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“Because you can't buy happiness... but you can buy whisky and that's pretty much the same thing”

Read stories about Whisky of A Wardrobe of Whisky blog.

You can read here older articles posted in A Wardrobe of Whisky since 2009.
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Find cheapest whisky prices at Best Whisky Deals

By Miguel in Orders , Recommended , Distillery , Brands , Whisky

Have you ever bought a bottle of whisky and then find it a hell cheaper in another place? Be welcome friend.

I have been working really hard to create Best Whisky Deals, the whisky price comparator between the most relevant UK whisky retailers. Just search for a bottle and you get the prices shorted from best to worst of the shops that are stocking it.

Also as a bonus, you can read tasting notes on more than 600 bottles from several whisky blogs, A Wardrobe of Whisky between them.

You can browse whiskies by distilleries, bottlers, regions and styles. But what I find most useful is the fact that you can check bottles by awards. So if you feel uninspired when buying whisky this little page can help you or get inspired with house favorites.

best-whisky-deals-price-comparator-uk

With more than 9000 whisky bottles indexed, if you can’t find it at Best Whisky Deals, you can’t buy it at the UK. By the way, all listed shops do worldwide deliveries so don’t hesitate to order from outside Britain.

Next time you order whisky make sure you order through Best Whisky Deals and save money and time.


Buy whisky: Best shops to get your single malts

By Miguel in Orders , News , Whisky

If you have never bought your whisky online you may be missing the best thing ever invented since sliced bread. More bottles, better prices, the best drams

I buy all my whisky in four or five whisky stores, and usually before buying I check on A Wardrobe of Whisky to find the best prices just to make sure where it is cheaper. Don’t do it you will get a few surprises that you will regret!

So here is the sorting that I use oftenly.

Stagnetto at Gibraltar

Located at Gibraltar, Stagnetto is a brand of liquors and tobaconist retailer that has several stores at Gibraltar. The biggest selecction of single malt whisky can be found in the shop near the catholic cathedral.

stagnetto-gibraltar-whisky-shop

But not only the range of bottles is awesome. You will have to squeeze your eyes several times to believe the prices. Being a duty free shop, Stagnetto has, for most bottles, the very best prices your will ever see.

The personal is really friendly and helpful and the shop has webpage were you can check bottles available and prices although they don’t do mail orders.

Just one thing, if you plan to move later to Spain you need to know that Spanish Customs will allow only 1 litre of alcohol per person. This is my favorite place to go after monthly income arrives :).

The Whisky Exchange

I don’t remember how I discovered this online store, but it turned my passion into madness. My first order was a bottle of Ardbeg Supernova and a Macallan Liqueur. I was so impressive by the huge range and the fair prices that I have been visiting this one once per month and even more.

Prices are usually fair, but it won’t hurt you check it against other shops. Usually The Whisky Exchange don’t have the best prices but just a few pences over it.

They have a physical shop located in London that every whisky lover must visit.

Master of Malt

The first time I entered Master of Malt site I though “Wooo!”. Master of Malt has had one of the best web sites of the whisky world and has done a great investment in user friendly technologies.

But the real thing that hooked me there was the prices. Until a few months ago, they were without discussion the retailer with the best whisky prices on the Internet. Now you have to double check them because they aren’t the cheapest option most of times.

My heart belongs to them, and A Wardrobe of Whisky spirit too, thanks to the great idea ( and business ) behind Drink by the dram. How many times you were not sure about a bottle and ended up buying something you don’t like? Master of Malt gives you the chance of tasting small samples of literally hundred of bottles for a fraction of the real retail price. Let’s put this simple, A Wardrobe of Whisky wouldn’t be possible without them.

Don’t miss the Master of Malt single cask bottlings, awesome value whiskies.

The Whisky Barrel

The new king of web design is here to stay. After a powerful rebranding and with a better looking site than ever The Whisky Barrel is here with an huge amount of single cask, limited releases and collector’s bottles of whisky. If you are looking for something uncommon, they have it.

I love their single cask releases.

Almacenes Porto at Ceuta

Another duty free retailer, Almacenes Porto is located in Port of Ceuta just on the main floor. One of the biggest range of bottles that I have seen with nice prices on cheap whiskies and fair prices on the rest.

almacenes-porto-ceuta-whisky-shop

You won’t get any discount from them but the prices usually worth it.

Where do you buy your whisky?

So you know now if you don’t want to pay more for your whisky , you can find the best whisky prices at A Wardrobe of Whisky and save money and time.


Whisky Fest'12: Fly for your whisky!

By Miguel in News , Whisky

You will never look at a plane in the same way after you know what I am about to tell you.

World-Duty-Free

World Duty Free through their specialist store World of Whiskies are celebrating from 18th April to 22nd May the Whisky Fest'12.

Yet another whisky festival? No way.

WhiskyFest2012

The proposal behind Whisky Fest'12 is different to other whisky festivals, a bit more commercial if you ask me, but still incredible.

On World of Whiskies shops, that you can find in most UK airports, you will find up to a hundred bottles of whisky open and ready for tasting before you buy. With the help of the shop personnel, who are also whisky enthusiasts, who can find the whisky that best suits you.

