It’ll be a very merry Christmas if you get your hands on some of these brilliant new tipples hitting the market just in time for Christmas.
December is full of festive fun, and while Christmas dinner is on everyone’s mind, it’s important not to forget about the drinks you’ll be pairing it with, or enjoying after.
From exclusive new limited-edition whisky expressions, to ways to decorate your Christmas tree (we’re looking at you rum baubles), not to mention Christmas stocking ideas and unique festive-flavoured gins, ciders and wines, there’s definitely something worth popping under the tree in our latest round up.
Explore the wealth of talent the Scottish drinks industry boasts with just some of these delicious bottlings.
Ben Bracken’s limited edition 16-year-old Islay for Lidl
This premium single malt whisky is bound to put seasoned and novice whisky drinkers in a good mood. At a price point of £34.99, this Ben Bracken 16-year-old Islay Scotch whisky and whisky expert Blair Bowman has dubbed the single malt “An incredibly moreish dram, perfect for the colder winter months”.
Standing at 43% ABV in a 70cl bottle, it is a rich and complex whisky with a long finish and boasts flavours of tropical fruits, sea salt and smoky driftwood according to Blair.
Paul McQuade, head of buying spirits at Lidl GB, said “Bringing such an exclusive whisky at this incredible price is testament to our commitment to offer premium Scottish products to our shoppers at market leading prices.
“This 16-year-old single malt from Islay joins our long list of award-winning Ben Bracken whiskies, which offers everything from excellent value Blended Scotch Whiskies to premium Single Malts. We are expecting this to fly off the shelves as it makes an excellent gift for any whisky drinker.”
The whisky is available in all local Lidl stores while stocks last.
Six Degrees North
Launching later this week, Laurencekirk-based brewery Six Degrees North will reveal its new brew, We’re Not All In This Together. The Kveik New England IPA uses kveik yeast during fermentation which gives it its full-bodied, hazy mouthfeel. Dry hopped with Amarillo, Mosaic and El Dorado, expect stone fruit flavours of mango and pear developing with a subtle spicy finish.
The bees is available online and from all of the Six Degrees North bars across Scotland. A bottle is priced at £2.91 while a case (12 x 330ml) comes in at £35.
Fierce Spirits adds to agave spirit range
Aberdeen’s Fierce Beer‘s spirits arm of the business has launched a new agave-based spirit to its already growing offering.
Xocolatl (pronounced show-kwa-til) is inspired by the brewers Very Big Moose imperial chocolate stout beer and features cacao, vanilla and cinnamon bark which gives it the well-known flavour profile associated with the chocolatey, rich beer.
On the palate expect bitter dark chocolate with warming spice and sweet caramel. It is also said to work well in a boozy hot chocolate!
The bottle goes on sale at 5pm tonight and can be purchased in the Aberdeen bar on Exchequer Row, or online. It is priced at £27.50 for a 50cl.
Kingsbarns Distillery’s Reserve 2020 – STR Barriques
The first release of Kingsbarns Distillery Reserve range, this limited release cask strength single malt whisky uses Fife-grown barley and is matured in shaved, toasted and recharred red wine barriques from Portugal.
Priced at £64.95, this whisky is spicy, citrusy, and has been matured exclusively in STR barriques and bottled at a bold 59.8% ABV.
The casks boast rich flavours of sticky treacle and orange zest, sweet cherries and spiced damson jam, with a sweet ginger-spice on the finish.
For a winter warmer, Kingsbarns Distillery Reserve 2020 makes a perfect dram to enjoy.
It is available exclusively from the Fife-based distillery and on their website www.kingsbarnsdistillery.com.
Glen Moray Distillery launched – Sauternes Cask Matured
Sticking to the whisky theme, this Glen Moray number is the launch release of the distillery’s new Warehouse 1 Collection.
