Magazine article The Spectator

Top of the Drops - Jonathan Ray's Whisky Choice

Magazine article The Spectator

Top of the Drops - Jonathan Ray's Whisky Choice

Article excerpt

I came to malt whisky late and have been making up for lost time ever since.

As a result my top five changes on a weekly basis. There is just so much out there to enjoy, and my favourite is almost certainly that dram I've yet to have. Nevertheless, I'm proud to present the findings of my latest researches:

and herewith declare my current top five, in ascending price order.

Benromach Wood Finish - Pedro Ximenez 45%vol (£34.99)

I've always had a soft spot for Benromach, the smallest working distillery on Speyside, brought out of mothballs in 1993 by Gordon & McPhail.

With only two people in production, it's small scale, but what they produce is magical. There's the Organic, the Sassicaia Wood Finish and this, my favourite, full of rum, raisin and cinnamon thanks to 30 months in old PX sherry barrels.

Glenkinchie 12 Year Old 43% (£40)

One of three remaining Lowland distilleries, Glenkinchie is Edinburgh's own, barely 20 miles away.

It was my chum Dave Broom who first put me on to it while explaining his Whisky Flavour Map, and I was smitten straight away by Glenkinchie's light floral character and seductive sweet creaminess. Best served with a cube of ice as a bracing aperitif. …

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