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Top 10 single malts

Posted on May 13, 2010 by Paul Tiernan

Before we begin - we must advise all chaps, and chapesses, to drink responsibly - 'never hold more than one glass in each hand at the same time'!

Sent in by Jane.S of County Durham.

It’s my choice and so everyone will disagree – being a ‘Highlands and Islands’ sort of girl, this is what you’ll find on the list. Apologies to soft, Speyside types, but this single malt loving compiler likes a big peaty monster which will slap your face, pinch your bum and then run off with your money, or, when feeling mellow, a big softy of a dram with heather, honey and the smell of the sea.


Highland Park

Sweet, smooth and very easy to swig from a hip flask. Nice, if an undemanding dram, which is a good standby when feeling a bit peely-wally.



Brora’s own distillery and the dram has a complex, peaty flavour and the only one which I’ve tried on horseback, and all the better for it.



Very dark and fruity with a wallop of seaweed. Yum.


Old Poultney

From Wick in the far North of the mainland. A big softie really with hints of toffee, oak, apple and sweetness.


Isle of Jura

Climb out of the shadow of Islay and try this unusual dram. Very sweet at first with a taste of nuts and apples with citrusy finish. A charming island and a charming dram.



Quite perfumed when you poke your nose in the glass but on the palate it’s toffee, cinders and as smooth as Lesley Phillips.



A taste of the islands on a windy day…notes of heather, peat, honey and the sea. Blooming marvellous.



I know that Mr Tiernan will disagree with the placing. A fine, complex dram, which has been described as ‘almost like chewing tarry rope on a hospital ward’ which is not only unerringly accurate but a description which I cannot improve upon.



Think of an old faithful fishing boat moored in the harbour and then pour it in a glass – tarry, smoky and hints of a sea breeze and seaweed. Once on the tongue the peat bursts out with a hint of smoke and toffee. Not for the faint-hearted.



A truly great whisky. Has a bouquet of gently burning peat and a hint of the tropics from the Gulf Stream. Has a really complex flavour which is deep, sweet and intensely peaty with hints of smoke and spice. Best drunk with the curtains drawn, the phone off the hook and plenty of time to reflect on its velvety magnificence! Superb value, too!

Jane's cellar!

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