There’s always new whisky to discover. It’s one of the great things about whisky. So as we enter a new year, embrace the diversity and try something new. These ten whiskies are all brilliant for different reasons. We’ve steered away from some of the biggest names and classic supermarket shelf brands to give the spotlight to some cracking producers.
Here’s 10 whiskies you need to try in 2024.
Bushmills is a massive name but one that probably doesn’t get the credit it deserves for its delicious brand of rich, fruity whiskey. The brand’s 16-year-old Irish single malt is aged in three different cask types: bourbon, Port and sherry, which imparts notes of fruit, nuts and spices.
The Tamdhu train is one we are fully onboard and we don’t need an excuse to talk about its sherried single malt, but we’ll take one. This is the second release of Tamdhu’s Quercus Alba Distinction series, showcasing whisky matured entirely in first-fill American oak sherry casks. If you want to compare the difference between American and European oak, this is the tastiest way to do so.
That Boutique-y Whisky Company are masters at bottling whisky you probably haven’t tasted before and that was certainly the case for us with this Danish single malt whisky from the Fary Lochan Distillery. The brand smokes its barley using nettles, making for an intriguing different flavour profile to classic peat-smoked whiskies.
From the giant Fuji Gotemba Distillery comes the brand’s signature single malt. Yes, the distillery is at the base of Mount Fuji, but there’s a lot more to it than that, as our in-depth feature on it explains. Suffice it to say, Fuji Gotemba is a brand you should acquaint yourself with and the Single Malt is a good place to start. Matured in a combination of bourbon and beer casks, this is an elegant, Scotch-style single malt.
Ephemeral is excitingly exclusive to us. That’s not the whole reason to taste it, however. It was made from New Zealand laureate barley and aged in a 200-litre virgin French oak barrel for at least five years before it was finished in a single New Zealand Pinot Noir cask. It was then bottled at a cask strength of 57% ABV and is presented with its natural colour, and without chill-filtration. It’s a super interesting single malt that will introduce you to Scapegrace, a name you’ll soon get to know even better.
From brothers Ally and Gordon Stevenson, who boast 20+ years of industry experience, Turntable blended Scotch whiskies is a range that has really caught our eye. That’s not just because of the striking music-themed labels, but also the quality of the whisky. Every expression is left to marry for a minimum of three months before bottling and is all non-chill-filtered, natural colour, and 46% ABV in strength, and each marriage also boasts some very interesting distilleries and maturation profiles. Take Turntable Track 02: Firestarter Whisky. It’s a top blend of 40% Caol Ila virgin oak barrel, 23% Cameronbridge virgin oak barrel, 22% Benrinnes Chinkapin barrel, and 15% Invergordon virgin oak barrel, it’s a fresh and sweet and gooey dram with campfire smoke, vanilla, toffee apple, and pineapple.
Beautiful Fruit 8 Year Old is top-value Irish whiskey. An elegant eight-year-old single grain, it boasts a beautifully fruit-forward, estery character with a tropical tang. At this price, mixing is a real possibility with this one, and it works superbly in many a cocktail.
A true mix of sherry and Scotch, as Henry explains here, this blended whisky was distilled and aged in Scotland and then shipped to Jerez for a finishing in PX sherry casks. Bottled at 41.3% ABV, he describes it as a “heady decadent spirit”, with “something like 12 grams of sugar per litre in the standard bottling, all PX sherry that had soaked into the wood. It actually tastes a lot like a Brandy de Jerez”. Really interesting stuff, this.
The perfect blend which you’ll never feel guilty for cracking open. This corker from Compass Box was made with 33% Lowland grain whisky and 67% malt whisky from the Highlands, Speyside and Islay, aged in a combination of first-fill and refill bourbon barrels and first-fill Sherry casks, with a small portion being finished in new French oak. It’s cheap enough to mix liberally and complex enough to enjoy neat.
We went deep into the Scottish Highlands to find this tasty single malt from Strathdearn. We love finding hidden gems for you and this year you need to embrace single cask and the singular, if you haven’t already. Just 324 bottles were filled from a barrique for this one, so don’t hang around.