What is the best Whisky to buy? Here are 12 amazing whiskeys to drink right now!
What are the best whiskeys in the world? How do you judge a whiskey and how can we buy the finest spirits without fail, even without having tasted them all? All sacrosanct questions and for this reason, we have compiled a ranking of the best whiskeys for value for money. So that you can have a tool that can help you to purchase and make you understand the strengths and weaknesses of each whiskey we have included.
A good bottle of whiskey is an investment, but it also brings joy not only to those who buy it, but also who receives it. If you are thinking about a gift whiskey is the best choice. By giving a bottle of whiskey, be it a peaty Scotch like Ardbeg or a spicy and caramelized bourbon or a soft Irish whiskey, you will sure to make a great present. Depending on the kind/aging/price of the distillate you can make gifts to casual drinkers with an intermediate product or make the happiness of a friend who loves peat with a smoky and strong whiskey.
The beauty of whiskey is that the average quality of the product is high, as much as the price. A 16-year Lagavulin is always the same, it always has the same characteristics, the same elegance, the unmistakable trait. You can’t go wrong. With wine it is more difficult to handle: there are the vintages, the storage conditions, one may like or not natural wines, one drink only Armenian wines from the amphora or Riesling or Sassicaia vintage 1968.
Whiskey is a security blanket, even more, could be considered an investment. Of course, the cost is slightly higher: let’s consider 40 euros the minimum cost to be budgeted, just to start playing. But we’re talking about prestigious gifts, a distillate is forever, at least until you kiss the last drop. However, the emotions, the flavors and the warmth that whiskey can give are incredible.
Well, having said that, let’s move on to the list of the best whiskeys to give for Christmas. We will talk about whiskeys that have an excellent value for money and some of the finest whiskeys in circulation: special bottles for those who want to make extremely prestigious gifts.
Lagavulin 16 years
One of the most famous Islay Scotch whiskeys, a classic where peat and iodized sea flavors mingle creating an amazing symphony. The peat is intense, but not overpowering. The fruit is tantalizing and fades away in a salty rockiness. A masterpiece, but not a whiskey suitable for those approaching peaty distillates for the first time. The review.
Whiskey Coffey Malt Nikka
We cross the world and move on to a delicious silky Japanese whiskey. The structure is tough, but the roundness and pleasantness of this distillate are addictive. There are sweet spices, nuts, caramel flowers in the bouquet, but not even a trace of peat. A perfect whiskey for both veterans and beginners.
Let’s go back to Scotland to taste a particular single malt. It is very mellow, round, elegant and vanilla driven. There is no trace of peat of course, but it is only softness in the glass. The rhythm and variety are excellent. It is not a static whiskey, rather it hits hard: it is the so-called iron fist covered with silk.
Caol Ila 12 years
Another great Scottish single malt from Islay. Caol Ila 12 has the peculiarity of being the most marine and pungent, but with less peat than the others. The smoke pervades the bouquet with delicacy, it is a hint, deep but not so bully. The call of the sea instead is very clear, it is almost salty in the mouth, but well balanced by a fleshy fruit that remembers dates and orange peel. Infinite floral finish. The review.
Springbank 10 years
Another great Scotch single malt with amazing value for money. Scented nose, ample, sumptuous with ripe fruit and spice suggestion. Flowers, dates and raisins, hints of caramel. Everything is declined with rare elegance and aromatic precision. Tough persistence. In the mouth, it is equally sumptuous but strong-flavored. The freshness and vivacity give it vertical impetus and the palate is completely enveloped by a measured roundness. The play of shadows and light between softness and rockiness is fabulous. For those who love Cognac-style meditation spirits, it is ideal.
Ardbeg 10 years
And finally, we taste a myth, one of the most acclaimed peated whiskeys of all time. Among the experts in the field and the critics is recognized as The Whiskey Bottle. The one that, although it has a cost of 50-55 euros, manages to keep up with thousands of euros whiskeys. The Ardbeg 10 has such an intense bouquet that as soon as you uncork it the perfume invades the room you are in. But behind the peat, there are flowers, the salt of the sea, a sharp fruit, traces of citrus fruits, splendid notes of sweet spices. If it were a painter, it would be Caravaggio. The review.
Bulleit Kentucky Straight Bourbon
This Bulleit is a credible interpretation of what the bourbon of the old West must have been like. It is a great product, severe, herbaceous and puritan, but rich in cinnamon references and ripe pulpy fruit. Do not expect an exaggerated “softness-caramel-butter-vanilla-pecan pie suggestion”. Rather it has a strong character, the right dose of smokiness and sharp, burnt orange echo. Peppery finish with mint and coffee. It deserves more then a couple of tastings.
Structure, body, endless sea and a nice dose of peat. This Talisker Skye is a bomb, it’s not very fine, but it has a nice intensity. Let’s say that if you are used to strong flavors and if you like smoked food you have found the right bottle for you. BBQ time!
Lagavulin 12 years (2016) is a Scotch whiskey
A special edition to try, totally different from the classic Lagavulin 16. This is balsamic, heterosexual, pungent, mentholated. Yes, of course, there is peat in the background, but the aging in wood is not so pervasive and modeling. It is a more unplugged, free and even lysergic distillate, with aromas and exuberance that the Lagavulin 16 has never seen. The price is high, exactly like the alcoholic degree, of 57.7 degrees, but it is a unique experience. Every Lagavulin 16 fan should try it at least one time!
Laphroaig quarter cask
Mature and full of marine and spicy hints. This single malt hits hard, has a complex and austere flavor, but knows how to fascinate with elegance and intransigence. And it’s even softer than the classic Laphroaig 10, this is a little more tolerant. If you like wood and peat this is your go-to bottle.
Aultmore 21 Single Malt
A fabulous Speyside single malt for rigor, cleanliness and incredible balance. The flavor and scents of pure malt are drawn with mathematical precision: the fruit is citrusy, thin, the spices that come from the wood are delicate and enrich without weighing it down. But above all, they do not dirty the clear contours of a single malt champion. Herbs and softness as befits a great Speyside whiskey. In summary, it is very elegant, without peat, but with exceptional aromatic depth and balance. It costs 200 euros (at least), but for a stunning Scotch that has slept in barrels for 21 years it is acceptable.