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Spring Whisky: Six Exceptional Whiskies To Try As The Weather Gets Warmer

Spring is upon us! But fear not for those of you who love peat, there are still things on this list for you to enjoy – a wide variety of whiskies for spring that suit all palates. 

When the grip of winter cold begins to fade away, most of us jump to instantly lighter, more approachable whiskies than those of the heavier style, be they heavily peated or heavily sherried. 

There are some brand new releases on this list that really do showcase how varied whisky can be, be that of a very tropical, or a ‘can do anything’ style.

Find your perfect spring whisky below.  

Hibiki Harmony Blended Japanese Whisky, 43%

BUY NOW: $79.90

I can hear groans from a few people already for having this on the list, but with the exception of a one-off batch I tried about five years ago, Hibiki Harmony has never really let me down. 

The marketing of whiskies, blends in particular always talks about ‘exquisite casks’ and ‘huge depth’ – but I must say that every time I try Hibiki it does taste different, and it doesn’t always have these softer, more delicate notes that Japanese whisky has become very famous for. 

Sometimes Hibiki can be driven by sandalwood scents, sometimes a slightly salty finish that reminds me of olives, sometimes the grain from Chita really stands out with huge caramel and burnt sugar and wood notes. 

Yes, the price is rising, although it’s been more consistent in the last few years, but it is still great quality and something which will always be at home in many people’s bars around the world. 

This light and attractive whisky is perfect for a spring dram. 

Glenturret 10 Year Old Peat Smoked 2023, 48.4%

BUY NOW: $63.99

The oldest functioning distillery in Scotland is making big waves across all of its range. If you want some of the best modern sherry cask whiskies that I’ve tried, check out their 12 year old & 15 year old. 

If you want a younger peat that is slightly more delicate, check out their 7 year old peated release, but the peated star of the show for me is the 10 year old Peat Smoked. Matured in first and second-fill European and American oak, and bottled at 48.4% ABV (2023 release), the layering and the way in which smoke develops in this whisky is rather wonderful. 

All of the delicate smoke points of Caol Ila, mixed in with some bonfire toffee notes of whiskies like Tamdhu – this Glenturret release is something to get onto all of your shelves for the approaching springtime. 

Glenturret’s second collaboration with Jaguar suggests that they are moving towards a more premium marketing strategy. It might be time to get your hands on some Glenturret whilst you can! 

Glen Garioch 12 Year Old, 48%

BUY NOW: $63.99 

I’m going to let my own personal bias lean into this article a little now. Glen Garioch 12 year old might be one of the last, true, classic highland whiskies that we’re still able to get in this very saturated whisky world. 

Unpeated since 1995, Glen Garioch is owned by Beam Suntory, but they seem to do absolutely nothing with it…fantastic. That isn’t a criticism of that company, but the distillery is essentially allowed to run itself like an independent. 

Bottling everything at 48% ABV, natural coloured and non-chill filtered, the 12 year old release is a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry oak that offers some incredible, nutty, chocolate dept to the liquid which then switches into this long, softly spicy, almost ginger-infused dark chocolate finish. 

Simply a stunning spring whisky and a great buy for about $60 a bottle.

North Star Spirits Tarot Series ‘The Magician’ Blended Whisky, 45.5%

BUY NOW: $199.99 

I’m a huge fan of North Star Spirits, and now they are putting together their own blend.

Composed of 75% grain and 25% malt whisky, then finished in sherry, this blend has much more depth to it than that of some bigger brands at much bigger prices. It starts with vanilla and honey, then moves into more dried meaty notes with some elements of fresh herbs, think about pizza herbs such as oregano and thyme. 

A sweet and savoury twist on a classic blend from a company that is already considered a modern legend. The vibrant packaging and approachable palate make this the perfect whisky for spring. 

Glenglassaugh Sandend, 50.5%

BUY NOW: $58.49 

I’m really happy that Glenglassaugh is getting a real shot at the whisky market now, even when Billy Walker owned it, he himself admitted that he hadn’t had enough time with the facility and the liquid. 

But, now in the hands of Rachel Barrie and under the ownership of Brown Forman, despite being a rather old distillery, this relaunch feels fresh and almost like the place is brand new! 

The Sandend, named after Sandend Bay just by the distillery is a combination of ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, and ex-manzanilla sherry casks, and what a combined effort these casks make to give us one of the best colourful styles of whisky that is available to the whisky drinker. 

Layered with fudge, papaya and mango on the nose, the slight saltiness of the whisky pulls through towards the finish, and with its higher ABV, you get the rather marvellous texture to help benefit. Those rich, rolling juicy fruits with a bite of coastal salt.  

The Glenglassaugh Sandend was recently shortlisted by The Whisky Exchange as one of the best scotch whiskies of 2024. 

Highland Park 15 Year Old, 44%

BUY NOW: $99.97 

The priciest of all my recommendations on this list, but something which has been a bit of a revelation for me every time I’ve been able to retry it. 

I’ve always been a fan of Highland Park, despite their bizarre release of bottles over the last few years in airports and the rest of the craziness that has been associated with the brand in the last few years. But this 15 year old has been quite a throwback for me of this delicate, floral type of peated whisky which has been a dominating style of whisky in the modern world. 

Distilleries such as Loch Lomond, Benromach, dare I even say Springbank, all make styles of whisky like this and all of these distilleries, maybe with the exception of Loch Lomond only make about 2,000,000 litres of whisky a year. 

So this is a small distillery, with a very large reputation, and. personally this 15 year old expression is a new shining light.

 

NOTE: This article contains affiliate links.

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