The Scots will always be given a special welcome in New York City – because let’s face it, how could we not love a people whose gents can rock a skirt while drinking us all under the bloody table?
So, as 2017’s New York Tartan Week once again sees the our Scottish friends throwing parties all over town (the Tartan Day Parade is Saturday, the 8th, this year lorded over by Sons of Anarchy star Tommy Flanagan; the official Tartan Day is tomorrow, the 6th), we consider one of our favorite subjects: whisky. After all, as we have come to know, a rare, exquisite Scotch, after a few sips, may actually bring on various stages of epiphany.
Here is our insider guide to the very best.
Striking masculine design of both box and bottle, the latter adorned with a silver amulet, to decidedly elegant effect. Smokey, fruity and rich, with prominent tasting notes of sherry, chocolate and anise and a distinctly oaky finish.
Estimated price: $2,750
Tobacco, leather, coal on the nose—so it’s particularly, uniquely stimulating to the senses. Indeed, you’ll get cinnamon, honey and ginger on the palette, with a long, dry finish. Different.
Estmated price: $3,800
You know that when a distiller describes the nose with words like “velvet sateen,” you’re about to experience something ethereally life-altering. A palette of rich wood spices, cedar and violets leads to a long, rapturous finish. The crystal decanter is a work of art—much like what it holds.
Estimated price: $3,900
It won’t win any prizes for bottle design. But the long maturation in sherry casks produces an incredibly refined smoothness. Just 1,347 bottles were made; and it’s meant for an exceptionally proficient palette, with its unusual pomegranate and cilantro nose, and tasting notes of malt, molasses and, of course, sherry.
Estimated price: $4,000
Smokey but sweet, it has hints of honey and spice. Aged in both bourbon and sherry casks. Complex and creamy, with tasting notes of vanilla oak, cinnamon and nutmeg. There are supposedly only 150 bottles in the world, so figure at least $1,500 of the pricetag is pure bragging rights.
Estimated price: $4,500
Considered a pinnacle, and priced quite accordingly. Notes of espresso, treacle and complex spices. Aged in a single sherry cask. For aesthetes, an absolutely stunning bottle design.
Estimated price: $17,000
Post Holiday Travel: Drinking Scotch in Edinburgh
For total immersion in the culture of Scottish whisky, this exclusive international club sources the finest and the rarest, which can be sipped in its elegant Members’ Rooms – as well as in one of its partner bars from Glasgow to London. Or just pop in to The Dining Room at 28 Queen Street, its highly regarded restaurant (open to non-members), where you can pair the best Scotch with lobster canneloni and twice baked Stilton soufflé.
The veritable flagship of the incomparable Rocco Forte hotels group, The Balmoral has hosted everyone from The Stones to Sean Connery to J.K. Rowling. The best rooms have glorious views over Princes Street Gardens to the castle. But you’ll want to spend most of your time settled into a plush sofa in Scotch, the hotel’s classy, dedicated whisky bar with more than 500 on offer.