There are a number of Scotches out there that are ideal for those Autumn nights when the weather is starting to cool down and the leaves are turning.
Flavour Profiles for Autumn
With the change in temperature, it’s only right that Autumn Scotches have a bit of warmth in them. Look for a flavour profile that has spices in it, with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. These are perfect for Autumn as they warm you up and are reminiscent of a lot of Autumnal flavours.
Spicy and Sherried Drams
You are more likely to find these types of Whiskies in Speyside, so look at distilleries like Glenfiddich and The Glenlivet, for sweet and spicy drams. The Glenfiddich 15-Year-Old is a brilliant example of spicy Whisky, as is The Glenlivet 18.
Speyside and Highland Whiskies also tend to be more sherried, which is great in the Autumn. Dalwhinnie, a Highlander, produces some fantastically sherried drams, with its 2006 Oloroso Cask Finish Distiller’s Edition as a particularly good expression, as does The Macallan and Balvenie, both of which are based in Speyside.
If you’re looking for something similar but beyond the realms of Speyside, then a distillery like Glenmorangie also offers some fantastic malts, with lots of fruity sweetness and sherry spice.
Bonfires are a big part of Autumn and give you the perfect excuse to enjoy some big-bodied, smoky drams.
Peat flavours are part and parcel of Autumn drinking. They capture the bonfires, the fireworks, the hearths that have been re-lit after summer.
Of course, the perfect place to go for peated drams is Islay. You can’t go wrong with a hearty Laphroaig or Ardbeg to really fill you with peat smoke, or go for a Talisker Skye, which is an Island malt, if you’re looking for something that is not as heavy on the peat.
These are big, bold flavours that are perfect for sipping next to a roaring fire when the weather starts to get colder.
Top 5 Whiskies for Autumn
While there is no definite list, we’ve come up with our Top 5 Whiskies for Autumn, so you know what to look for! We’ve even included a cocktail for each, so you get the perfect serve.
Glenfiddich 15 Year Old
The sweet and spicy Glenfiddich 15 Year Old has a light body and is perfect for Rob Roy. It has lots of sherry spice and fruits, including lemons, oranges and apples. The palate is somewhat reminiscent of a Christmas cake and is the perfect way to usher in Autumn.
The Rob Roy:
*50ml of Glenfiddich 15 Year Old
*25ml sweet vermouth
*2 dashes of Angostura bitters
*1 lemon peel, for garnish
Glenmorangie The Lasanta
Matured in both Bourbon and Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks, Glenmorangie Lasanta is a sweet dram with lots of spice. Cinnamon and nutmeg abound, giving a warming kick from nose to finish. There is a lovely dark chocolate bitterness to the body as well, which gives it great depth. We recommend it for an Old Fashioned, to add a nice spice to a sweet cocktail.
The Old Fashioned:
*1 teaspoon caster sugar
*4 dashes Angostura Bitters
*50ml Glenmorangie Lasanta
Dalwhinnie Distiller's Edition
We’ve paired Dalwhinnie Distiller's Edition with the Hot Toddy, which is great for dark nights sitting in front of a roaring fire. The spices are depth to the heat that already comes from the Hot Toddy and the fruitiness brings in a whole other dimension of flavour. This is a fantastically sweet dram, with chocolate and tangy apples coming through.
*1 lemon twist
*2 tsp Demerara sugar or brown sugar
*25ml lemon juice
*100ml Bourbon, Rye Whiskey, Irish Whiskey or Scotch
Talisker Skye is ideal for those who like peat but prefer it to be subtler. The gentle smoke goes well with the Blood and Sand cocktail, especially against the sweet cherry flavours. Skye is a sweet dram, with lots of vanilla and fruit in it. It has a gentle smoke that wafts through. Citrus fruits and pepper come out to give a lovely zesty warmth, which are perfect with the sweet cherry liqueur.
Blood and Sand:
*50ml Tasliker Skye
*50ml Sweet vermouth
*50ml Cherry liqueur
*50ml orange juice
Laphroaig 10 Year Old
Created by legendary mixologist Mr. Lyan, the Dunyvaig Flip is traditionally made with Lagavulin 16 Year Old, but we’ve substituted this with Laphroaig 10 Year Old.
The peat of the Laphroaig really brings out the sharpness of the berries. Laphroaig 10 Year Old is wonderfully peated, with rich seaside flavours as well. Iodine and medicinal qualities give this dram a great palate, with the peat smoke playing in harmony throughout. There is also a sweet vanilla note, with some oak tones that makes this dram very well rounded.
*50ml Laphroaig 10 Year Old
*1 whole egg
*1 barspoon raspberry or blackberry jam
*1 barspoon yellow Chartreuse
*1 barspoon sugar syrup
*3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
*Pinch each of salt and pepper