A month’s worth of comings and goings in the world of The Whisky Exchange

As the temperatures start to drop, we set our sights (and taste buds) on the new season’s winter-warmers. And that’s exactly what we’ve brought you this month. From the punchy, sweet festive treat of Christmas malts, to the South African spice of an all-too-rare Cape Brandy, this month’s roundup gives a whole new meaning to the idea of festive spirit. Cheers!

Who we’re Visiting:
The Macallan Distillery 

Top of the list for the next trip north of the border is the rather impressive new Macallan distillery and visitor experience. More than three years and £140million in the making, it was the most talked about opening of the whisky world in 2018 and definitely worth a visit. My inner geek was fascinated to hear that the spectacular roof of the new distillery features 380,000 individual components, almost none of which are equal or the same.

The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience,
Easter Elchies, Craigellachie, AB38 9RX, Scotland.



What we’re Mixing:
Idle Hands

Now, I’m no bartender (whisper it… I’ve never even worked behind a bar), but no-one can deny how well Cognac works in cocktails. 

Dependent on the ingredients you use, you’ll boost either the fruity and floral notes or the spice and buttery notes. 

This creation, from the guys at The Dark Horse in Bath, definitely does the latter and that’s what you really want for winter. 

Incredibly simple and delicious to boot,
this little tipple might just replace the usual Old Fashioneds at home this Christmas!


40ml  Ferrand 10 Générations Cognac

10ml Bourbon

1 Bar spoon of Amaro

1 Bar spoon of Demerara sugar syrup

5 drops of Angostura bitters


Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, stir to taste. Pour over a large ice cube in a rocks glass and garnish with an orange twist.

What we’re Drinking:
Oude Molen XO Cape Brandy

No festive season is complete without a good brandy, and this XO from South Africa (a nation launching some great liquid at the moment) is quite something. The South Africans have been producing brandy since they have been producing wine, but this is the first time Oude Molen has appeared in the UK. 

Bring it out at the end of a good meal to really appreciate notes of apple tatin and dried pineapple, hints of cedar wood, caramel and sweet spice

£59.95 – thewhiskyexchange.com

Who we’re Following:

Denver Cramer and Liely Faulkner are friends who love high quality but functional design and, as such, have created a small selection of exceptional glassware for whisky, bourbon and gin. Their Instagram feed isn’t just full of beautifully-photographed glassware that makes you want to buy immediately (although there is some of that every now and then), it’s also crammed with wanderlust, interesting personalities and whisky recommendations. Keep an eye on their stories for global adventures with whisky!

What we’re Dramming:
A Fine Christmas Malt

If you’re looking for a dram that can be described as ‘Christmas in a glass’, this is it. Matured for 17 years in Oloroso sherry butts, this Speyside single malt is described by our whisky ambassador, Billy Abbott, as ‘the essence of Christmas, with rich buttery spice and sticky cherries, hints of holly-wreath leafiness and Christmas-tree pine’. If that doesn’t make your mouth water, I don’t know what will!

£74.95 – thewhiskyexchange.com

Words by Liz Lock