EXPERT VIEW: WHISKY

HEAD OF DISTILLING AND WHISKY CREATION AT GLENMORANGIE

An exceptional malt whisky is an essential part of Burns Night celebrations to toast the life writings of Scotland’s best-known poet and to pair with traditional Burns Night supper dishes. Whisky is often enjoyed throughout the meal to toast the haggis, the memory of Robert Burns and the lassies (ladies) who would have historically prepared the haggis.

The best single malt Scotch whisky is made from barley and mineral rich spring water which is fermented, distilled and then matured in wooden casks from which the liquid gains its delicate flavours and intriguing layers of aromas and taste. Glenmorangie chooses to mature its whiskies in ex-bourbon casks, renowned for their diverse flavour profiles, for at least ten years. Whisky is best enjoyed neat in its purest form where the complexity of the flavours and aromas is at its fullest intensity. However, adding a little water will soften the alcohol, causing a change in the texture and bouquet of the whisky and reveal further layers of aromas and complexity. Adding ice closes down the top notes that are released with water, accentuating instead the base flavours from the oak barrel. A simple good quality tumbler enables the aromas to be released either before or after adding water.

For a classic delicate and deliciously complex single malt, Glenmorangie Original is a ten-year-old elegant and floral whisky, produced by marrying the delicate spirit that emerges from Scotland's tallest stills with American white oak casks. For those wanting to try something special, Glenmorangie Artein (£69.99, The Whisky Exchange) has just been released - an assemblage of 15 and 21 year old single malts, extra matured in Super Tuscan wine casks with flavours of ripe apricots, peaches and plums. With its long finish and high notes of zesty, lemon sherbet and a flourish of creamy cappuccino, it is an extra special serve for Burns Night.