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The Ten Best Scotch Whiskies

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Chosen by Charles Maclean, whisky expert 

 

Johnnie Walker Black Label
Perfectly rounded, deep and full, this is the blended Scotch most admired by blenders. If I had to take only one whisky to a desert island, it would probably be this one.
40 per cent ABV
Price: £20.45 – www.anybooze.com

  

 

Lagavulin 16 Year Old
The prince of the Islay malts, this is deep and dark, with notes of fruitcake and sweet seaweed. A voluptuous texture and a fragrant, smoky finish. For drinking with poetry, late into the night.
43 per cent ABV
Price: £41.95 – www.drinksdirect.co.uk 

 

The Glenrothes 1985
A big, rich Speyside, with notes of dried fruits and peel and some spicy or tannic dryness. Drink with roast Aberdeen Angus beef. The last remaining drops of this vintage have now been bottled.
43 per cent ABV
Price: £78.00 – www.bbr.com

  Old Pulteney 12 Year Old
An elegant malt from Wick in the far north of Scotland, this has a lightly “maritime” character and goes well with fish and seafood. The distinctive bottle features a traditional Wick herring drifter.
40 per cent ABV
Price: £24.50 – www.waitrosewine.co.uk

Clynelish 14 Year Old
A North Highland malt, from the coast of Sutherland. Fresh and heathery,  with waxy notes reminiscent of a High Church. Drink from the deep freeze in chilled glasses with dessert ? you will be amazed! 46 per cent ABV
Price: £26.49 – www.thewhiskyexchange.com

Auchentoshan 18 Year Old
A triple-distilled Lowland single malt, from a distillery overlooking the River Clyde. Refreshing, even invigorating, and light in style, this makes an excellent apéritif.
43 per cent ABV
Price: £49.99 – www.thewhiskyexchange.com

 

Asyla
An uncommon (and uncommonly good) blended Scotch, from the Signature Range of the artisan whisky maker Compass Box. Sweet and delicate, this is ideal as an aperitif.
40 per cent ABV
Price: £24.46 – www.whiskyandwines.com

 

Highland Park
18 Year Old bA distinguished, rich, complex and slightly smoky malt from the Orkney Islands, to accompany coffee, dark chocolate and cigars. A most satisfactory balance of sweet and dry, with dryness winning in the finish.
43 per cent ABV
Price: £48.72 – www.anybooze.com

 

Bailie Nicol Jarvie
An entirely different creature ? light in style, clean and zesty. Easy to drink, this is a blended whisky from the Glenmorangie distillery in the Highlands, named after a character in Walter Scott’s novel, ‘Rob Roy’.
40 per cent ABV
Price: £12.99 – www.oddbins.com

 Talisker 10 Year Old
From the Isle of Skye, this is THE malt to accompany haggis (and many other dishes). Sweet and lightly smoky, but watch out for the chilli-pepper hit in the finish. Robert Louis Stevenson regarded Talisker as “the king of drinks”.
45.8 per cent ABV
Price: £28.95 –www.royalmilewhiskies.com

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