Scotch Whisky

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Scotch whisky is a subject that is as expansive as the myriad of lochs, glens and mountains that contribute to the terroir of its historic homeland of Scotland. Scottish whisky in its current form has been distilled in the Highlands and Lowlands since the 18th Century but its roots run much deeper into the past. It is widely regarded that it is an adaptation of the traditional Scottish spirit ‘Uisge Beatha’, meaning ‘water of life’ in the Celtic tongue. The earliest official record of its production is in 1494 but it is highly likely that it was produced prior to this date. It’s a widely held belief that Irish monks introduced the spirit to the Scots although no true Scotsman would ever admit to this!


This precious liquid’s heritage is protected by law so that only spirit distilled within Scottish borders can be labelled as Scotch. There are other caveats as well; it must be made from either malted barley or grain fermented in copper stills and matured in wooden Oak barrels. This batch process is essential to the authenticity of the spirit, as is the insistence that it is bottled at 40% ABV or higher.


There are four different varieties of Scotch; single malt, blended, grain and blended malt (which was formerly known as vatted malt). Single malt is defined as a whisky made from 100% malt barley by one distillery. This is by far the most valuable and collected variety, especially rare bottlings from closed distilleries that can fetch four figure plus sums. Blended whisky is a spirit that’s created using a mixture of malt and grain whiskies by one distillery. This is the most popular and widely drunk variety despite the single malt’s continued rising popularity, driving up both production and price significantly. Grain whisky, as the name suggests, is made from 100% grain by a single distillery. Finally, blended malt is a product that is created by combining two or more single malts from separate distilleries together without the addition of grain whisky.


Despite only a few simple ingredients being used in the production process (malted barley or grain, water and yeast), a surprising array of different characteristics can be achieved. Gentle drams from the Lowlands can be soothing, light and fruity whilst big, bold offerings from Islay can knock your socks off with an assault of peat and smokiness. There are many variations in between to explore and it takes dedication and a whole lot of tasting to become a true whisky connoisseur!


The type of barrel used to mature the whisky accounts for the lions share of the final flavour. Factors such as whether American Oak or European Oak have been used to make the barrels, how many times the barrels have been used previously to mature Scotch or other drinks like Bourbon, Port or Sherry and the length of time the spirit has spent maturing all play their part. In more recent times, some distilleries have gone rogue by experimenting with old cognac, wine and rum casks, thus creating a modern and youthful taste that appeals to the trendy bar fraternity.


There are six distinct whisky producing regions in Scotland and they also have some bearing on the flavour of the final product. The regions are Islay, Islands, Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside and Campbeltown. The terrain, climate and other geographical factors of a region all contribute to the character, although a great deal also has to do with the different techniques and traditions employed by the distilleries as well. A good example is how coastal distilleries often produce a whisky that is saltier due to the proximity of the sea.


The world of Scotch whisky is a complex and fascinating one that thrives on time honoured practices and ancient traditions. If you are thinking of taking your first foray into this exciting realm, whether for pleasure or investment, then we are on hand to offer our expert advice and a selection of over 1000 different whiskies to suit all budgets.

  • Bruichladdich Links St.Andrews 46%
    Bruichladdich Links St Andrews, the Old Course is the First edition in the Links series to celebrate famous gold courses arounf the world.
    £302.38
  • Royal Lochnagar 12 years old 40% 70cl
    The Royal Lochnagar Highland Malt whisky is located close to the Royal Castle of Balmoral. The distillery was established in 1845. It was soon visited by an approving Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and shortly after this became Royal Lochnagar.
    It has a lovely sweet perfumed nose with toffee and subtle wood notes. The palate is balanced with a dry finish, smooth and fruity with sandlawood.
    £40.99
  • Pigs Nose 5 years old 40% 70cl
    Pigs nose Blended whisky aged for 5 years has been created by Richard Paterson Scotland only third generation Master Blender. The whiskies signature "smoothness" is rooted in its specially selected Speyside, Islay and Lowland malts which have been aged in oak casks. These are then married with gentle grain whiskies, to produce a whisky as smooth as a pigs nose!
    £23.99
  • Glenrothes Select Reserve 43% 70cl
    John Ramsay, the Malt Master, has crafted a selection of The Glenrothes which typifies the distillery house character ripe fruits, citrus, vanilla and hints of spice. A non-Vintage-specific selection carefully chosen by John and produced to the same high quality standards as The Glenrothes Vintage selections; only here we select and vat from casks from different years.


