Well, it’s that time of year again. December!
Alright, alright, it’s Christmas (or Crimbletide as it’s known in local Shed dialect). And to be fair, we love it!
It can be really quite surreal at times as we bring large trees indoors and light them up with twinkly things, cook enough poultry to feed the number of guests squared, and begin the great sprout debate once more (“If you really liked them, you’d eat them more often,” – discuss).
The most stressful bit for me is choosing gifts. We all want a gift that shows thought has been applied in the requisite quantity and we’ve painstakingly matched pressies to personality types, preferences and desires. That’s a tall order and I don’t always get it right – top tip, avoid topical creams and slimming shakes. As practical as they may be, they’re not as well received as you might expect. And DON’T call them ungrateful either. This would appear to compound the situation.
As you can imagine, I like to match people up with whisky because it’s pretty much all I know. And whilst this has caused the children some disappointment, they should be able to drink it within a few years so I think they should just adopt a more long-term view if I’m honest.
To alleviate some of the stress that the festivities can bring, it’s only right that I share my knowledge and take you through our range to help you match each of our whiskies to your favourite relatives and/or friends.
Whisky matching guide #1
Caol Ila 10 year old – Big on the peat but well refined and evocative of the Isle of Islay from whence it came. A lovely sweetness combines with a briny note and heather to gives the dram complexity and balance. Surprisingly easy to drink at cask strength but takes a dash of water well.
For someone who likes the outdoors but is reluctant to go there. Our Caol Ila brings the outdoor island spirit to your armchair, complimenting the tree you’ve adopted for the month. This is for someone who has ‘their’ armchair at home.
Blair Athol 11 years old – The refill sherry cask works wonders here. Plenty of sherry notes with lots of space for the fabulous distillate to shine too.
There’s something quite festive about this dram and it’s a great one for someone who already likes whisky and is ready to take it to the next level. It has tons of complexity and bags of flavour but it’s easy for anyone to get on with. The nose alone will have dramthusiasts enthralled so it should keep them quiet if they’re the type who just won’t shut up during Dr Who.
Ardmore 12 year old PX finish – If you went to a Christmas pudding farm it would smell and taste like this. And I’m talking free range Christmas puddings, frolicking in the fields before retiring to their shed to play with CDs dangling from the ceiling.
This is a dram for the those who go for a walk on Christmas morning while I’m sat in my pants on the sofa guzzling coffee. They like a good hike as much as a Christmas pudding and if they could combine the two, they would. Well we’ve achieved the impossible and somehow managed to do just that, albeit in liquid form. Sticky dates and muscovado from the PX cask plus a farm fresh peaty distillate from Ardmore – bingo!
Aultmore 11 year old sherry cask – This is a pro level dram for sherry heads. Its high abv demands a drop or three of water (don’t be shy) and a few minutes in the glass but you’ll be heavily rewards for your patience. Generous cask influence with toffee, singed raisins and spices. The Aultmore distillate adds a minerality, heather and gentle malt notes.
This is for the more experienced whisky drinker, probably your Gran. She’ll surprise you as she expertly swills the glass and noses it like a pro before taking a slow sip and then, with a smile of deep satisfaction, sinking even further into her favourite armchair than you imagined was possible. Respect levels for Gran increases enormously. Dad looks disappointed with his socks.
Linkwood 11 year old – Do you know someone who’s sophisticated? Do you know someone who needs sophisticating? Well this is the dram for them.
This is a fruity, floral sweetshop of a dram with so much charm you could make a frosted breakfast cereal out of it (please don’t put this on your cereal). Amazing weight in the mouth, depth of flavour and incredibly moreish. This would suit someone with natural elegance, the sort of person who can hold a stemmed glass at the bottom and not spill it. They’ll have the most interesting stories after Christmas dinner but you wish they’d stop buying you Booker prize winning novels every year and take a leaf out of your whisky themed book.
Something for everyone with all styles covered except for cheap and filthy. So, dive in and grab one for you’re loved ones or, and this is perfectly acceptable, indulge yourself and impress your guests with your excellent collection of The Sipping Shed whiskies this Christmas.
Whichever you choose, have a lovely Crimbletide from all at The Sipping Shed.
Find our amazing whiskies at:
And if you’re having some festive fare at The Artisan Restaurant in Wishaw, you’ll find a few bottles in the snug to try after your dinner. Or before. Or during.