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Choosing Your Whiskey

By Sean Mahon

Posted: 18th February 2015 12:10

Put the pint down! Did you not get the memo? There’s a new drink in town.  A real man’s drink.  One with history, heritage, quality and flavour.  That’s right; whisky. 

In the past year whisky sales have jumped by 20 per cent as drinkers swap pints for the drink that will “put hairs on your chest”.  From Irish whisky to Scotch, Bourbon to Tennessee, the world of whisky is one of the most wonderfully confusing beverages.  While there may be such a variety, here is our rundown of some of the most popular, bank-balance friendly brands for the uninitiated.

Whisky was the tipple of choice for some of the most influential men of all-time from Alexander Fleming to Winston Churchill.  Now the poster-boy for the drink that will “put hairs on your chest” is none other than Mad Men’s fictional character Don Draper who can mostly be found sitting in an armchair in his fitted-designer suit, clutching a tumbler of Canadian Club Whisky. 

Jack Daniels – 1L (40% Vol.) £26

Before you try drinking whisky neat or on the rocks, get acquainted with the flavour by sampling a classic ‘Jack and Coke’.  As the oldest registered distillery in the U.S., established in Lynchburg, Tennessee 1866, Jack Daniels is the highest selling American whisky in the world to date. 

Canadian Club – 70cl (40% Vol.) £20.00

At its peak, during prohibition in the 1920s and the advertising boom in the 60’s, Canadian Club was among the most recognised products in the world.  Thanks to Nucky Thompson (Boardwalk Empire) and Don Draper (Mad Men) this smooth and mellow tipple with zest and vanilla undertones is back on the map.  It is the only Canadian whisky marketed worldwide, and the only recognised Canadian whisky available in the UK.

Highland Black 8 Year Old Scotch Whisky – 70cl (40% Vol.) £13.29

Aldi proves once again that quality doesn’t always have to come at a premium with this gold medal winner at the 2013 International Wine and Spirits Competition.  This delicious whisky is a blend of Scotland’s finest grain and malt whiskies, boasting notes of citrus and vanilla, with ripe fruit and rich malt flavours.

Old Whiskey River – 75cl (43% Vol.) £53.50

Inspired by Willie Nelson’s song Old Whiskey River, the country music legend had a hand in every step of its creation.  While he was on the road Nelson was sent samples to give his thumbs-up on different batches until the master distillers came up with a Bourbon that he’d put his name on, one that he calls smooth, sweet and mellow.

Jameson Irish Whisky – 70cl (40% Vol.) £17                                                                                                                   

The triple distilled tradition of Jameson Irish Whisky began in Dublin, 1780.  Made from barley, maize and pure Irish water, 48 million bottles were sold in 2013 alone. 

Bell’s Original Whisky – 70cl (40% Vol.) £13

The most popular and highest selling whisky in the UK – Bells is a distinctly unique flavour, combining various single malts together, ultimately creating a more consist blended whisky.

Southern Comfort Liqueur - 1L (35% Vol.) £23

Not a wholehearted whisky but, a liqueur made from fruit, spice flavours and whisky.  A unique combination, ideally consumed with a dash of lime cordial and lemonade. 

Suntory Yamazaki – 70cl (43% Vol.) £45.49

Demonstrating the art of Japanese whisky, this brewing and distilling company was established in 1899, and has been celebrity plugged by the likes of Bill Murray in the film Lost in Translation. 

Jim Beam White Label Bourbon – 70cl (40%) £14
Jim Beam Honey – 70cl (35%) £15

From bourbon to bourbon-infused with real golden honey and liqueur, Jim Beam has grown and developed this All American Dream brand a lot over the past 215 years. 

Famous Grouse Scotch Whisky – 70cl (40%) £15.00

Maturely blend in oak casks for up to six months, The Famous Grouse is the oldest distillery, and highest selling whisky in Scotland since 1980.

Glenfiddich – 50cl (40%) £25

With a history dating back to 1886, the most recognisable and famous triangular bottle of Glenfiddich has received more awards than any other single malt Scotch whisky.  

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