    The Glenrothes Select Reserve is a vatting from different years of selected casks reserved for this expression. Some casks will contain whisky from, say, 1996 or 1997, others may be younger while some are older. The actual make-up and age profile of Select Reserve will vary depending on what casks are available to produce this expression at the high quality we demand. Of course the emphasis is, as always, not on the age per se, but on the quality, taste and flavour of the whisky. To maintain consistency of flavour is the priority; which is why we have chosen not to include any age or Vintage statement as this could inhibit this object

    Regular Price: £36.99

    Special Price £31.99

  • Arran Hardy Cognac 57.7% 70cl
    1 of 487 bottles
    Cognac Cask J Hardy
    Bottled 12.9.06
    £89.50
  • Caol Ila Distillers Edition 2002 43% 70cl
    Caol Ila Distillers edition whisky was distilled in 2002 and bottled in 2014 The whisky has been double matured, first in America oak casks then a second maturation in casks which previously held Moscatel wine. This second casks adds a lovely sweet note to the smoke and peat of Caol ila single malt whisky..
    £64.99
  • Ardbeg 1974 50.7% vol cask no. 4989 70cl
    Dsitillery Bottling
    :Cask No. 4989
    Cask Type: Bourbon
    1 of 132 bottles
    Signed by Dr WB Lumsden Master Distiller
    £2,000.00
  • The Singleton 12 years old 70cl
    A new Singleton, this time from Dufftown, to replace the now-defunct Singleton of Auchroisk. This is a smooth, mellow dram designed to attract new drinkers to the malt category.
    £39.99
  • Bowmore 18 years old 70cl
    Bowmore's 18 Years Old is one of the finest malts in its range. Matured in oak casks for over 18 years, the classic Bowmore smokiness is perfectly balanced with soft fruits and chocolate. A wonderful dram.

    TASTING NOTES
    Colour: Mellow Mahogany.
    Nose: Creamy caramel toffee, with ripe fruit and smoke aromas.
    Palate: Incredibly complex, with beautiful soft fruit and chocolate balanced with a light smokiness.
    Finish: Long and wonderfully balanced, enjoy.
    £89.99
  • Glenallachie 1999 Connoisseurs Choice 43% 70cl
    Pronounced Glen-alec-y, the Distillery was built in 1967 primarily to contribute malt to the MacKinlay blends. It was designed by architect William Delme-Evans, who also designed Tullibardine and re-designed Jura Distillery.
    Glenallachie was temporarily closed in the late 1980s, then acquired and reopened by Campbell Distillers at the end of the decade.

    TASTING NOTE
    Colour: Straw.
    WITHOUT WATER
    :Nose: Dry grass, roasted malt and a delicate sweetness. Some fragrant, spicy aromas begin to develop.
    Palate: Peppery with charred oak. A little honey sweetness with fragrant, floral aromas also present.

    WITH WATER
    :Nose: More floral aromas present - parma voilets. Hints of burnt sugar - treacle toffees.
    Palate: Spicy, malty flavours with perfumed notes intertwined.
    Body: Light.
    Finish: Perfumed, Fragrant.
    Cask Type(s): Refill Sherry Hogshead.
    Whisky Style: An aperitif whisky.
    £57.95
  • Arran Madeira wine cask 50% 70cl
    Arran Madeira wine cask has been matured for eight years in traditional oak before a finishing period of 10 months in Madeira casks.
    £65.00
  • Glen Grant The Majors Reserve Single Malt 40% 70cl
    Glen Grant makes one of the most surprising whiskies in the world. Single malt that's clear in colour with a distinctively crisp, fresh taste that has made it one of the world's favorite.

    Above all, Glen Grant is about pure enjoyment. No poetics. No pretensions. Just authentic, smooth-tasting, single malt whisky that's ready to be enjoyed, right now.

    Clearly unconventional. Definitely authentic. It's what Glen Grant is all about.
    £24.50
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