Three best in class whisky gift sets

So, Christmas isn’t that far away, and if you’re organised and thinking ahead in relation to Christmas pressies, or perhaps a little treat for yourself, then you may like to check out the below gift sets, which are my best in class right now.

Waterford Grattansbrook (1.1) Irish Single Malt Whisky 50% ABV

I love discovering new Irish Single Malts, the unique sweetness they offer up are entirely my bag! Waterford Grattansbrook (1.1) is no exception.Grattansbrook 1.1 is the first Single Farm Origin whiskey from Waterford and is non-chill-filtered and aged for over three years and ten months in multiple casks including first-fill, virgin US & French oak.

Waterford’s Single Farm Origin series explores what’s described as Irish “teireoir” by focusing on different types of barley, grown in different areas of Ireland with various microclimates and growing conditions to demonstrate how it affects the flavour of the whiskey.

The whiskey is the first release from the 2015 harvest of Taberna barley from Grattansbrook farm in Co. Kildare. Situated on a flat, fertile flood plain of the River Barrow, the farm follows the ‘Farming for Nature’ protocol, managing the land to bring biological benefits to its limestone soil.

Each Waterford bottle carries a unique digital number – the TÉIREOIR code – which introduces the Irish farm and its farmers, the casks used to compose the whisky and an array of media.

On the nose, rather malty with freshly baked bread. Barley sugar. Green grapes and apples. A hint of honey and some vanilla in the background. This is followed by fresh lemon juice.

On the palate, Creamy mouthfeel. Creme brulee. Then bread again and oatmeal porridge. Tea biscuits too. This is followed by fresh pears, but also golden kiwis. A Lemon pie. Later also grapefruit and mandarins. And then some spices, such as a touch of pink peppercorns and cinnamon.

To finish, expect a mid-long, with the same spices and a hint of oak. Mandarins too.

Master Of Malt £70

Port Askaig 8-year-old Single Malt Gift Box 45.8%ABV

If you love your Islay whiskies, then Port Askaig 8 year old Single Malt will likely already be on your radar. Islay is well renowned for being the paradise for peaty, smoky whiskies. The liquid is sourced from existing Islay distillers and includes the 8 yo, as well as a 16 yo, a 19 and 30 yo and even a 45 yo whisky. The whisky is matured for a minimum of eight years in refill ex-bourbon casks and is non-chill-filtered and free of added colour.

On the nose this is big and bold, earthy peatiness with hints of salty seaweed blended with fruity sweetness. This is clean and fresh without the medicinal notes from a Laphroaig or Ardbeg.

On the palate, this is really well balanced between sweet and salty, with smoke and peat with a bit of vanilla and nutmeg. You’ll also pick up Liquorice, green grass and fresh fruit. The medicinal notes never really seem to appear, which for me, is a result.

The finish is divine, long and lingers with just a hint of peat smoke.

Not only is this a delicious whisky, but this is also a really tasteful gift box, with a 70cl bottle and two branded glasses, that the whisky lover will appreciate receiving. The Whisky Exchange £50

Nikka Whisky From the Barrel 51.4% ABV

Japanese whisky is going from strength to strength, and I have to say that this beautiful gift set from Nikka is absolute quality.

Nikka From The Barrel is a blended whisky, bursting with full flavours and richness of whisky from barrels. Believe it or not, the iconic bottle is designed to reflect a small block of whisky – embodying the rich, strong taste of the liquid within. From The Barrel is an extremely complex blended whisky bottled at 51.4% ABV.

Nikka From the Barrel is a blend of single malt and single grain whiskeys, made in the same way that Blended Scotch Whiskeys are. Over 100 whiskeys are blended together, aged in various bourbon barrels, sherry butts, and more to create this rather tasty Japanese whiskey. 

On the nose, sweet and floral honey, berries, and candied cherries with a generous dollop of cream.

On the palate, there are some slightly buttery flavours mixed with nutmeg and chocolate that add wonderful richness and mouthfeel.

To finish, honey… sherry, berries, oak, cinnamon. Love it.

The Whisky Exchange £90

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