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The 10 Best Malt whiskies


1. Ardbeg 10 year old

£38.80, thewhiskyexchange.com

Ardbeg shows exactly what an Islay malt can offer. An elegant texture delivers flavours of cooked apples, orange marmalade, clove and cinnamon, set against smoke and vanilla.

2. Glenrothes Select Reserve

£32.24, sainsburys.co.uk

Glenrothes is renowned for limited-edition vintages, but this malt is great, too. The palate evolves with gingerbread, toffee, apples and oranges, followed by chocolate and oak.

3. Talisker 10 year old

£35, royalmilewhiskies.com

Talisker's offering has aromas of smoke that part to reveal a honey and citrus ripeness. On the palate citrus reappears along with crème caramel, dark chocolate and honey.

4. Lagavulin 12 year old

£63, thewhiskyexchange.com

One of this year's special releases of limited-edition malts from Diageo. The palate opens with vanilla sweetness balanced by lemon freshness, followed by toasty notes and honey.

5. Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban

£35.79, morrisons.co.uk

This Glenmorangie whisky benefits from a spell in port casks and has a sophisticated but full-bodied character with lots of cherry and dark chocolate flavours.

6. Old Pulteney 17 year old

£44.99, fortnumandmason.com

This malt hails from Scotland's north-east coast and the sea air notes take you there. The palate follows up with lemon, custard and cooked apples, followed by cream and lemons.

7. Benromach Organic

£35.99, booths.co.uk

One of the few organic malts to have appeared so far. A fruity, lemon-meringue-pie sweetness leads the palate, while a subtle dryness underlines the flavour.

8. The Macallan Fine Oak 10 year old

£32, asda.com

An alternative to the Sherry Oak range. Rich, ripe aromas provide a wonderful hors d'oeuvre before a strong, rich fruitiness.

9. Highland Park 12 year old

£30, tesco.com

This hails from an Orkney distillery established in 1798, so there's a wealth of history behind every bottle. The aromas are a combination of burnt embers with sea air notes.

10. Laphroaig Quarter Cask

£32.86, waitrose.com

A royal warrant is just one of Laphroaig's many distinctions. Each flavour has its moment in the spotlight here: coconut, stewed fruits, crème brûlée and toasted notes.