Whisky blogger Andy Clark shares his thoughts on two new Scottish whiskies hitting the market.
Is it just me? It’s getting warming, the nights are longer, the light is firmly at the end of the Covid tunnel, and I’m in the mood for a celebration.
Yes, I know, not a 2019 kind of celebration – more a come-round-to-mine-and-we’ll-raise-a-special-glass-in-the-back-garden occasion.
Getting together, laughing, relaxing, joking … just feeling normal.
And, with uncanny timing, two of my favourite distillers have just brought out new summer drams just ripe for exploring – and enjoying.
First, Jura – that wonderful whisky from Islay’s next-door neighbour. Usually known for its coastal, slightly salty, slightly wild and rugged character, this dram has gone all tropical and released a new Rum Cask Finish.
It’s a real fruit-bomb of a whisky, so fresh and vibrant that it makes you want to get up and dance. On the nose there are huge blasts of guava and, to me, pineapple, with lashings of coconut and hints of vanilla. The taste is rich and creamy, with more coconut and vanilla, and a lovely air of spice lingering at the end.
To emphasise the fruity flavours of this dram, fans are encouraged to try it with grilled or glazed pineapple, or alongside Jerk Chicken. The publicity blurb even talks of using it in punch, or in a long glass with ginger beer.
Don’t mind if I do!
So, now that we’re in the mood, let’s move on to the main event of the evening – the latest expression from Glenmorangie.
Following on from the astounding A Tale of Cake last year – a dram that really was like a cake in a glass – let me introduce you to X.
Yes, X. A whisky designed specifically for mixing.
And just to prove the point, Glenmorangie has created a series of refreshingly simple serves – each needing just 2-4 ingredients – to bring out the character of the whisky. The recipes can be found on glenmorangie.com.
But, seriously, I don’t care about any of that. Yes, the serves are lovely, but as a dram – a single malt in its own right – this new expression is simply gorgeous.
X by Glenmorangie is summer in a glass – it’s sitting with your feet up, laughing and joking with friends as the sun beats down, it’s a big sharing platter of fruit, and chocolate mousse just out of the fridge.
It’s an absolute beauty of a dram – so light and refreshing that when I tasted it I forgot to add water.
So if you’re wondering what to do with your newfound freedom – how to make the most of the summer to come – why not just stay at home, treat yourself to a new dram, and smile?
- Jura Rum Cask Finish, ABV 40%, £45 for a litre bottle from Tesco.
- X by Glenmorangie, ABV 40%, price TBC.
Andy Clark is author of the Dr@m whisky blog.