Jon from the South Wales Whisky Interest Group (SWWIG – get it?) loves his single malt whisky. Here’s his pick of the best.
The colder months are the perfect time to enjoy a warming dram of malt whisky in front of a roaring fire, and to help you along we've put together a few of our favourites. Of course, the best way to experience as much of the world of whisky as possible is to share your collection with like-minded individuals, or look for local tasting events where you can sample a fantastic range of premium whiskies without breaking the bank.
Best on a budget - Old Pulteney 12 Year Old - 40%, £30
A classic multi-award winning highland dram. Balanced and easy-drinking; notes of toffee and nuttiness deliver a strong meaty character, with a hint of saltiness on the finish reflecting the distillery’s maritime heritage. A whisky perfect for every occasion.
One for peat lovers - Ardbeg Uigedail - 54.2%, £55
The island of Islay is synonymous with robust, peaty single malts and with 8 distilleries on an island smaller than Anglesey there's no shortage of options. With it's eye-watering strength, heavy peat and pronounced sherry hit, this fascinating dram really packs a punch. No wonder it's consistently rated as one of the finest whiskies in the world and always a popular choice at our tasting evenings.
Flying the flag for Wales – Penderyn Sherrywood - 46%, £40
You may be familiar with the classic Madeira finish single malt from Wales' very own Penderyn distillery, but we have a soft spot for the lesser-known Sherrywood bottling. The undeniable quality of Penderyn's spirit still shines through, but the final maturation in oloroso sherry butts add a subtle touch of sultanas and winter spice which we find irresistible.
One for special occasions – Springbank 21 Year Old - 46%, £200Campbeltown's Springbank distillery is one of the last remaining family owned distilleries in Scotland, and one of the few to carry out every step of the whisky making process on site.
This spirit has been maturing in only the finest quality casks since Wet Wet Wet last topped the charts. The result offers complexity on a whole other level; soft, fruity, peppery, and a long sweet finish which is simply sublime.
For more info on SWWIG’s tasting evenings, tours and more visit www.swwig.co.uk.
Don’t forget to quote RedHanded to get £2 off all their events.