Underrated Whiskies

With all the whisky on offer at the moment it can be hard to know where to look, particularly as many of the classic distillery bottles are being rebranded or joined by numerous no age statements. That’s what this round up is for, our pick of ten whiskies that have probably overlooked but need to try. Who knows your next favourite whisky might be in the round up

Benromach 2010 Peat Smoke Sherry

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4.5 out of 5

5 reviews

Benromach is a distillery that I encounter often enough and while it's generally solid it's never turned my head before, until now. The Benromach 2010 Peat Smoke Sherry is an outstanding whisky, sweet, smoky, sherried and unbelievably drinkable. This one turned up in a blind tasting and had half the attendees reaching for their phones at the big reveal. There are certainly better whiskies out there, there are absolutely cheaper bottles on offer but if you're looking to try something new, something a little different and something done particularly well then grab a bottle.

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£61.9

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Benrinnes 15 Year Old Flora & Fauna

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4.1 out of 5

32 reviews

Part of the easily recognisable Flora & Fauna series from Diageo, this 15-year-old Speyside single malt is marketed as a 'partially triple-distilled' as they worked out that their low wine cycling sytem works out at nearly 2.7 complete distillations. Catchy marketing eh! Regardless it's an understated gem, the nose is floral and doughy with toffee notes, the palate is sweet, rounded with just a hint of peat and big malt buscuit flavours. An incredibly easy drinking whisky that disappears all to fast, happily as part of the F&F range it's not likely to run out anytime soon.

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£51.71

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Ledaig 10 Year Old

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3.9 out of 5

223 reviews

Ledaig, meaning 'safe haven' in Gaelic, and pronounced “lea-chick”, is the name given to peated whiskies distilled at Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, an unusual combination that pairs the best parts of highland style distillation with the spicye, maratime peat style found among the better Island distilleries. The distilleries output is relatively small and their peated output even smaller so this one doesn't get the attention of its competitors but is starting to make waves, particularly among the single cask line ups.

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£38.9

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Dailuaine 16 Year Old Flora & Fauna

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4.4 out of 5

20 reviews

Dailuaine 16 is the perfect example of why the Flora & Fauna series is needed, Diagio has an absurd number of whisky distilleries and most of their production goes into blends. The result is that these whiskies are viewed as workhorses and marketing is focussed on the heavyweights. Incredible drams like Dailuaine get a chance to shine, sadly this remains the only semi-official bottling regularly available. This is the 'Christmas cake' whisky, sherry matured with rich friut notes and winter spice, which explains why it's been around for over 25 years already. How no one has noticed this one remails the only mystery, except how my bottle level keeps dropping so fast

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£57.5

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Craigellachie 13 Year Old

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4.2 out of 5

46 reviews

Craigellachie 13 might have the worst packaging still on the shelves, it screams 1980s and has so much going on it's hard to know where to look or what to read. The whisky inside is the exact opposite, pleasantly smokey, very fruity and a Speyside dram to the core. As Craigellachie is one of only a handful of distilleries still using wormtub condensors this offering shares the savory, almost meaty taste of Mortlach.This whisky can be somewhat divisive due to the banana oil note wafting through but should be tried by everyone. Let it sit for a few minutes though, this whisky really opens up in the glass

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£44.99

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Ben Nevis 10 Year Old

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4.4 out of 5

27 reviews

Ben Nevis is a distillery in desperate need of a branding overhaul and some advertising budget that's not likely to arrive. Due to a bizarre lack of legal restriction in the Japanese home market the bulk of Ben Nevis stock is actually used as part of (the distilleries owner) Nikka's range of blended Japanese whisky. Very few official bottlings, beyond the standard Ben Nevis 10, ever reach the market and this is tragic. The distillery is known for a rather aromatic malty funk, tropical fruits, and hints of coffee and dark chocolate, if you run into the ten at cask strength grab me a bottle.

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£46.95

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Redbreast 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

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4.3 out of 5

351 reviews

Redbreast 12 has been around for years and only recently seems to be getting a shove in terms of marketing and wider awareness among whisky fans. Another output of the massive Middleton distillery complex Redbreast 12 is a Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. The single pot still style emerged back in 1682 when the government introduced a tax on malted barley, in a clever cost cutting measure distilleries started using a mix of malted and unmalted barley in their whiskies, the result was a spicier, creamier grain taste that's sometimes compared to an older Rye. Redbreast 12 is a fantastic, and more importantly affordable example of this. The 15 and 21 are both exceptional whiskies but neither can match the 12 year old for it's unique grainy notes

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£35.99

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Booker’s True Barrel Bourbon

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4.5 out of 5

27 reviews

Something of a hipster whiskey Bookers was doing small batch cask strength long before it was cool, however their approach to marketing is put all their effort into making great whiskey and hope people notice. For the most part the liquid goes completely unsung and uncelebrated but not completely unnoticed as each batch seems to sell out, eventually. This is a bourbon that challenges expectations and shows what can be achieved even within the somewhat restrictive Bourbon legeslation. Look for stewed apple, sour cherry, toasted vanilla, chocolate and a long peppery finish

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£59.95

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Deanston 12 Year Old Unchillfiltered

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4 out of 5

172 reviews

It's hard to pick a favourite Deanston whisky, the distillery release a veritable cornucopia of phenomenal and unusual dreams, virgin oaks, spanish casks and Fino finishes, ultimately though these tend to flitter in and out of our lives while the 12 year old is always there for us. Now bottled at 46.3% the 12 year old is also non-chill filtered leaving more of the organic barley notes. Look for creamy oats, walnut, marmalade and toffee. If this whisky has one fault it's the finish which disappears rather abruptly

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£37.9

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Rock Oyster Blended Malt Whisky

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4.5 out of 5

20 reviews

Rock Oyster Blended Malt Whisky is the most maritime whisky I've had the pleasure of trying. It's hard to describe the sweet, smokey briney, dryness without refgerence to Ardbeg though I'm told by reliable sources that's not the main source of the maritme note. It's definately where the spinach comes in though. If this whisky sounds bizarre it's because it is, but wonderfully so. I favour this over the older 18 year old primarily for the coastal notes which are more pronounced here. If you're a fan of Talisker, Ardbeg or the old peated Jura offerings then this is one you want to try.

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£35.95

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