But the real nice thing is the amount of money you save on each bottle, from 20% to 35% off the RRP, as well as the amount of exclusive retail only bottles of whisky, like some very interesting Highland Park or Old Pulteney whiskies.

So if you want to expand your cabinet this is a fantastic opportunity to taste new whiskies and get them at a discounted price. Here you have some highlight bottles that I have found on their site:

Aberfeldy 21 years old

I haven't tasted this one yet… but the best price i have found for it was £86.75 and the World of whiskies is selling it for £58.98. I would go for one of it for sure.

Connemara

This one MUST be a typo! They are selling this fantastic irish peated single malt whisky for £16.99. The very best price I have paid for this one was £22.98. If you like Islay whiskies don't miss the chance to taste this Irish whiskey. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Greenore 8 years old

Unique in its genre this whiskey is the very first Irish single grain whiskey. And it is a crack. Again World of whiskies stock it for £10 less than the best price I ever paid for it. Feeling dumb already.

Dalmore 15 years old

This is a great sherried whisky from the Dalmore distillery, don't miss this one if you can taste, and World of Whiskies sells it for £43.99… pss! You can find it at TWE for £41.95

I have spotted some interesting bottles that have not yet been on my site, for example some of the new Auchentoshan whiskies: Heartwood and Springwood or the travel retail exclusives of Highland Park like 1998 vintage or Leif Eriksson. Don't miss the chance of tasting them!.

If you are interested in any whisky it would be a good idea to write World of Whiskies about stock in the airport you plan to use.

You can have a look at the PDF Brochure at http://issuu.com/worlddutyfree/docs/wdf_whiskyfest_2012_brochure_wdf_wow_28p_aw_h?mode=window&backgroundColor=%23222222

My advice is go and check it out, you will be able to taste great whiskies and save a good amount of money, but it won't hurt you to check prices before buying.

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Your First Blonde, which one was your first Whisky?

By Miguel in News , Whisky

sexy-blonde-amanda-harrington

Do you remember your first time? Which one was the sexy blonde that turned you to single malts? Which one was your first whisky?

I have to make a confession.
My first whisky was a Chivas Regal 12 years old and the experience was so awful that I stopped considering whisky for around two years.
How to explain the way I felt… I was expecting a nice sexy whisky and found something like this

uglyest girl ever

At the time I tasted Chivas 12yo it was a big investment for me, around 30, so my face of astonishment when I tasted the beverage was memorable.
Years later, someone talked me about a Macalan whisky that was the very best whisky in the world and luckily in one of my visits to Gibraltar I saw it on a shop, a Macallan 12 years old Elegancia for 50, which I now know it was a rip-off…, so I asked the guy if it was good and he told me that it tasted like whisky but sweeter. I liked sweet drinks do I decided to buy it.

The rest is history. Drink turned into hobby, hobby into passion, and passion into madness.

Was such thing in your whisky travel? I would love to read about it.


How to taste whisky: Become an expert in 7 steps

By Miguel in Tasting , Featured , Whisky

Do you drink whisky? Do you enjoy single malts? Do you appreciate it? Great so you have a lot of the way already done. Tasting whiskies is mostly about finding aromas and memories inside the glass and translating them into words.

Whisky is one of the most fascinating drinks I have tried and with these seven steps I will show you how to best appreciate single malts.

Are you ready to learn tasting like a pro?

1. Choose your whiskies

Did I said that whisky tasting only make sense when comparing each of them against the others? Whether you are rating a whisky or just tasting it, everything makes more sense when done against others.

macallan-whisky-tasting-set-10-12-18-10-Cask-strength

So grab no more than five or six whiskies that you want to taste.

Calibration dram

You can also get a bottle of a whisky that we will call calibration dram. Fine calibration drams are Glenfiddich 12 years old or Glenlivet 12 years old: not expensive, not to dominant in any profile and easy to buy. This whisky will help you tune in so you can compare others against this whisky and see if they are better or worse than it.

You can go ahead without a calibration dram too. I usually does without.

Try to taste similar whiskies in a single tasting.

If it is not possible then sort whiskies using the following guidelines.

A. From youngest to oldest

Usually old single malt whiskies are very complex and need and deserve lots of time and attention to get all the details going around. On the other hand, younger whiskies are most of the times simpler and unidimensional. So to give a fair chance to those whiskies taste them first.

B. Lightest to Heaviest

As you progress in your whisky tasting, not alcohol but flavors and aromas left a mark on you, so it is fair to think that light whiskies will left a smaller mark than a sherried whisky.

Some general guidelines are:
– Lowlands, Highlands, Islands, Speyside, Islay
– Blended, Single Malts
– Irish whisky, Scotch, Bourbon

C. Non peated before Peated

After tasting a peated whisky like Laphroaig, it will severly impair you to fully appreciate lighter whiskies like a grain whisky. So as long as it is possible, try to left peated whiskies for the end of your tasting.

