The storm clouds are gathering in the north and the winds carry the battle cry of the norsemen, it can mean only one thing... Highland Park have a new release.
Elsewhere in this months staff picks things are a little more relaxed with an old fashioned blended scotch, a beautiful Japanese malt and a superb scottish grain whisky.
And so onto the rest of the picks...
Staff Picks - our choices for this month
Nikka Yoichi 15 Year Old
A beautiful, well balanced and wonderfully understated Japanese single malt from Nikka's coastal distillery, Yoichi. The Yoichi core range, all subtly peated, also includes 10, 12 and 20 year old expressions. This 15 year old probably offers the best value for money with notes of freshly peeled rambutan, root ginger, cocoa and molasses. Stupendously malty.
£81.13 at www.masterofmalt.com
Highland Park Loki 15 Year Old Valhalla Collection
Highland Park rarely put a foot wrong and Loki - named after a viking warlord - is no exception. The nose is quite delicate with sweet malty notes, honey, heather and fruity aromas of peach and orange. These are joined eventually by a little menthol. A pleasing nose but its on the palate that things get going. A spicy, extremely lively, delivery that almost fizzes with notes of ginger, zesty fruit, some astringent dry smoke and a touch of salt. Much more intense than the nose suggests. Another excellent Highland Park.
£120.00 at www.thewhiskyexchange.com
Invergordon - Batch 1 (Boutique-y Whisky Co)
A rich, complex grain whisky from Invergordon distillery in the North East Highlands of Scotland. This is a release by the in vogue bottlers - 'That Boutique-y Whisky Company' - and has a great little illustration of a Coffey Still on the label which wouldn't look out of place in a mad inventors sketch book. An rich combination fruity, spicy flavours this will be a big hit for lovers of old grain whiskies and well aged Bourbons.
£59.95 at www.masterofmalt.com
Smokin' Blended Scotch
A new, high quality, yet accessibly priced, blended scotch whisky from Duncan Taylor. Their intent was to create a blend which echoed the flavour profile of the great blends of days gone by. The result is a whisky with a strong peaty backbone augmented by orange peel, citrus and toffee notes. Rich, robust and very satisfying.
£25.99 at www.thegreenwellystop.co.uk