Need some inspiration for your Christmas tipples? At Grain & Glass, we love our whiskies, and the team have chosen their favourites to sample this Christmas, starting with a couple of affordable options, working our way to a more luxurious experience.

Steve – Glenallachie 15

If you’ve spoken to Steve for more than five minutes, odds are he’s mentioned the Glenallachie distillery. This is not without reason, this rejuvenated Speyside Single Malt has been exploding with success since the takeover by Billy Walker, a legend in the whisky industry.

Glenallachie 15 is mix of Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry matured whisky. Its dark colour is a natural representation of the process and flavours present in this bold dram, bursting with chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg and every spice synonymous with Christmas.

Steven says:

“Glenallachie are constantly shaking up the scene with their unique cask selections and affordable prices, but the 15 is that old friend that will always be there to comfort you.”

Glenallachie 15 has recently been awarded a coveted Gold medal in the Single Malt Category aged from 13 to 20 years at the World Whiskies Awards. It RRPs at £60.

Renata – Starward Dolce

Did you know the Australians are making whisky? Well, yes they are, and damn good whisky too! The Starward distillery was founded in 2009 and has pioneering the category of Australian Single Malt. The hot climate results in a fast-maturing whisky that quickly draws flavour the cask, and their location means they have amazing access to wine casks.

The Starward Dolce started its journey maturing in red wine casks, before enjoying a finishing period in Australian dessert wine casks. The result is an incredibly sweet and loud whisky that is the perfect pairing for festive snacks.

Renata says:

“This whisky is a festive treat with a remembrance of summer fruits. A great way to enjoy the season while looking ahead to the new year.”

Starward Dolce RRPs at around £70 a bottle.

Amy – Caramel Apple Sauce (Wemyss - North British)

Grain whisky is often overlooked; Single Malt has captured the imagination as the pinnacle of quality, but the truth is there are grain whiskies that blow the socks off some single malts.

This release of a 27-year-old North British from the fantastic Wemyss Malts embodies what great grain is. This big buttery sweet whisky benefits from a long maturation, giving it a rounded mouth-feel devoid of any aggressive notes; the perfect crowd pleasure to enjoy this Christmas.

Amy says:

“Wemyss continue to impress us with their choice in casks and creative tasting notes. Caramel Apple Sauce delivers exactly what the label promises.”

Caramel Apple Sauce is still available from some retailers at the very reasonable price of around £90 a bottle.

Eve knew the assignment; she didn’t waste any time and picked a dram that screams Christmas! There are few distilleries more synonymous with big sherry-bomb whiskies than the well-respected Glendronach distillery.

Glendronach 21 is the flagship of their core range. Matured entirely in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks, it’s a warming dram full of Dundee cake and chewy sweetness. Its long maturation gives it a leathery backdrop with a tobacco sweetness, a reminder that this whisky is a venerable dram deserving of your undivided attention.

Eve says:

“This dram speaks for itself.”

Glendronach 21 is RRPs at around £130 a bottle.


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