10 whiskies you need this winter

Invest in some quality dark spirits to fight the dark winter nights

Over summer, elderflower-infused gins and fruit-filled vodkas took the world by storm, adding a spring to our spirit’s steps and bringing something new to the drinks table.

But as the days darken and we head into the bitter cold of winter, our tastes are heading back to the traditional. Whisky, a classic dark spirit and comforting tipple for this season, is back in demand – and these are the best bottles to buy this year.

Abelour 18 Year Old, £83.95

Introduced in 2008, this 18 year old is now one of the stars of Abelour’s range. Rich and chocolatey, with hints cinnamon and nutmeg, toasty oak and biscuity notes, this whisky is balanced by fresh, tangy tropical-fruit aromas.

Ardbeg Perpetuum, £94.95

Released during Feis Ile 2015 to celebrate Ardbeg’s 200th anniversary, this is a blend of old and young whisky, matured in both bourbon and sherry casks, and delivers the classic Ardbeg note of cured meats, smoke and sea spray. A real winter warmer.

Compass Box Orangerie Whisky Infusion, £38.95

A flavoured whisky from the pioneers at Compass Box, Orangerie is a Christmassy smooth Scotch whisky infused with the hand-zested peel of Navalino oranges, subtle accents of Indonesian cassia bark and Sri Lankan cloves.

Glenfiddich Malt Master's Edition, £53.75

Glenfiddich’s Malt Master Brian Kinsman was the first to double-mature a Glenfiddich whisky in two different casks. With warming, seasonal notes of oak and biscuit, this whisky has been maturedLa in traditional oak casks before finishing its maturation in sherry casks.

Lagavulin 1995 Distillers Edition, £105

Distilled in 1995, finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, and bottled in 2013, this limited Lagavulin has an extra layer of sweetness that soothes the rough edges of this dram – a smoky whisky for a winter night.

Laphroaig Lore, £77.95

Made up of whiskies aged in a combination of quarter casks, sherry casks and reused peated casks, this is a rich and classically peaty whisky with a spicy chilli bite and a long, sweet aftertaste.

Longmorn, The Distiller's Choice, £46.95

A sweet and spicy whisky with notes of ginger and toffee, Longmorn have bottled winter – bringing together some much needed heat with the traditional sweetness of seasonal food.

Macallan Rare Cask, £190

Rich and complex with notes of dark honey and dried fruit, this bridges the gap between Macallan’s famed 1824 Series and The 1824 Collection. Expect oak, milk chocolate, ginger, raisins and cinnamon on the palate.

Scapa Glansa, £40.95

This lightly smoky whisky from Scapa was aged initially in American oak before being finished in ex-peated-whisky casks. The result is fruity and creamy whisky with notes of peach, vanilla, caramel and soft smoke.

Jack Daniel's Holiday Select, £99.95

An intricate bottle, a seasonal spirit and a name you can trust. Jack Daniels’ holiday whisky is infused with the flavours of vanilla, toffee and fruit cake. It’s very sweet – and very seasonal.

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