Glen Moray’s Sauternes Cask Matured expression is packed with festive flavours of dark chocolate, caramel, Seville orange and spice, having matured in Warehouse for 14 years, exclusively in five sweet Sauternes wine casks.
The resulting 59.6% whisky is a luxurious mix of Glen Moray’s smooth, light Speyside style with the aromatic, honeyed sweetness of France’s most famous dessert wine.
Sauternes Cask Matured is the first in a new collection of eclectic, small batch releases named in honour of Warehouse 1: the Elgin distillery’s blue-fronted dunnage warehouse where an adventurous assortment of interesting and innovative casks are tucked away.
Distilled and bottled in 2006, this new expression is exclusive to the UK market and, with just 1,248 bottles available, is set to be sought after as a Christmas treat for whisky lovers.
Glen Moray’s head of whisky creation Dr Kirstie McCallum said: “We’re very proud to be releasing our Sauternes Cask Matured expression in time for the festive season – and as the first whisky in our new Warehouse 1 Collection. This is an absolute cracker of a dram, and a perfect marriage of Glen Moray’s spirit with all the rich, deliciously sweet flavours you would enjoy in a glass of Sauternes. It’s a real celebration of flavour and Glen Moray’s passion for unusual cask maturation.”
A bottle costs £79.95 from specialist whisky shops and if you purchase directly from Glen Moray, you will receive a box of the whisky infused macarons.
Rock Rose Gin creates new drink to support Scottish SPCA
Caithness-based Dunnet Bay Distillers has launched a new artist’s edition label of their award-winning Rock Rose Gin with a portion of the profits going to the Scottish SPCA.
The animal welfare charity will receive £5 from the sale of each bottle of the juniper-based drink which features the distiller’s company mascot and pet, Mr Mackintosh the schnauzer.
Martin Murray, director of Rock Rose Gin, said: “As animal lovers, we are delighted to be supporting the Scottish SPCA and its exceptional work.
“Mr Mackintosh is well known in the gin world and it’s great for him to feature on this bottle which will be a real collector’s edition.”
The new artist’s edition gin, which is 41.5% ABV is available here for £35.
Released to the UK on St Andrews Day (November 30)
Bottles filled, labels applied .. The Sassenach is coming! We’re proud to announce the next North American & UK release will be November 2020! Additional regions to come 🌎🥃.#SassenachWhisky#SpiritOfHome#Sassenach#SamHeughan
Posted by Sassenach Spirits on Sunday, August 9, 2020
Deerness Distillery’s Vara Gin
From the Isles of Orkney comes our next drink of the moment, Deerness Distillery‘s new Vara Gin.
Vara meaning “become spring” in Old Norse, is a craft pink gin with notes similar to those associated with springtime at the forefront. From sweet rose to juniper, herbaceous undertones, elderflower and citrus notes like grapefruit that linger in the mouth, this gin is all about looking forward to what is to come after these long winter nights.
A 70cl bottle of the 40% ABV gin is priced at £38 and can be purchased direct here.
Walter Gregor’s new tonic subscription service
If you’re a gin fan and use only but the best of mixers to pair your quality gins with them look no further, we’ve found the perfect Christmas present for gin lovers.
Launching a new subscription service which will allow customers to sign up to monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly services, the team at Walter Gregor have a range of options to choose from – and each box will also include a range of flavours.
There’s two services to pick from, Just the Tonic boasts six mixers for £12.50 per month, or if you’d like to add a craft spirit pairing, you can opt for the Perfect Serve which features five mixers and a 20cl bottle of a Scottish craft spirit for £27.50 per month.
You can also purchase the boxes standalone without a subscription, too.
Cairn O’Mohr Winery’s Mulled Cider Bottle
As well as the 5% 75cl bottle of cider they are selling for £5, customers can also browse their other festive drinks including mulled elderberry wine and their Berry Christmas bottling to whet their festive palates.
Founders Ron and Judith Gillies started the winery with a bottle, a book and a stick in 1987 and by 2010 they had opened their first cafe. The firm is based in Errol, Perthshire, and is best known for its fruity wines which it uses local fruit to make.
