It is of course important to ensure that you have all the necessary bottles to make your home bar as functional and interesting as possible. Scotch is an important part of that, so here we have addressed some of the essential categories of Scotch that your home bar needs to include and give you some idea of what to do with them.
1. Blended WhiskyEvery good home bar needs a good blend. This can be used in countless cocktails or enjoyed neat, depending on how creative you feel. Blends are consistent in flavour and are richly complex.
The best selling blend is of course the world-renowned Johnnie Walker and it’s always good to have a popular brand at hand. A simple choice is Johnnie Walker Red, which can be used for mixing and is a good dram to drink neat so it ticks all the important boxes.
Monkey Shoulder is a brand that is not as popular as Johnnie Walker but has a wonderful taste, and you can impress everyone with your knowledge of lesser-known blends! Again it can be used in cocktails or neat, so is a handy blend to have in stock!
Blended Scotches to grab: Johnnie Walker Gold Label, Monkey Shoulder, Compass Box Hedonism, Sheep Dip, Chivas Regal 18 Years
2. MixerThe mixer is an important part of any home bar. It's great to have a nice mixer when guests come round or if you just fancy a Scotch & Coke.
J&B Rare is the perfect companion to coke, sprite, ginger ale or anything else you might want to throw in. Promoted as the World’s Party Whisky, this is the Scotch to include in your home bar if you enjoy a mixer every now and again. It has been specifically blended from 42 Speyside Whiskies to give it a smooth and complex character that will spice up any soft drink you put with it.
3. Smoky Scotch WhiskyHaving a smoky Scotch in your collection will give out the idea that you know how to enjoy a good hearty dram.
Talisker Skye was the first Whisky I ever tried and it is always a go to when looking for a peated expression. It does not shy away from smoke and if you really want to show your friends what a peated Whisky tastes like then this should be first on your list.
It is a versatile dram that is a great way to introduce friends and family to smoky expressions. It does not overwhelm but still has a wonderful peated flavour.
Other smoky drams to look for: Ledaig 18 YO Sherry Cask, Big Peat, Lagavulin 16, Laphroaig Quarter Cask, Laphroaig Single Malt Cairdeas
4. Sweet(ish) WhiskyAs a counterpart to your smoky Scotch, it is worthwhile having a sweeter, more delicate dram on hand as a comparison and just for general enjoyment. A sweeter Scotch Whisky will give you another string to your home bar bow.
Glen Garioch is a fantastic Highland malt that is full of fruit and has a really smooth mouth feel. This is the perfect dram to introduce your friends and family to Whisky but is also well loved and appreciated by Whisky connoisseurs. You can’t go wrong with Glen Garioch and having a bottle in your home bar will be a great addition!
Explore these expressions from the sweet side of Scotch: Glen Garioch 15 Renaissance, GlenDronach 21YO Parliament, Glenlivet 18, AnCnoc Peter Arkle 2nd Edition, Dalwhinnie Winter's Gold
5. Special Occasion ScotchIf there is one thing a home bar is perfect for it is special occasions. There is nothing better than cracking out a bottle of your finest Whisky, be it for a birth, marriage, graduation, whatever the occasion.
You want an exceptional dram, worth the investment. Saving it for an important occasion will make both the day and the Whisky feel that bit more special.
If you're looking for a special occasion Scotch Whisky, these are some that you should check out: Old Pulteney 35 Year Old, Glenfarclas 25 Year Old, BenRiach Excl. Cask 1996
There's only one thing left to say: Sláinte!