The perfect Scotch for Independence Day
We’ve taken a look back at a blog piece written by our former bar manager Ian on eight Scotch whiskies which connect Scotland and the USA.
July is a busy month for our friends in the United States of America. Not only does the USA celebrate their independence on the 4th of this month but they also have their very own National Scotch Day which is on the 27th! So, to help you celebrate, our bar manager, Ian has picked out eight different Scotch whiskies for our American friends to enjoy throughout the month!
Lowlands - Glenkinchie 12 year old
Starting us off in our Lowland region is the classic Glenkinchie 12 year old. This whisky is matured in ex-bourbon casks (made from American Oak) which helps to impart light and sweet aromas of honey, vanilla, and coconut. Glenkinchie also has the typical citrus and grassy characteristics of the Lowlands.
Highlands - Highland Park 15 year old
Highland Park is the most northerly distillery in Scotland, located on the Orkney Isles: lying west of Norway, the bottlings proudly celebrate their central position in the Viking world. Recent evidence suggests that the Vikings may have been the first Europeans to set foot on North American soil, half a millennium before Columbus! You will find Highland Park 15 year old to have notes of toasted cinnamon, mellow peat smoke, warm vanilla and heather-rich honey.
Speyside - Aultmore 12 year old
The Aultmore distillery and its single malt is less well known than some others on this list, however it is owned by John Dewar and Sons who are best known for producing one of the most popular Scotch whiskies in the USA. Aultmore is a hidden gem contributing to the gentle character of the Dewar’s blend. It is a classic example of a Speyside single malt so expect lots of orchard fruitiness and an intense sweetness.
Campbeltown – Glen Scotia 15 year old
The Campbeltown region of Scotland has a strong historical connection to the United States. Before the era of prohibition, Campbeltown’s main export market was the USA. Of course, this meant that it was hit hard by the prohibition era with more than 30 distilleries closing. Delightfully Glen Scotia is one of the few remaining distilleries on this remote peninsula.
The 15 year old expression is fully matured in American Oak casks which will provide a lot of vanilla sweetness, alongside the typical Campbeltown characteristic of sea spray.
Islay – Ardbeg Corryvreckan
Single Malts from Islay can be described as an “acquired taste” by many due to their characteristic smokiness or “peat-reek” which can be a bit too much for some people. Our visitors from the USA (from my experience behind the bar) love the peaty Ardbeg.
The Corryvreckan is intense (bottled at 57.1% abv = 115-proof) just like the whirlpool it’s named after. Expect lots of smoke, pepper, seaweed, and medicinal notes from this one!
Blended Scotch – Chivas Regal 15 year old
America has been a huge market for Scotch whisky for many decades. The story goes that American troops, who were based in Europe and the UK during WWII acquired a taste for Scotch whisky and brought it back with them when they returned home. One of the brands that cemented itself as one of the most prestigious Scotch whiskies was Chivas Regal, and it is still just as highly regarded today.
The 15 year old is incredibly smooth and fruity with flavours of poached pears intermingled with butterscotch and caramel toffees all rolled up in a wonderful velvety texture.
Liqueur - Drambuie
Liqueurs are immensely popular worldwide but Drambuie has a strong footing in France and the USA. The actual recipe for this liqueur is a closely guarded secret. (In fact, only three people in the world are trusted with the recipe). All we know is that it’s a blend of Scotch Whisky, spices, herbs, and honey. Drambuie is the sweetest thing we have on this list, but you can also expect a balance of spices like anise, nutmeg, and saffron.
Deluxe – Glenfarclas 25 year old
Glenfarclas holds a special place in whisky drinkers’ hearts as an independent family owned distillery having been owned and managed by the Grant’s family for six generations! It makes sense to be drinking a whisky from an independent, family owned distillery on the 4th of July!
Glenfarclas 25 year old is a classic example of a Speyside single malt. It is exclusively matured in Oloroso sherry casks which means you can expect lots of dried fruits and spices, alongside a deep woodiness due to the whisky being so old. This is a truly indulgent whisky to treat yourself.
Whether you are celebrating Independence Day on the 4th of July, or celebrating our national drink on the 27th, we certainly hope you decide to do so with something from this list! All these expressions are available in our Amber bar, and our MacIntyre bar. Slàinte Mhath!