What's the best whisky for the summer? I think whisky is a fantastic drink to enjoy all year round (OK, call me biased!). But some of my friends will say “oh isn’t whisky more of an Autumn or Winter drink?”. The answer I usually give is that it is a bit like wine or beer. In the winter, you might want a big bold red or a thick stout, while in the summer you might want a cold crisp white or a light IPA. The same is true of whisky. Whisky is not one category, it's a whole school of different flavours and characters. You can enjoy whisky in lots of different ways.
What Style of Scotch is Best in the Summer?
You can enjoy whisky in lots of ways. Some great ways to enjoy whisky in the summer include on the rocks, as a highball, or in cocktails. But, in this article, I want to focus on whisky to enjoy neat, or with a little water, in the warmer weather.
As the days get warmer, and the evenings get lighter, I move away from the big sherry bombs or peat-head whiskies. I reach towards a different category of whisky:
Ideal whiskies for early Summer are:
- Medium-bodied whiskies. These have a pleasing mouth-coating feel and aren't as thick and syrupy as big sherried whiskies. They have enough body to take a few drops of water to open up the flavours.
- Light yet flavoursome. think of my the bold red versus crisp white wine analogy. Both are full of flavour, but the latter is fresh, clean, and refreshing.
- Green flavours, with citrus. Notes of green apples, pears, grapes, and kiwis work well as Summer whiskies. I enjoy them with notes of lemon or lime.
What is the best whisky for Summer?
If your mouth has started to water, I have three great whiskies for Summertime that you will love. These are all light, crisp, delicious whiskies for when the weather gets warmer.
Linkwood 11-year-old single malt whisky (cask 803826)A Speyside whisky distilled in 2007 and matured for 11 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead. It was bottled at cask strength of 54.7%
- Nose: Sweet malt in a fruit basket of green grapes, pear and kiwi alongside green tea and a hint of cinnamon.
- Palate: You get green grapes, pear and kiwi to start. Then oak, cinnamon, and green tea develops.
- Finish: Long and rich with the green grapes, kiwi, oak and cinnamon. This one evolves long after the last sip.
Auchroisk 11-year-old single malt whisky (cask 805690)A Speyside whisky distilled in 2008 and matured for 11 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead. Bottled at cask strength of 56.5%.
- Nose: Sweet malt, lime and nutmeg, followed by some pepper cracked over oak.
- Palate: Sharp lime, juicy kiwi and lemon mixed with nutmeg.
- Finish: Medium to long finish of black pepper and nutmeg sprinkled over oranges.
Benrinnes 10-year-old single malt whisky (cask 302110)A Speyside whisky distilled in 2009 and matured for ten years in an ex-bourbon hogshead. Bottled at cask strength of 58.4%
- Nose: Sweet malt and crisp green apples followed by walnuts that cracked by new oak planks.
- Palate: A gentle seasoning of spiced cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper sprinkled overripe apples and grapes.
- Finish: A rounded, medium finish carries those green grapes, walnuts and oak through to the end.
Pour a Dram, Sit in the garden, and Relax
Whether you choose one of these whiskies or another, I hope you’re able to sit back and relax with a good dram in the garden. Leave us a comment below with what you think the best whisky for Summer is. And, we’d love to see your photos, so please tag us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
Until then, stay well. Ed