D. From 40% to cask strength.

Usually the best whiskies that any distillery can produce are bottled at cask strength, that is a value that ranges from 40% to 70% usually. As you nose and taste a high strength whisky it will impair you to appreciate the subtle details of a lower bottled whisky. So as long as it is possible, sort them using alcohol content.

Hey! But what happens when two of your guidelines collide? Well, you need to guess. Try an order and if you are not happy with the result, try another day a different approach. The best way of learning this stuff is tasting, tasting and tasting.

Some examples of tastings

Here you have some suggestions to start tasting whisky

Smoky

Let’s walk around Islay tasting some of its great peated whiskies.


Sherried

Some of the greatest Speyside whiskies are aged in sherry casks, give yourself a treat and taste some of this sherries jewels.


2. Prepare the tasting

Still there? Great!. Now go a grab a few things that you will need during the tasting.
– Glasses
– Mineral water
– Glass lid or pieces of paper
Tasting notes sheets
– Pen

glencairn-whisky-glass

Not all glasses are good for tasting whisky, so try to choose a nice glass and make sure you have enough of them. Place them on the table in front of you.

Identify each glass, either by placing them over a numbered piece of paper or just by placing behind it the bottle that will you pour on it.

Now pour on each glass a small measure of whisky, I usually work with 1.5 – 2cl of whisky. If you pour less it is really hard to nose it, and if you pour more you won’t reach whisky #5.

Done? Now cover the glass, either with a lid or with a squared piece of paper.

3. Consider the whisky

Now grab the glass. Look at the color of the whisky.

Swirl it and see how the whisky return to the bottom of the glass.

view-whisky-glass-color

Done? Great. Now just forget it. Cover the glass and let it stay calm for a minute.

Color doesn’t matter at all as it can be obtained using burnt sugar and you will see how whisky feels on mouth in a minute.

4. Nose your whisky

Take your glass and slowly approach both glass to nose and nose to glass.

Slowly take a short inspiration and appreciate it.

nosing-whisky-aromas-in-glass

Move the glass, tilting it to find the way the glass delivers aromas best.

How is it? Light? Strong? Powerful? Write down.

What do you think? How it smells? Bad? Good? Mean? Awesome? Give it a score if you want.

Now try to detail what the whisky smell of? Think of the honey, the barley, the species, the fruits, flowers, the wood of the cask. The whisky is singing about its origins. Just listen to it. Many single malts are really complex, so aromas will arrive to you as a delicious mess. Just write whatever the whisky hit on your mind, most of times you will be right.

If you need close your eyes, yeah! even if it makes you look stupid, as it helps your brain to concentrate on one sense: nose.

Nose the whisky again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. You are done with it once you are sure about what you wrote. Keep in mind that all whiskies evolve when they are exposed to open air, so give the whiskies a few minutes to open itself up.

Whisky-o-matic nosing approach

If you want to send your tasting notes to A Wardrobe of Whisky so Whisky-o-matic can use it you need to write the nosing in a special way. Write down the things you nose in the order that appears on the glass, which usually is from most powerful to most delicate aromas, and try to detail as much as possible aromas you get.

So instead of campfire near the seashore that is very poetic you have to write something like peat, smoke, salt, iodine. Got it? If you are not sure if it is apple or pears for example, write fruits or fruits, apple so whisky-o-matic can understand what it is going on.

5. Taste your whisky

Take a small sip of the whisky we are nosing.
How does it feel on the mouth? Is it light, or dense? Does it burn or is it a smooth whisky? Tick, tick , tick.

tasting-whisky-glass-sip

Take another sip, a generous one, and this time keep it on your mouth while rolling it around. Write down how it taste, it is a similar approach to what you did on the nose. Does it taste sweet? dry? of fruits? Write down.

Swallow it ( or spit ).

What do you think of it? Nice? Bad? Too dry? Too sweet? Score it if you please.

Have another sip and check that you are happy with what you wrote.

Whisky-o-matic tasting approach

As we did on the nosing, we have to write the most specific terms in the order they appear. For example: honey, malt, spices, cinnamon, nuts, cocoa. Again if you are not sure about the exact term use a generic one like: sweet instead of honey.

6. Listen to how it finish

Bad news! You need another sip.

Have it, swallow ( or spit ) and wait a few seconds. What taste do you have in your mouth right now? How long is it? Do you like? Score it.

7. Compare, check, write!

You are almost done.

Nose a last time to see if everything is as you wrote and now the hardest part.

Try to summarize the experience in a few lines of text, what memories this whisky brings you, which feelings does it trigger on you? Be creative.

Whisky-o-matic approach

Now you can release the poet you have inside, write the most creative two or three lines you can about your whisky.
We will use this on the tasting note.

Now you can upload your tasting note to A Wardrobe of Whisky. Just find the bottle you have tasted and scroll down until you see Tasting notes section

Finishing you tasting session

Now you are done with this whisky. Repeat the process with the rest of them until you are done.

Now before finishing, just ask yourself which one has been your favorite.

Is the favorite the best scored whisky? It should be if you want your scores to be useful for you.
In case it isn’t, just check on the whiskies where the problem could be.

Resources

Blank Tasting note Template
A Wardrobe of Whisky Social

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