One glance at this month's staff picks and you'll see what's happening at WhiskyMarketplace HQ. The nights are drawing in, the weather is getting colder and thoughts are turning to festive whiskies. Quality, richness and luxury are what we're looking for... unsurprising then to see two superb scotch single malts, a sensational Japanese blend and premium scotch blend.
Staff Picks - our choices for this month
I do love Glenfarclas distillery. Family owned, producing a wonderful rich spirit, some of the finest sherry influence whiskies around... what's not to like? Glenfarclas 21 Year Old is a smooth, rich, slightly spicy whisky – quite a Christmass-y feel - but not as much of a sherry bomb as the 15 Year Old. Stewed fruits, roasted nuts, cocoa and with a wisp of smoke. Splendid.
£60.35 at www.thewhiskyexchange.com
Even before you open it you know you are in for a treat, this is after all one of the most beautifully packaged whiskies around. Of course great packaging doesn’t necessarily make great whisky. In the case of Hibiki 17 - with its heady, intricate nose and the elegantly integrated complexity of the palate - the whisky inside more than lives up to the packaging.
£71.95 at www.thewhiskyexchange.com
If your whisky purchases are hovering around the £50 mark and you want to step up a gear, but don't know where to put your money, then Highland Park 21 Year Old is a great option. Deep, rich and oily in texture this bottling has more than a glimpse of the super-quality you get higher up the Highland park range but for a fraction of the price of the 30 Year Old. This is a complex whisky with outstanding character.
£92.50 at www.thegreenwellystop.co.uk
A superb blend from the Chivas Regal stable, Royal Salute 21 is a complex & richly satisfying whisky. A touch of luxury for the festive season this is balanced & subtle, deserving of a little time to contemplate its depths. A perfect fireside dram for cold winter nights.
£91.95 at www.thewhiskyexchange.com