Dear God, Scotch!
For the battle-weary, crusty, embittered fifty-something man about the world, it's the only thing that will do. Women may leave, children may turn their noses up, but Scotch, darling Scotch, is a faithful sidekick to ease all wounds.
It has to be from the land of the brave. Anything else is a wicked imposter. Report it at once!
Distilled in several quality distilleries like Cardhu to Ardbeg, making Scotch is a practice evoking patience, love, and the human desire for a liquid companion that will, through all odds, stick by you.
This holiday season, amid a year fraught with uncertainties, it's time to stock up on some Scotch to get over rough days. Bitter, chilly winter, regurgitating memories of lithe spring, can be made bearable with this tipple companion.
So put some logs on the fire, and read through this list of highly recommended Scotch whiskeys.
Bruichladdich (Brook-ladee) is a renowned distillery in the Islay region of Scotland that crafted this rebellious bottle that refused to have any peaty associations whatsoever. In the words of the manufacturer, it contains "fresh, citrusy, and floral" tastes.
The cask is old bourbon, so anticipate some of those notes. The major taste profile though is that of sourdough, a strange and unique component you may think, but the oh-so-subtle that it doesn't overpower. The finish is sweet and smoky.
Makes you think of the rough seas around Scotland.
Priced at - $110 approx. for 750ml
The highlight of this whiskey is that it was finished off in casks which once held Caribbean rum after the traditional aging process. The aroma this whiskey lets off is fruity, with toffee undertones. its taste is smooth, with sparks of honey and smatterings of toffee. Fruity flavors also mark the palate of this luxurious Scotch whiskey. Vanilla is another undertone in this exceedingly simple profile.
Pour out some when the friends come over. Laugh. Talk. Rejoice. For times of camaraderie, Balvenie is a masterpiece.
Priced at - $90 approx. for 750ml
With a 200-year-old history backing it, Aberlour Distilleries uses American bourbon caskets and sherry casks to age their Scotch. Doubtless, that is what adds to the unique flavor of their whiskey.
When the days seem particularly gloomy and windswept, open a bottle of Aberlour 12 Year Double Cask, and breathe in the aroma of cinnamon, raisin, glace cherry, and woody notes of oak.
The liquid that flows from this bottle, however, tastes like maple syrup, raisins, brown sugar, nutmeg, and milk chocolate. The tipple maintains the perfect balance between sweetness and bitterness. Open this bottle on a Sunday night, when the weather threatens morosity and churlishness.
Priced at - $56 approx. for 750ml
The House of Ardbeg is full of prodigies that win prizes at whiskey competitions around the world. Distilled in the remote island of Islay, libations from Ardbeg are the liquid embodiment of wildness, freedom, and the spirit of the sea.
The distillery tags Wee Beatie as a 'Monster of a Dram'. And it is just that.
This baby dragon breathes smoke all day long and is one of the smokiest whiskeys ever to be made by the company. Wee Beastie starts off a classic with the taste of black cracked pepper and pine resin. Creosote, chocolate and tar are the flavors that burst on the palate next. The finish is salty. Aged in old bourbon and sherry oak barrels, take this dragon out for a flight over the sea.
Priced at - $56 approx. for 750ml
Scotch has its strong independent women champions. Remember one kindly dame Mrs. Helen Cummings, and her equally pioneering daughter-in-law, Mrs. Elizabeth Cummings? Where would we be without them?
This bottle comes from the distillery these two women helped to run. So it is fitting that the house of Cardhu should be chosen to represent Daenerys Targaryen's boldness, courage, and verve.
The golden honey color of amber marks the first sight of this gem. A pleasing aroma of oak and honey tantalizes the nose, and the drink itself tastes of the goodness of apple, cinnamon, allspice, quickly segueing into notes of caramel, cloves, and apple.
Try this with someone who is special to you. Or, a hardcore fan of the Mother of Dragons.
Priced at - $40 approx. for 750ml
Soon, by the Grace of the Master of Christmas, the pandemic will subside, and we can once again drink to the health of each other.