These whiskies are worthy of year-round celebration…—

My grandparents lived in Falkirk and adored dipping into the deliciousness of Scottish whisky. As we toast Burns Night on Saturday, I reckon these whiskies are worthy of year-round celebration.

Whether the lightness of a Speyside malt is your dream dram or the smoky fury of the island distilleries lights your touchpaper, the wonder of whisky is its diversity. For a reliable pick, my big brand choice is Johnnie Walker Black Label.

And while Scotland is the flowing font of whisky’s heroic heritage (I adore Kay’s Bar on Edinburgh’s Jamaica St), worldwide whiskies are increasingly interesting. My Japanese pick this week is ace either neat or with a splash of soda.

As my grandparents often reminded me, with whisky, your way is always the best way – and Burns Night is the time to taste.

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

SWEET DRAMS ARE MADE OF THIS: Highland Black Scotch Whisky (40%, 70cl) £12.99 Aldi. For sheer value, this rich eight year old blend is unbeatably brilliant.

SCOTCH WAE HAE: The Society’s Blended Speyside (40%, 70cl) £20 The Wine Society. Beautifully blended, this top bottle is liquid sweetness and light.

A TOT FROM TOKYO: Nikka Days Whisky (40%, 70cl) £37.90 Master of Malt. Fresh, bright and fruity, this Japanese gem just exudes refreshment.

MIGHTY MOUTHFUL: Lagavulin 16-Year-Old Single Malt (40%, 70cl) £49 Waitrose. Heroic smoky power with massive character and contemplative complexity.

WHISKY OF THE WEEK

Arran Sherry Cask, Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky (55.8%, 70cl) £53.95 The Whisky Exchange. A divinely deep dram with spicy fruit layers and moreish splendour to savour.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 19th January 2020

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