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The 10 Best Scotch whiskies

Whether it's a peaty Islay or a spicy Speyside, we've got the perfect wee dram for your Burns Night celebrations...

Jamie Merrill
Thursday 24 January 2013 19:30 GMT

1. Talisker aged 18 years


Talisker is fiery stuff that tastes like it's been made by the sea, and with good reason. It's the only distillery on the Isle of Skye and sits right on the beach of Loch Harport.

2. Lagavulin aged 16 years


After a glass or two of this you'll feel as though you've been drinking a whisky-fuelled bonfire on a beach. Its rich and peaty notes blend perfectly with a peppery smokiness.

3. Bruichladdich The Laddie Ten


Rémy Cointreau bought this Hebridean distillery last year and its unpeated Laddie Ten is a perfect antidote to the usual Islay spirits.

4. Laphroaig 10 years old


Laphroaig has a full body and a fearsome reputation but it's surprisingly sweet with hints of salt and layers of peatiness in this 10-year-old vintage.

5. Ledaig aged 10 years


From Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, this whisky is a truly medicinal tipple. Sweet and peaty on the nose, it has a rounded and smoky favour with a long, peppery finish.

6. Macallan Gold


James Bond drinks this stuff so it must be good. Right? Regardless of the product placement, this gets a hearty recommendation for its sweet molasses taste.

7. Old Pulteney aged 12 years


This distillery in Wick turns out excellent whiskies. Perfect with seafood, it has a complex nose of green apples and spices.

8. Glenlivet 12 years of age


You could drink this smooth Speyside all night long. It's light with a straw-like colour and a hint of cherry on the tongue. And it's not too malty, either.

9. Dalwhinnie 15 years old


Dalwhinnie's distillery is the highest in Scotland. It turns out a balanced malt with a sherry character and just a hint of silky honey and Highland heather.

10. Caol Ila aged 12 years


Fresh and sweet Caol Ila is a straw-coloured Islay whisky for the drinker who likes complex flavours. It has a fruity nose of clean, crisp flavours before a salty and a peaty kick.

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