It may be worth taking an international trip, just to grab one of these rare drams for Robbie Burns' Day.
Robbie Burns arrives on January 25, and there’s no surer way to impress your kilt-wearing friends than to produce a dram they’ve never seen before. Here’s a guide to what to pick up on your next trip out of the country: the secret whiskies the distillers make only for the duty-free market.
1. Laphroaig An Cuan Mor ($49) The appeal of the very traditional Laphroaig is how few bottlings they put out, so pull out this rarity, which blends the classical peaty medicinal with the sweetness of American oak, and watch jaws drop.
2. Bowmore Black Rock ($66) The classic blend of sweet sherry casks and smoky peat is the chocolate and peanut butter of the whisky world. This dram nails the mash-up at a crazily competitive price for such a serious bottle.
3. The Macallan Select Oak ($74) There will be those drinkers who will gravitate to The Macallan no matter what else is on offer. You can serve them the amazing Oscura (which will set you back $1,500 or so) or this light dram with notes of citrus, and they’ll still think you’re a big spender.
4. Highland Park Einar ($80) Highland Park has an entire six-bottle warrior range available only at duty-free. This one is all autumn flavours—smoke and Christmas cake.
5. The Black Grouse Alpha Edition ($45) Those in the know praise the Grouse blends for their delivery of complex whisky at a low price. This exclusive gives a smoky orange blast at an exceptional price.
6. Chivas Regal The Icon ($4,580) Vancouver is one of two markets (Dubai is the other) that have this ultra-rare bottle composed of the 20 rarest whiskies in the Chivas inventory. Yes, this is an almost-$5,000 blended whisky.