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Top 10 Summer Whiskies

Top 10 Summer Whiskies

You knew it was coming; we get 3 days of sunshine in Scotland and all of a sudden we think our summer has arrived.

Last night Wendy and I enjoyed a picnic half-way up Arthur’s Seat, watching the sun dip down behind the Pentland’s I started to compile a list in my head of my favourite lightest whiskies; ones to enjoy in a heatwave.

I’m no Martha and the Vandellas (heatwave reference combined with an excellence in singing) however the following single malts are all ones that I personally have tried and fully vouch for, are light, smooth and great for the summer. God forbid you’re tempted to waste the precious liquid in a cocktail or with crushed ice!

The list is also aimed at those just starting out.

  1. Ancnoc 12 year old (or as I once knew it Knockdhu) One of my earliest finds and one that I will forever return to; this might be something to do with the branding as well as the actual product – I feel the same about number 7 on my list: Bruichladdich’s Classic Laddie. Apart from the branding Bruichladdich are also one of Islay’s biggest employers so I’ve a real soft spot for them.

  2. Dalwhinnie 15 year old – So many people whizz past this distillery just off the A9, halfway between Perth and Inverness, it deserves more attention than it gets. (As briefly mentioned in ‘If whisky is smooth and floral’)

  3. Glenfiddich 12 year old – this one I find dangerous, it’s not like juice, two sips in and it almost could be.

  4. Glenkinchie 12 year old – an easy starting dram, a stalwart that has never let me down.

  5. Tormore 12 year old – as much as it is light and smooth it has some complex notes (cut grass, resin, cinnamon yet zesty) definitely a treat for your taste-buds / nostrils.

  6. Glenlivet 12 year old – probably the most famous on the list (sorry Glenfiddich), she’s a sweet dram with some floral notes, quite the peach.

  7. Bruichladdich – The Classic Laddie: probably dawdling down in seventh place due to the lack of an associated year (as with Auchentoshan below), a business decision I’m okay with, you need to try this one, Jim McEwan really nailed it.

  8. Auchentoshan Classic – another of my earlier experiences; I was given a personalised bottle of this (today’s version) for my XXth Birthday, never having had it before, it remains a firm favourite.

  9. Glengoyne 10 year old – this one, though light is more creamy than fruity compared to the others, possibly not for the absolute beginner, still definitely for the summer.

  10. Scapa 14 year old (no longer listed) – I am one of those rare individuals who is not a fan of its more popular neighbour Highland Park, a blend that I find too harsh for my delicate nose. This 14 year old Scapa I adored, had I realised its rarity at the time I might have held on to it. The other bottlings from this tiny Orkadian distillery are subsequently quite different.

May the good weather continue and if this is your introduction to a new label or distillery be sure to let me know what you think; now where did I leave my sunglasses…

(Screengrab c/o:

Colin Gilchrist (whisky enthusiast), guest blogger.

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