Lovers of whiskey, expand your palate, and upgrade your home bar with award-winning, distinctive varieties of whiskies with an array of flavours. If you're looking for peaty potions, or a weekend sipper with potency, rich history, and tradition, stock up your home bar with one or more of these fabulous whiskeys that impressed our expert jury panel at the Cosmo India SNAs.
1. Glenlivet 18 Year Old
The Glenlivet 18-Year-Old is the perfect whiskey for those special occasions at home. It's balanced, rich, and elegant, with an old-gold, apricot colour, and citrusy, winter-spice flavour. There's a rich toffee fruitiness on the nose, while the palate bursts with sweet orange. It lingers with floral flavours of raisins, spice, plum, honey, citrus, and sweetness. This single malt whisky made purely from malted barley and yeast has captured the world's attention. Another true-blue whisky from the heart of Speyside, Scotland, this best-selling single malt would be a great addition to your home bar.
2. Talisker 10 Year Old
Talisker 10-Year-Old is a classic island single malt hailing from Scotland's Isle of Skye. The intense character of this whisky comes from the freshwater drawn directly from underground springs next to the distillery, along with its unusual ABV of 45.8 percent (as compared to most whisky which is 40-43 percent). All these attributes help set Talisker apart from other malts. It is fresh and fragrant on the nose, and beneath the smoke, you'll find soft fruity (sweet pear and apple) and cereal notes, with pinches of sea salt from kippers and seaweed. On the palate, it has a long finish, with toasted malt and a crisp sugary underlay.
Click here to discover the best whiskey winners at the Cosmo SNAs.
3. Aberlour 18 Year Old
Born out of a small and intimate distillery along the river Spey, Aberlour, the slow distillation process of the Aberlour 18 Year Old gives it its unique, sweetly mild taste. Its distinct flavour comes through the use of sherry and bourbon casks. It is peachy, honeyed, and creamy, and often likened to melted vanilla ice cream. On the palate, you get the freshness of juicy apples, and spicy oranges before the sherry [oak barrels] kick in with the sultanas and raisins. The finish is intricate, with dark chocolate and oily caramel notes.
4. Johnnie Walker Blue Label
The first thing you notice about Johnnie Walker Blue Label is its sleek bottle filled with golden-hued liquid. This pour will impress your guests with its 'incredibly smooth' and well-balanced flavours. It smells like vanilla, spice, and honey; tastes like caramel, hazelnuts, and dark chocolate; and offers a decadent, long, warming, smokey finish. An unrivalled masterpiece, it is an exquisite blend made from some of Scotland's rarest and most exceptional whiskies. This velvety, rounded, incomparably rich, and smokey whisky offers quite the sensory experience. A rich honey sweetness accompanied by hints of pepper and dried fruits before an impossibly long, lingering, smooth finish of perfectly balanced, soft smoke is sure to wow whiskey lovers.
5. Ballantine’s 12 Year Old
A sophisticated blend of whiskies honed into a honey-sweet drink and perfectly balanced with oak and vanilla notes, Ballantine's 12-Year-Old is a blend of 40 whiskies and has an intense flavour consisting of notes of red apple and citrus fruits. This is the whisky that a Ballantine's master blender made for himself in the '60s, so you can rest assured that this would be the perfect whisky for you to savour at home too!
To learn about the best whiskeys for summer, click here.
6. Chivas Regal 25 Year Old
Chivas Regal's royal history is one for the books and is intertwined with the history of whiskey. Chivas Regal 25 Years Old is a delicious blend with notes of peach and almond. It is rich and nutty on the nose, with notes of malt, berry fruits, liquorice, and raspberries. The finish is earthy, with a hint of butterscotch, buttery, soft, and gentle on the palate. The beautiful thing about this whiskey is that its taste in your glass today will be unique to that moment and never occur again.
7. Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7
We don't think anyone around doesn't recognise a bottle of good ol' JD. The Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 is arguably the most recognised and versatile whisky on the planet. Made of corn, rye, and malted barley; it's painstakingly filtered and mellowed drop by drop through 10 feet of sugar maple charcoal (for purity and flavour), then matured in handcrafted, charred oak barrels. The classic JD's sweet and oaky flavour has inspired drinkers to become followers! The distinctive square-shaped bottle today is the top-selling American whisky in the world. On the nose, it's syrupy brown sugar with sour raisins and green leaves. On the palate, it's sweet, with a light body and mouthfeel. There's a hint of chocolate, orange, wood, and cinnamon with chocolate orange and a lingering char finish. Having a bottle of Jack Daniel's as part of your collection is essential.
8. Dewar's 12 Year Old
Many whiskey aficionados prefer rich, creamy blends, especially in winter, and this blended whisky from Dewar's provides precisely that. Dewar's 12-Year-Old, one of the world's most awarded whiskies, is a blend of single malt and single-grain whiskey that's double aged in sherry and oak barrels. Vibrant amber colour with sweet caramel, black cherries, chocolate notes, and a whiff of floral, almond, orange peel, and smoke. On the palate, it's creamy and smooth, with a taste of caramel and a hint of smokiness. Then the flavours turn into dark cherry, vanilla, chocolate, honey, aniseed, and orange, with a buttery feel. It deserves a spot on your bar cart with its smooth, long, caramelised finish.
9. Johnnie Walker Black Label
One of the most popular and highest-selling blended whiskies globally, the Johnnie Walker Black Label brings together exquisite aromas and flavours. The luxuriant, warming whisky, with a smokey finish, is a steal. A peaty and intense drink, it combines more than 40 source whiskies to create a rich, flavourful, smooth Scotch whiskey. There are hints of vanilla on the nose, with a rich essence of tropical fruits. The taste is creamy, with toffee notes, smokey oak, and dry spice. The finish is a typical long finish of a Johnnie Walker whisky with a fruitiness and smokey flavour. This whisky is literally sweetness wrapped in smoke!
10. Royal Salute 21 Year Old The Signature Blend
Born in Speyside in 1953, Royal Salute began life as a tribute to a young Queen Elizabeth II on her coronation. It's the best-blended malt because, quite simply, it's the blended whisky that will make your heart sing. Sophisticated and opulent, the Signature Blend was created for joyous occasions. On the nose, sweet pears and citrus are balanced with the fragrance of autumn flowers. An elegant blend of vanilla and dry oak is crowned with subtle sherry notes and just a wisp of smoke. The welcome warmth of orange marmalade and fresh pears is followed by a delightful explosion of spices and hazelnut as a trace of smoke lingers on. Royal Salute 21 is the best drunk on its own, with a smidge of water or an ice cube or two, but you can also create some memorable cocktails with it.