A Twist on a Christmas Theme
Christmas is a time where tradition holds dear. By far the majority of households will stick with roast turkey and all the trimmings because it’s almost unthinkable to serve up anything else.
We trot out Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and mince pies as we’ve done for generations and hang up our Christmas stockings and leave our presents under the Christmas tree as not doing so would be inconceivable.
But there are some subtle changes appearing that respects tradition and yet shakes things up a little. And we like that, as long as it doesn’t stray too far from what’s expected. We’re talking about the trend of replacing our after-dinner port with a glass of port-finished whisky. These whiskies are very special indeed and a real treat. Often aged in ex- bourbon barrels and then finished in ruby port barrels to impart the richness and sweet juicy fruit notes you would expect from port. Perfect to accompany the cheese board on Christmas Day.
There are some great brands to try, here are a few of our favourites:
Arran Malt Port Finish
70cl | ABV 50%
After initially maturing in traditional oak casks for approximately 8 years, The Arran Single Malt in this bottling was finished in a selection of Port casks sourced from an artisan producer of this iconic Portuguese fortified wine. Our Master Distiller, James MacTaggart, has carefully monitored this period of secondary maturation to ensure the perfect balance is struck between the Port casks and the intrinsic sweet-fruity character of The Arran Malt. The end result is a Single Malt full of charm, complexity and quality.
A fantastic choice at any time, but particularly for the festive season. Ideal as an after dinner dram, especially with a delicious cheese selection.
The Lakes Distillery – The One Port Cask Finish
70cl | ABV 46.6%
This release of The One is a singular blend of The Lakes Single Malt and select Scotch grain and malt whiskies. This blend was finished for one year in first-fill Tawny Port Casks from Portugal. Non-chill filtered for a richer mouthfeel and fuller flavour, with only the natural colours derived from our oak casks in every bottle. Bottled at 46.6% ABV.
Full-bodied and smoky with ripe cherries and plums on the nose leading to hints of nutmeg and black pepper with a long, warming finish.
The Quinta Ruban 12 Years Old
70cl | ABV 46%
The darkest and most intense whisky in the extra-matured range, Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban has spent 10 years maturing in American white oak casks, before being transferred into specially selected ruby port pipes from the Quintas or wine estates of Portugal.
Extra maturation in these port pipes develops Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban into a voluptuous spirit with a complex balance of sweet and dry flavours and an intriguing contrast of smooth and crisp, cooling textures. Non chill-filtered for additional aroma and mouthfeel.
A complex balance of sweet and dry flavours and an intriguing contrast of smooth and crisp, cooling textures
Tomintoul 15 Year Old Portwood Finish
70cl | ABV 46%
Tomintoul Speyside Glenlivet 15 Years Old Portwood Finish has been created by the careful selection of mature whisky “finished” in Port wood. The malt whisky was transferred from Bourbon casks into the hand-picked Port pipes to “finish” its maturation for a generous period of time. This process of “finishing” bestows on the whisky refined characteristics, most notably, tones of fruity Port sweetness. Our Master Distiller deemed that the time was right to bottle the whisky at 15 years of age when the malt whisky flavour notes had reached harmony with the sweet attributes of the Portwood.
Lush clean malt modified by fruity sweet port and some spicy oak tones finish Full and rich with lingering herbal spices and toffee sweetness.
Tomatin 14 Year Old Port Casks
70cl | ABV 46%
The Tomatin 14 Year Old is soft, smooth and sweet, benefiting from its time spent in Tawny Port casks which previously held port for around 50 years. Rich but balanced aromas of red berries, sweet honey and rich toffee develop into aspects of light fruits and nuts on the palate and an abiding finish of smooth fruit salad.
Matured in a combination of Bourbon barrels and Port casks
If you take a punt on any of the above you will be one of a growing number of us who are gaining a real appreciation for high-end, sometimes rare and unusual whiskies. And there is no better time than Christmas to enjoy a dram or two. Oh and, by the way, we’re not suggesting you ditch the port altogether. Just expand your horizons and maybe your drinks cabinet too!
For something extra special…
Summerton Whisky Club take the guesswork out of your Christmas tipple selection – join the club by December 4th, and we’ll deliver a bottle of premium, unique whisky that you can’t find on the supermarket shelves to your door. And then we’ll deliver another bottle every other month thereafter – so you’ll be able to enjoy carefully curated whiskies throughout the year.