Eden Mill’s Botanical Project Mulled Gin at Aldi
When it comes to festive gins, there’s a whole range of flavours out there to enjoy, from mince pie, to candy cane, not to mention Brussels sprouts. However, St Andrews-based distillers and brewers Eden Mill have launched a new flavour with Aldi.
Introducing… mulled gin. The Botanical Project edition is available exclusively at Scottish Aldi stores and makes the perfect winter warmer with an initial hit of mulled fruit followed by a gentle spiced finish.
The 70cl bottle is priced at £15.99 in stores.
Jacobite Spirits’ Jacobaubles
Deck the halls with boughs of holly… and decorate the tree with Christmas rum baubles!
Jacobite Spirits has launched its first baubles and with only 150 sets available, you better be quick. What better way is there to decorate your Christmas tree? Especially if you’re a fan of spiced rum.
The Three Kings set features three different rums including The 45, with hints of citrus, vanilla and caramel, Charlie’s Copper, which is bold and spicy, and All Shook Up, a sweet and orangey rum with rich flavours.
You can purchase the 100ml miniatures here for £21.99.
Redcastle Gin’s Christmas Eve boxes
Everyone loves to sit and watch a movie on Christmas Eve, but it is important to have the right tipple to do so.
A celebration of produce from across Angus, Redcastle Gin has launched its Christmas Eve boxes which can be pre-ordered and delivered to your door whether you live locally or across the UK.
Offering three boxes, the prices range from £25 to £30 and delivery, if not local, is priced at £4.
From boxes showcasing the brand’s spices rum, to others featuring gin liqueurs, prosecco chocolate truffles and other delicious snacks, to another with the original gin and other goodies, there’s something to suit all tastes.
You can also add a pair of engraved glasses to any box for an additional £10.00.
For more information on the boxes click here.
Scottish craft brewery gets into the Christmas spirit with rare whisky cask releases
Harviestoun Brewery has teamed up with Orkney’s Highland Park Single Malt Scotch Whisky to release a choice of rare, limited-edition, whisky cask ales in time for Christmas.
For the first time in six years, real craft ale and whisky connoisseurs alike will get the chance to put the Alva-based brewery’s Ola Dubh 40-year-old Reserve at the top of their Christmas tipple list.
It is the result of maturing the brewery’s Old Engine Oil stout in 40-year-old whisky casks from the award-winning Orkney distillery, Highland Park, for at least six months.
The result is a highly complex and beautifully balanced mahogany black dark ale. Aromas of smoky peat, nutmeg and vanilla are complemented by sweet notes of toffee, dark chocolate, soft dark fruits and fragrant orange zest.
Only 120 bottles of the 8% ABV brew will be available here and is priced at £20 per 330ml bottle, including next day delivery around Scotland and the rest of the UK.
Verdant Spirits Christmas crackers
While Christmas may not be the same this year, that doesn’t mean the celebrations shouldn’t be any less, and Verdant Spirits in Dundee is bringing the festive cheer to the dinner table with its cute Christmas crackers!
You can pick from the original London Dry gin or pink gin to suit your tastes and they also make for excellent stocking fillers.
You can purchase single crackers for £7.50, a box of four for £30 or a box of eight for £60 here.
Eden Mill’s new 2020 Single Malt Scotch
Award-winning distillers Eden Mill have unveiled an exclusive limited edition 800 bottles of its 2020 Release Single Malt Scotch.
Retailing at £85, the 2020 release is the fourth single malt whisky by Eden Mill in three years, since the unveiling of the first bottling in 2017 from their distillery just outside St Andrews.
The whisky liquid incorporates bourbon, Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso barrels as well as spirit distilled using pale, chocolate, brown and crystal malt barley. This expression is reminiscent of light vanilla and toasted cinnamon leading into a spiced fruit finish.