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« Well-dressed whisky | Main | Spirits with soul »

Raise a glass

Ian Buxton, author of new book 101 Whiskies To Try Before You Die, tells Brummell what his desert-island dram would be...

As a whisky writer I’m not supposed to have favourites – and picking just one is like choosing between my children – but, I do love Orkney and the very special spirit from distillers Highland Park.

This most traditional Kirkwall distillery dates back to the late 18th century and they still stick to most of the old ways. The result is an extraordinary whisky combining power and delicacy, great balance and huge depths of flavour and finish that you’ll never tire of exploring. I love everything they do!

But my ‘desert-island whisky’ (if you insist on making me choose) is Highland Park’s 40-year-old. They do now offer an older version but for the combination of price and quality you’ll have to go a very, very long way to beat this zinger of a dram.

At £899 a bottle it’s not cheap – but trust me: this really is a whisky to try before you die and probably the best that Scotland can offer. Keep this for special friends and special occasions, but do drink it. If you’re looking for the ‘X’ factor in whisky stop right here and savour something truly special.

Highland Park contributes four of my top whiskies – all featured in my new book 101 Whiskies To Try Before You Die. This is about accessible whisky for real people, cutting out the fancy packaging and the over-priced, obscure and hyped-by-marketing.

To buy 101 Whiskies To Try Before You Die by Ian Buxton (Hachette Scotland) at the exclusive price of £10.99 (RRP £12.99) including free post and packing (UK only). Call 01235 827702 or email and quote ‘BRUMMELL’ — lines are open Monday-Friday, 9-5pm. Payment by debit/credit card or cheque/postal order made payable to Bookpoint Ltd.