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As the festive season draws near, it’s time to get prepared with your Christmas whisky shopping list. Let the Society’s Ultimate Whisky Gift Guide and the latest Outturn reviews be your guide for selecting the right whiskies to gift your loved ones. Here I’ve reviewed the latest releases from the soon-to-be-released ‘Gifts for Giving’ Outturn and matched them to the perfect environment in which to enjoy them.

For Christmas morning
36.112 ‘Easy like Sunday morning’

This whisky is fresh and zesty on the nose, offering heaps of sherbet lemons sweets and sour bon bons. There’s a menthol note which follows that’s reminiscent of cooling fresh mint tea. To taste it’s sweet and tart, like lemon sorbet and fresh apple juice. A few drops of water brings out its floral notes and makes it incredibly easy to drink. Perfect to enjoy on Christmas morning, which this year just so happens to fall on a Sunday.

Flavour Profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow
Drinking Tip: Summer holiday dram – or any other time at all.
Age: 16 years
Outturn: 1 of 258 bottles (138 available)
Cask: Second fill ex-port barrique
Region: Speyside Spey
Alcohol: 56.3%
Bottle Price: £59.50

For party-time
55.38 Flaming red wine punch
This is the perfect dram to bring out at a party or a festive gathering. On the nose it’s creamy, boozy and fruity like a good helping of trifle. To taste its red fruits and not-too-sweet punch with festive spices. Water made it richer, sweeter and intense with candied oranges and ginger loaf leaving you feeling satisfied.

Flavour Profile: Spicy & sweet
Drinking Tip: For those cold, dark, dreary days
Age: 15 years
Outturn: 1 of 288 bottles (162 available)
Cask: Second fill ex-Sauternes hogshead
Alcohol: 58.1%
Bottle Price: £50.80

For putting your feet up
73.76 Spiced apple tea
Part of what makes Christmas day so special is knowing all your chores (other than cooking the roast) are done and out of the way. This whisky is one to break out when you’re finally ready to relax, unwind and enjoy the festivities. On the nose it’s like a wonderful hot toddy with a big dose of Christmas spice – star anise and ginger root. The spices continue on the palate with ground cloves and aniseed, combined with fresh menthol and citrus flavours. With a few drops of water it becomes much sweeter, like a bag of pick n mix. A comforting creaminess lingers in the finish.

Flavour Profile: Spicy & sweet
Drinking Tip: Lazing on a sunny afternoon
Age: 13 years
Outturn: 1 of 222 bottles (180 available)
Cask: Second fill ex-Sauternes hogshead
Alcohol: 60.4%
Bottle Price: £51.30

For meeting up with friends
G4.9 A blast from the past
Christmas brings people together and there is no better way of celebrating that than with a special whisky. Crack this bottle open and reminisce over good memories. On the nose, this whisky transports you to a buzzing kitchen – apple pie and honey roast parsnips await you in the oven. To taste its bold spices and rich sweetness – sandalwood and chocolate and cinnamon. Water only intensifies those sweet, rich flavours.

Flavour Profile: Spicy & sweet
Drinking Tip: Ideally from a large glass
Age: 36 years
Outturn: 1 of 126 bottles (126 available)
Cask: Refill ex-bourbon hogshead
Region: Grain
Alcohol: 47.6%
Bottle Price: £126.80

When you’re preparing the roast
3.281 Finely balanced 

This lightly peated whisky will wake those up who have been plunged into a Christmas dinner food coma. Its sweet smoke on the nose is like a honey glazed roast chicken paired with sweet chilli sauce and cracked black pepper. To taste it becomes much more lively and tannic – tobacco and tar appear. With a few drops of water it becomes more vegetal with flavours of mushrooms, cured meats and light hickory spices.

Flavour Profile: Lightly peated
Drinking Tip: Whilst practising the gymnastics’ needle
Age: 18 years
Outturn: 1 of 558 bottles (312 available)
Cask: Refill ex-sherry butt
Region: Islay
Alcohol: 54.9%
Bottle Price: £91.20

For a bracing Christmas day walk
123.17 Complex duality
Walk off the Christmas day meal with a bracing walk…and don’t forget to bring this whisky along in your hip flask. On the nose it’s a wonderful mix of sweeties – jelly babies, tablet and Edinburgh rock. To taste it’s much more juicy and fruity with flavours of poached pear and tinned pineapple slices. Water brings out the sweeter flavours – it becomes quite jammy and there’s a lingering of brown sugar on the finish.

Flavour Profile: Spicy & dry
Drinking Tip: A pleasantly warming dram for a cold evening or after a bracing walk.
Age: 14 years
Outturn: 1 of 252 bottles (192 available)
Cask: Second fill ex-port barrique
Alcohol: 55.7%
Bottle Price: £59.80

To share with a loved-one
29.190 Divine dark temptation

This is a sultry whisky and if you’re looking to celebrate the festive season with someone you love, make sure you pour them a dram of this. On the nose it’s sweet and rich with soft notes of coconut milk and cinder toffee. There’s a freshness to the whisky that comes in the form of sea salt and sand dunes. To taste it becomes dry, salty and dusty – like walking past a beach bonfire. Water brings a sweetness to the smoke and salted caramel and dark chocolate follow on the finish.

Flavour Profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits
Drinking Tip: Atlantic fusion of Scotland’s west coast and the Costa de la Luz
Age: 17 years
Outturn: 1 of 582 bottles (150 available)
Cask: Refill ex-sherry butt
Region: Islay
Alcohol: 58.1%
Bottle Price: £119.90

To open on New Year’s Eve
1.202 Delightfully delectable
Celebrating the start of a new year requires a very special whisky. It needs to be complex and thought provoking yet approachable and comforting. This whisky fits the bill. At first, on the nose it greets you with notes of honey, blood orange and toffee bon bons. To taste it’s much more fiery than you might expect with flavours of chilli heat mixed with intense sweetness. Water made it much more intense and perfumed; candle wax, honeycomb and roasted almonds followed. The finish is long and decadent and deserving of your time.

Flavour Profile: Old & dignified
Drinking Tip: To help soothe the soul after a marital tiff
Age: 22 years
Outturn: 1 of TBC bottles (120 available)
Cask: Virgin oak hogshead, heavy toast/medium char
Region: Speyside Spey
Alcohol: 53.8%
Bottle Price: £94.70

The whiskies listed here will be released on Friday 18th November and available for members to buy from 9am.

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