Whether you are celebrating or commiserating rugby is always a wonderful occasion for supporters from the six nations to get together…over a good dram of course!
With the strong “Auld Alliance” we are spoilt for choice with connections between the world of whisky and France. From French investors and owners to elegant French wine cask finishes, there’s a little bit of Gallic charm behind many of our drams.
Try Speyside’s gem Aberlour A’Bundh, it’s widely loved in France as it’s distributed by Pernod Ricard, or go for a peaty Islay with Ardbeg Uigedail whose French associations are with no less than Louis Vuitton!
Italy’s love affair with Scotch started in the 1960’s when they discovered a passion for single malts (rather than the blends which were far more popular at the time), and in 2006 an Italian company acquired what was traditionally Italy’s favourite Scotch by far, Glen Grant.
Sample a dram from one of Scotland’s smaller islands from Isle of Raasay distillery whose pot stills were produced in Tuscany. The partnership has also included providing Tuscan wine barrels to mature their whisky.
A healthy and good-natured competition has run through the whisky / whiskey world for centuries. Both nations are forever grateful to the medieval missionary monks who brought distilling to Celtic shores on both sides of the Irish Sea.
Get started with Scotland’s rare triple distilled whisky from Auchentoshan – established by an Irish family, here they use the Irish triple distillation rather than double distillation in Scotland. (You know the joke “In Scotland we get it right the second time”).
Wales has the daffodil, Scotland has the thistle. Wales has Bara Brith and Scotland the Bannock. Wales has the dragon and Scotland the Loch Ness monster. Plenty of parallels, and there are certainly plenty of Scotch whiskies with floral, dried fruit, and rich malt flavours. Be wise, a couple of drams is plenty, any more risks the sighting of those mythical creatures!
With a floral inspiration like no other you might be lucky to find a dram of Glenmorangie’s special collaboration on this 18 year old edition – notes of honeysuckle and sweet pea are in the official tasting notes, but if you try hard we are sure you will pick up daffodil too.
If you are looking for rich, fruit cake aromas look no further than the highly sought after Dailuaine 16 years from their Flora and Fauna range, giving a nice nod to those daffodils!
The gloves are off – for centuries England stuck to producing gin and Scotland whisky, but the past decade has seen plenty of Scottish gin and a good few English whisky distilleries. We’re always respectful of our neighbours’ endeavours, but it will never be Scotch!
Try one of the Lowland distilleries of the close to the border such as Annandale – for a Scotch within striking distance of England.
There’s no contest about how to choose a whisky for rugby. Murrayfield, the home of Scottish Rugby is a close neighbour of North British Distillery, established in 1885 by a group of independent distillers to create some of the best loved blended Scotch whiskies that we still know and love today. It’s a joint venture between two of Scotland’s biggest distillers.
To unashamedly go for some of the very best-known drams try a Famous Grouse or Johnnie Walker Black Label.