February's whiskies of the month - love stories and food pairings

With romance in the air this month, our whiskies of the month, chosen by our staff, have a theme around love, whisky and food pairings. The team have done a little research and found some true love stories, linked to our whiskies and distilleries. We hope you enjoy the read and find the time to try out our chosen whisky and food matches.

Lowlands - Lindores MCDXCIV

If you are on the look out for a wedding venue this February, then Lindores Abbey Distillery stands out as an exceptional venue, blending the charm of tradition with contemporary allure. The striking juxtaposition is particularly noteworthy, given that the modern distillery now graces the very ground where the first written reference to Scotch whisky emerged in 1494. It’s a delightful marriage of history and modernity, making Lindores Abbey a unique and captivating choice for celebrating your special day.

Food pairing: Dark chocolate

Highlands - Ben Nevis 10 year old

Nestled majestically in the shadow of the mountain, the Ben Nevis distillery proudly belongs to Nikka, a venerable name in Japanese whisky with Scottish roots! At the forefront of this rich legacy is Masataka Taketsuru, hailed as the godfather of Japanese whisky. His passion and love for whisky began in Scotland where he moved in 1918, studying and travelling widely immersing himself in he world of Scotch.  Whilst here is met his future wife, Rita Cowan – a marriage and partnership in work and life.  They moved to Japan establishing Nikka, one of the oldest Japanese whisky companies which owes much of its success to Taketsuru’s foundation and unwavering dedication.  Their story adds a touch of romance and legend to the spirited history of Ben Nevis and Nikka.

Food pairing: Smoked salmon

Speyside - Singleton 15 year old

In the spirit of spreading love, let’s not forget to raise a glass to all the wonderful singletons out there! Our tribute takes us to the charming village of Dufftown in the northeast of Scotland, where The Singleton comes to life. This delightful spirit undergoes a maturation journey in oak casks, patiently waiting for a minimum of 15 years to achieve its exceptional character. So here’s to celebrating both the complexity of love and the nuanced flavours of The Singleton. Cheers to love, whether shared or savoured solo!

Food pairing: Charcuterie meats

Kilchoman Sanaig

Embarking on a journey to Islay is like stepping into a romance novel which comes to life. Picture-perfect sunsets paint the skies along the stunning west coast, while the whiskies boast an unparalleled richness and robustness. For a truly enchanting experience, sip on a dram of Kilchoman Sanaig. This delightful whisky, aged in a harmonious blend of bourbon and sherry casks, tantalizes the palate with notes of sweetness, spice, and just the right hint of smoke. So, let’s raise a glass to love and the unforgettable flavors of Islay! Cheers to romantic adventures and delicious drams!

Food pairing: Applewood smoked cheddar

Blend - Dewars 15 year old

In the annals of noteworthy friendships, the bond between Sir Thomas Lipton (Tea Tom) , the tea magnate extraordinaire, and our protagonist and founder of this blend, Sir Tommy Dewar (Whisky Tom) was nothing short of legendary. The friends were part of the illustrious ‘world’s most celebrated trio of bachelors’ alongside Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Like Dewar, Lipton’s rose from the family grocery business, in his case in the Gorbals, to a global business magnate – it’s a tale of self-made success that echoes with inspiration.

Their camaraderie between the two Toms, steeped in shared interests, mutual respect, and a generous sprinkle of humour, became the stuff of legends. Yet, at its core, their friendship emanated a mutual warmth that transcended time. To honour this extraordinary connection, let’s raise a glass of Dewar’s 15 year old – a gesture as rich and timeless as the bond between these two titans of success and friendship. Here’s to shared tales, mutual warmth, and the spirited legacy of Sir Thomas Lipton and his baronial whisky compatriot. Cheers!

Food pairing: Chocolate mousse

Luxury - Glenmorangie Palo Cortado

In a twist of fate, Gordon Lennox Smart, Glenmorangie’s longest-serving distillery manager, found love in the most unexpected way. Born in Dufftown in 1895, Smart’s journey led him to Glenmorangie distillery in Tain, where he worked alongside his father. His life took a dramatic turn when, at 21, he volunteered for the Royal Flying Corps in 1916. A plane crash in 1917, while stationed in Lincolnshire, left him with severe injuries.

As fate would have it, Smart’s recovery brought him to a hospital in Glasgow, where he crossed paths with Margaret Wooley, a nurse with a connection to Tain. Margaret’s parents owned the Royal Hotel, near Glenmorangie distillery. Love blossomed as she cared for him, and after the war, they returned to Tain. In 1920, Smart assumed the role of Glenmorangie distillery manager. The couple married in 1922, with the Royal Hotel hosting their reception. Living at the distillery with their three children, Smart’s tenure saw a strategic shift in 1959, making Glenmorangie a widely bottled single malt, propelling it to become Scotland’s top-selling malt. A crash led to love, and love shaped the destiny of Glenmorangie.

For those special moments, we’d wholeheartedly suggest treating yourself to Glenmorangie Palo Cortado.  Sought after, as the rarest type of sherry, this is the first time that Glenmorangie have used these casks.  It’s a wonderfully complex and nutty dram, layered with depths of fruity notes, milk-chocolate, and sweet spice. Cheers to sipping in style!

Food pairing: Cheesecake