A fine whisky is fast becoming a weapon of choice for most men and with the terms ‘whisky making’ and ‘whisky tasting’ on everybody’s lips, we thought it was only right to discover this celebrated drink by speaking to Jolyon Dunn, fine rare whisky broker at Milroy’s of Soho. Established in 1964 by brothers Jack and Wallace Milroy, masters in their own right, they brought Single Malt Whisky to London making it affordable and accessible to all (they even appear in the Whisky Hall of Fame!) These brothers are no longer around, but Jolyon can be found at Milroy’s of Soho and behind the bookcase at The Vault Soho which is worth a visit. Here’s Jolyon’s top whisky picks, all of which are available at shop.milroys.co.uk
1. John Crabbie & Co. 30 Year Old Single Malt Scotch whisky (£600)
With an extensive history on the whisky scene, this limited edition is a whisky legend and one to watch for 2018 by resurrecting a brand from the 19th Century. Crabbie’s are tirelessly sourcing liquids that replicates the heritage of the brand and this particular bottle has been aged for 30 years in Sherry casks giving it a dried fruit aroma reminiscent of Christmas cake. After the first sip, there’s a little wisp of smoke that hits the back of the throat to round off the finish. Think fruit, spice and all things nice! This limited expression marks the rebirth of one of Scotland’s leading whisky experts and is my personal favourite dram of the year so far.
2. GlenDonach 18 (£79.95)
Dating back to a distillery set up in 1826, these renowned whiskies have been aged entirely in the best Oloroso Sherry casks giving it a red fruit richness and deep ruby colour in appearance. This mature malt has tasting notes of cherries and walnuts with a hint of chocolate and was given to the ladies of the night to share the Glendronach story… Needless to say, the reputation is stronger than ever today, boasting some of the best value for money Scotch on the market.
3. Nikka Yoichi Single Malt (£78.95)
The most recent trend in whisky has been the boom of Japanese whisky, with two main companies dominating the market; Suntory who own Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries, and Nikka who own Miyagikyo and Yoichi distilleries. One of my top shop picks is the Nikka Yoichi from the north of Japan, this single malt has been made in a very traditional style balancing the harmony of gentle peat smoke and sea salt air which makes for a delicious dram. This choice is little bit lighter in style than your Scotch peaty malt monsters and more accessible. Overall, it’s a well-balanced bottle and doesn’t disappoint.
4. Four Roses Single Barrel (£44.95)
With Bourbon imports on the rise (a recorded 26% increase in 2017), the British market is getting more acquainted with the sweeter taste of American whisky and one of the most foremost brands of American whisky, that was at one point the most popular whisky in the States is Four Roses. My favourite expression is The Four Roses Single Barrel which comes from one unique barrel, so the chances are every single bottle you get is going to be from a different cask. The beauty with this bottling is that it’s great served by itself and even better in an Old Fashioned.
5. Kilchoman Single Cask, Milroy’s of Soho exclusive (£94.95)
When I think of Single Malt Scotch, I think of big smoky flavours and this special bottling cask with a strength of 57.7% is a winner! From the island of Islay comes Kilchoman which is one of the newest distillers on Islay, first to open in around 120 years. The Milroy’s Boys went on a quest to Islay and after searching in the warehouse, they found one cask that they liked which has soon become our very own Milroy’s bottling full of juicy pineapples, roasted mangos and heavy peat smoke. I can guarantee this is a powerful and exclusive dram that you won’t get to try anywhere else except for Milroy’s of Soho.