wood

The Balvenie double wood is my whisky of choice, always reliable and fantastic value for the price (circa £34.00.) Aged for 12 years in traditional oak and then transferred into sherry casks, the aroma of vanilla is offset by sherry which leads to an almost cinnamon after taste. If you like spiced rum why not try the Balvenie Caribbean Cask, which undergoes a further age in rum casks, leading to additional flavours of fruit and toffee.

Penderyn single malt whiskeyPenderyn Single Malt Welsh Whisky

For the early adopters, why not try a whisky from the only whisky distillery in Wales? On the nose it has aromas of toffee and rich fruit. Serve on ice, or straight.

The-Macallan-Gold-Malt_3The Macallan Gold Malt

From the famous Scottish island of Speyside comes this Scottish single malt. In an interesting move, Macallan recently removed all age statements from their bottles and instead focus on the colour – so the older the whisky the darker the colour as it has had more time to age in the barrel. Flavour wise this a powerful drop with tones of vanilla and citrus fruits.

If you need to spice things up why not try:

‘Old Fashioned’ Cocktail Recipe

Cocktails made at home should be about simplicity and maximum impact. No one is going to be impressed if you ruin the carpet trying to long arm a bucket of ice around the room.

The old fashioned is one of my personal favourite cocktails which is true to the above. Use this to impress the gents who are around for a Christmas tipple.

You will need –

  • Ice
  • Orange Peel
  • 50ml of Bourbon
  • 25ml Sugar syrup
  • 3 dashes of Angastura bitters.

To construct the cocktail, add the sugar syrup into your glass and mix in the bitters. Add the ice and then slowly mix in the Bourbon, 10ml at a time. Finish with the orange peel (Don’t forget to twist to release the aromas) and serve.

Stay Gentry, Drink Responsibly

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Representing the rural take on Gentry with a sneaker addicted streetwear aspect.

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