If you can remember as far back as September 2017 (we know, it seems like a lifetime ago), you might recall our blog on pairing whisky with coffee. We summarised that it’s not as simple as pouring some whisky into your coffee but, in fact, a far more complex idea that requires care and attention.
If you tried any of the pairings that we recommended on that day (and found out just how good they are) you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.
Today, we’re writing another blog for all of our coffee/whisky fans out there, but it’s not about pairing. Today we are going to delve solely into the world of whisky, but not just any old whisky – whisky with coffee notes, no actually – ‘whisky with coffee-like attributes’.
That’s right, we’re going to recommend three whiskies that will remind you of our favourite caffeinated drink (with extra alcohol). Coffee lovers will no doubt fall in love with these, so without further ado, let’s get going.
*DISCLAIMER – These whiskies (with coffee notes) may taste as good as, if not better than, your favourite roast, but we strongly advise against replacing your morning coffee with whisky.*
We’re starting with this Benrinnes 18 Year Old by The Maltman. This little beauty reminds us of a good quality Colombian coffee in so many ways.
It starts with an element of sweetness on the nose that is far from overpowering. You could take sniff after sniff of this dram and never feel like it was getting too much.
Hints of caramel and figs come through as the most apparent. (We know figs aren’t generally detected in coffee, but remember these are whiskies so they’re not going to be exactly the same.)
The palate follows with a little dark chocolate (imparted by the Sherry cask) and some lighter hints of toffee and more caramel.
The finish arrives with a beautiful little kick of smoke and a short (but detectable) whack of black treacle that brings that slight bitterness that you would expect from a hot cup of Colombian brew.
This won’t help to get you up in the morning but it is a great for getting you to sleep at night.
This Edradour is more like a Brazilian coffee than anything else (if you haven’t tried one, do it now!).
It comes with lots of chocolate on the nose and palate and the texture shows a full-body that is slightly creamy.
Then comes sugared almonds that bring that flavoursome nuttiness that the Brazilians manage to get into their beans. This is backed up by a little dried fruit and some mellow citrus fruit hints.
It’s rare to find a Sherry cask matured dram with citrus fruits included in their tasting notes, so we have to presume that these were in the spirit to begin with, as opposed to a result of the maturation.
The finish brings a lot more chocolate and a hint of mint that helps to smooth the whole thing out and leave your palate feeling fresh.
As far as a chocolatey, smooth, sweet and mellow coffee goes, this is the closest you will get in the whisky world and it’s a real delight.
Bolivian coffee is renowned for being smooth, slightly nutty and citrus fruity, with a good kick of malt. For a whisky like that we have to move away from Sherry butt matured drams and look at those matured in ex-Bourbon casks instead.
This Fettercairn 27 Year Old by Signatory fits the bill.
Matured in a hogshead cask, it starts with a lovely whiff of orange peel, vanilla and the malt that Bolivian coffee is so famous for.
Then comes more citrus fruit on the palate (more orange in particular), backed up by a distinct nutty flavour that lingers for a short time.
Hints of toffee are inescapable on the finish and their sweetness stays with you right up until you take that next sip.
From nose to finish, this amazing Fettercairn does an exceptional job of posing as a Bolivian ground roast, so much so that without the alcohol you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference (okay, not really, but it’s close!).
Enjoy your drams!
We hope we have given you all some whisky-for-thought today and you enjoy your coffee-like drams. Remember, these are whiskies (pretty strong ones at that), so you will get drunk. If you’re planning on doing anything that requires a clear head, stick to coffee, but for relaxing at the end of a hard day (and still managing to get to sleep), these are ideal.