Water of love: distillery boss gives his tips on picking a Valentine’s Day Scotch whisky for the special one in your life

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THE manager of a Scottish distillery has given a Valentine’s Day guide to picking a whisky that will delight and surprise your other half.

And Gordon Bruce says the secret partly lies in considering what flavours your loved one enjoys.

Gordon is the distillery manager at the Knockdhu Distillery in Knock, near Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

Consider your partner’s preferred flavours when buying whisky for Valentine’s Day, says Gordon

Gordon suggests that rather than buying another bottle of your partner’s “go to” whisky, you should give the purchase a bit of extra thought.

He said: “Do they have a sweet tooth, or like strong flavours like mature cheese and smoked meats and fish?

“If they like bold and distinctive tastes, than a peated whisky may be a good bet.”

According to Gordon, heavily peated whiskies can be an acquired taste, so it may be best to err on the side of caution.

He said: “At Knockdhu we use a locally sourced peat that imparts a soft ashy smokiness to the spirit rather than a harsher medicinal smoke that’s a feature of some peated whisky.”

Gordon suggested his distillery’s anCnoc Peatheart single malt which he said has a “subtle balance of smoke with tastes of sweet citrus and vanilla”.

And if you’re looking for food to pair the whisky with, Gordon’s personal recommendation are blue cheese, parmesan, smoked salmon or gravadlax.

But what if your other half has a sweet tooth and prefers more subtle flavours?

He recommended looking for whiskies that have soft caramel, honey, and gentle fruity notes.

And look for tasting notes on the packaging, written by the distillery manager or master blender, so you’ll know what to expect.

Subtle flavours are also a good choice for those fairly new to whisky, or who like an easy to
drink dram, added Gordon.

From his own distillery, Gordon suggested anCnoc 12-year-old as his top choice when it comes to enjoyable accessible whisky.

He said: “It’s soft, gentle, sweet and smooth and tastes amazing when paired with cheddar or parmesan or good quality vanilla ice cream.”

Finally, what about catering for the well-heeled whisky lover?

Gordon – and who can blame him? – reckons anCnoc 24-year-old single malt is a good choice.

A bottle will set you back in the region of £120 but Gordon insists it’s worth it, saying: “Its flavours are intense and are perfect to enjoy in a moment of reflection at the
end of a busy week.

“It’s an ideal dram to sniff and sip on a rainy day in front of a fire with a
good friend – either two or four legged.”