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The Beauty of Whisky

Writer: Imogen Wright

"Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough." - Mark Twain

Never before has a truer word been spoken but to counteract that we have common misconceptions of whisky such as the age of whisky dictates the price, whiskies all taste the same or whisky is for men.

Single Malt: Whisky made from malted barley from a single distillery.
Blended: Whisky made by blending whiskies together, either barley or wheat from different distilleries.
Peated: Whisky made using some grain that has been smoked over a peat fire.

One of the biggest misconceptions of whisky is that age dictates the price. True or false? False.

How rare a product is impacts the price but due to the correlation between age and rarity, most people believe that the older the whisky, the harder the hit on the pocket. Moral of the story? A stunning whisky doesn't have to cost a bomb and here at C.Gars, we have an ever growing range of whiskies which you don't need to re-mortgage your house to buy.

Below is a guide with handpicked whiskies selected especially for those not wanting to fork out a fortune for a decent bottle of whisky.

Balblair 10 Year Old Macphail's Collection Whisky 70cl 43% - £37.99

A 10 Year Old Highlander, from the Balblair distillery - one of the Highland's finest distilleries. Located in Edderton (formerly known as "the parish of peats") and bottled by independent bottlers Gordon & Macphail. The fantastic Balblair distillery tends to produce whiskies whish have character way beyond their years and this Balblair 10 Year Old is a shining example of just that. Matured in American oak hogsheads, this Balblair was bottled with an ABV of 43%.

Nose: Relatively light with notes of dry wood. Dried fruits, a peppery cream and a hint of refreshing zest is also present.
Palate: A touch of warming winter spices perk things up nicely with a woody dryness still in evidence.
Finish: Again, unsurprisingly woody with a drying aspect but certainly not unpleasant with hints of fruit lingering.

If you've got a few extra pounds to spare, how about taking a look at:

Lagavulin 12 Year Old 2016 Special Release Whisky 70cl 57.2% - £89.99

The 2016 Special Release bottling of Lagavulin 12 Year Old Whisky, celebrates the distillery's 200th anniversary. From the essential Islay distillery, this Lagavulin is fourteenth in a series of special 12 Year Old releases from the original distillers stocks. Aged in refill American oak hogsheads - bottles of this stunning whisky are of limited availability worldwide.

Nose: Immediate power as smouldering peat is backed by fresh, clean notes. Leave it some time and barbecued meats, maple syrup and traces of pine appear.
Palate: Surprisingly mild, smooth and sweet with balancing salt. Intensity soon builds with fruity chocolate notes at first before warmth and smoke hits with cereal, mint and smoke.
Finish: Long and refined. At first, smoothly cooling as this then warms. Pungent and smoky with an appetising bitter edge.

Springbank 1994 Duncan Taylor Single Malt Scotch Whisky 70cl 50% - £345

A 20 Year Old Single Malt from the much-adored Springbank distillery located in the Campbeltown region. Bottled as part of the Duncan Taylor Single range, this stunning whisky was distilled by Springbank in November 1994. Bottled at 50% ABV, this Springbank comes presented in its original packaging - an original Duncan Taylor presented wooden box.

Nose: A menthol hint with sugar, followed by a combination of delicious fresh fruits - golden apples and citrus.
Palate: Peat is quickly joined by more fruit notes, perhaps apricots? Salt comes in towards the end of the palate with it revealing dried fruits.
Finish: Slightly dry with elements of the nose and palate, such as fruit and peat which slowly fade.

As the above tasting notes show, whisky doesn't all just taste the same. The taste of the whisky depends on a variety of things from aging process to the different regions, for example Islay whiskies tend to be heavily peated whereas Speyside whiskies are thought to be the country's most complex and are known for their sweet, elegant flavours and aromas.

Nearly a third of whisky drinkers in the UK are female and an increasing number of women are being turned onto the wonderful world of whisky. While some of the flavourings in whisky can be delicate with floral hints and refreshing fruits which can immediately be picked up upon whereas with triple-distilled whiskies, the end result is a very fresh whisky, something which appeals to women.

Whisky needn't cost a fortune, only if you let it and here at C.Gars we have a wide range of affordable whiskies for those on a budget or if you're feeling adventurous, we have a great selection of rare whiskies which aren't for the faint hearted!