The Dalwhinnie Distillery is nestled on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park in the Highlands of Scotland. Interestingly it is located in both the Highland and Speyside region of Scotland, and therefore whisky produced here can legally be called both a Highland and a Speyside Whisky.
Several years ago it announced its special Winter’s Gold whisky that is made using casks that are laid down in the chilly Scottish winter months. This winter weather is said to produce a particular taste as it affects the brewing and aging process.
The brewers at Dalwhinnie say that the colder the weather, the less contact that the whisky has with the copper when it passes through the traditional worm tubs. This leads to a sweet and golden whisky after it matures, says the master blender at Dalwhinnie.
The blenders at Dalwhinnie state that the whisky should be drunk frozen, and even suggests keeping it in the freezer. This storage of the bottles will lead to a sweet syrupy mouthful that is perfect for cosy nights beside the winter fire.
Several other whisky manufacturers are also releasing winter themed whisky, which is proving popular this Christmas as gifts for whisky lovers. For the more discerning taste, Glenfiddich is offering a bottle that is considerably more expensive than Dalwhinnie’s Winter’s Gold.
Winter Storm is a 21-year single malt that retails at £200, making it a bit more special. Glenfiddich use casks that were used to hold Canadian icewine, which was made using grapes that were harvested while they were frozen, resulting in an incredibly sweet drink.
The well-aged whisky is finished in these casks, which the master blender at Glenfiddich says adds depth and character to the whisky. He believes that only older whiskies can stand up to the intense flavourings of the icewine casks.