- Food and Cooking
The Best 'Sweet' Single Malt Scotch
Still on that quest to find your perfect Single Malt? This page should be a good guide for anyone who enjoys a 'sweet', 'floral', 'fruity' or 'chocolatey' dram. It may be a surprise but, increasingly, there are a number of Single Malt Scotch Whiskies which could be described as Dessert Scotch or Digestif drops. This page is a good guide for those who enjoy any wine or liqueur.
So what makes a Single Malt 'sweet'? Well, Scotch whisky is usually aged in used casks, which has a considerable effect on the character and flavour of the final product. The most common are American whiskey casks as most American whiskey is aged in new oak casks. Bourbon casks are quite common for aging Scotch and give a vanilla flavour to the whisky. A more expensive method, though also common is to Spanish sherry casks, which give the Single Malt a heavier body and deep amber colour. However, more and more, Scotch Whisky producers are experimenting with casks previously used for wines and other liquors, such as port wine, madeira, red wine, rum and cognac. A notable innovator in this field is the Glenmorangie Company.
Highland Park 12 Year Old
Islands (Non Islay)
Price - 25GBP
Highland Park 12yo remains one of the gold standard malts for other distillery bottlings to aspire to. With a delicious sweetness (heather-honey is their preferred description), a trace of smoke and a warming, silky mouthfeel, this is a whisky that never lets you down.
Glenmorangie 10 Year Old - Original
Price - 27GBP
Glenmorangie's 10yo sets a high standard for Highland whisky, and has gone from strength to strength as 'The Original' since its slightly controversial packaging redesign a few years ago. Medium-bodied and gently warming, with plasant spicy notes.
Aberlour 10 Year Old / Sherry Finish
Price - 30GBP
A delicious sherry-finished Aberlour, with just the right amount of sherry to enhance the profile of the standard 10yo, without letting the wine take over. Previously only available in France, we think this will be a hit.
Macallan 12 Year Old / Sherry Oak
Price - 35GBP
Deliciously smooth, with rich dried fruits and sherry, balanced with wood smoke and spice. Described by Paul Pacult, the renowned international whisky writer, in his book Kindred Spirits as: "simply the best 12 Year Old single malt around".
Oban 14 Years Old
Price - 35GBP
The Western Highland representative in Diageo's 'Classic Malt' series, Oban 14yo is a superb, full-blooded fruity malt with a whiff of heather and more than a hint of smoke.
Glenmorangie 12 Year Old / Nectar D'Or / Sauternes Finish
Price - 43GBP
Relaunched in 2011, Glenmorangie's sauternes-finished Nectar d'Or is now proudly boasting a prominent age statement that wasn't there before, proclaiming it to be 12 years old. Give it a couple of years and it'll be growing a weedy moustache on its top lip.
Glenkinchie 1995 / Distillers Edition
Price - 44GBP
This Glenkinchie has been finished in Amontillado sherry casks for an extra burst of rounded flavour. Part of the Distillers Edition range of Classic Malts from Diageo.
Cragganmore 1988 / Distillers Edition
Price - 46GBP
An old bottling of the Distillers Edition double-matured Cragganmore finished in port wood pipes for extra complexity and depth. Highly unusual and extremely pleasant drinking whisky. This 1988 vintage was bottled in 2002.
Glengoyne 17 Year Old
Price - 50GBP
Multi award winning dram. One of the greats. Possibly the best pound for pound dram on the market.
Glengoyne 17yo is a smooth, sophisticated medium-bodied unpeated malt with delicate flavours. A very good match for a mild or medium cigar.
Scapa 16 Year Old
Islands (Non Islay)
Price - 53GBP
Elegant and unpeated, this is lighter in style than many other Island malts. Honeyed and floral with a smooth, gentle finish, this may be subtle, but it's not shy of flavour, bringing in the complexity of this unique island with sweet smells of wild heather that drift over the palate, as they do the rugged landscape.
Balvenie 21 Year Old / Port Wood Finish
Price - 82GBP
An additional period of maturation in 30 year-old Port pipes has given this aged Balvenie an extra level of depth and concentration of flavour, adding potent fruit and smoke notes to the silky-smooth full-bodied palate. Rich, indulgent, after-dinner Speyside at it's best.
At the 2005 International Spirits Challenge, The Balvenie PortWood 21 Year Old was awarded a prestigious Gold Medal.
These Spiegelau Festival On the Rocks glasses, designed to marry with the Festival series of stemware, feature simple, classic lines, and versatility. Perfect for DOFs, H2O, or juice, these glasses are packed in a set of 6 and will mix or match with any stemware collection. The factory is nestled in a small Bavarian town bearing the company's name, Spiegelau has been making glassware for nearly 500 years.