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  • Writer's pictureColin Hinds

Whisky Chat from Tipsy Midgie

Now that we are over the festive period, we can take a wee breath, and look forward to spring walks, clear skies and of course the perfect dram.

I usually use winter and spring as an excuse to delve into peated and smoky whiskies. There is nothing quite like being snuggled in front of a roaring fire with an equally fierce dram to keep the cold away. But the old notion of only Islay whiskies fitting this bracket is a bit passé, as other regional distilleries have fabulous smoky incarnations of their own. For example, Talisker and Torabhaig from Skye, Cubocan from Tomatin in the Highlands, and in the lowlands "Alinta " from the Bladnoch distillery and the richly-peated "Man o Swords" from Annandale.

There's more to whisky than just warming the toes and tummies though, February is the month of Valentine’s and to celebrate in a fun and unique way, I would suggest a whisky and chocolate pairing. Boring old champers and chocolate-dipped strawberries don’t come close. Instead grab yourself some amazing chocolates from Sebastian Koebelt master chocolatier and a few drams. You will be amazed at next level experiences that can be achieved.

As well as stunning single malt whiskies, there's much to celebrate within the blended whisky category. At the Tipsy Midgie we will be showcasing over 100 blended whiskies ranging from heritage and almost forgotten blends to the best of new wave and modern releases. Sometimes we forget the blended whiskies of yesteryear, many of which contain old, expensive expressions that are now out of reach of most people's pockets. We will focus on whiskies from the 70's, 80's, 90’s and 00’s. It's quite remarkable to taste these ancient blends and compare them to their counterparts today. Some people like the nostalgic element whilst others appreciate the new experience that complements their existing love of single malts.

Dram of the moment

We are truly loving the Madeira wine cask release from Ardnamurchan, a stunning dram at 58.2% cask strength , raspberry and strawberry sweet, with enough punch and spice to be hugely satisfying , Although my infamous hot toddy is doing the rounds too!

Whiskies to look out for …

The latest release from Lochlea in Ayrshire, the "ploughing edition", the fourth in their seasonal releases, came out on the 25th January aka Burn’s Night. RAbbie once worked on the farm that now grows the barley and distils the whisky. Slainte. (C. Hinds)

Colin Hinds runs Tipsy Midgie bar at 67 St Leonards Hill - 0131 563 9061

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