A dram for the end of a hard day

My House

When you write a blog, you feel after a while you get to know the readers of the blog. We meet at events, we talk online or through email.

I need a bit of advice from you.  I’ll explain:

Let me tell you something about my Spirits collection in my home (forgive me, currently it’s quite depleted). I have a cupboard (fire hazard!) in my kitchen which contains some of my Whisky and vodka. Currently sitting in there is a bottle of SMWS Ardbeg 33.96, 1/2 a bottle of Ballantines 17, a 1/4 bottle of Glenfarclas 21, a 1/4 bottle of Scotch Whisky Experience 21 YO Blend, A hip flask full of Glenfiddich 14, 2 bottles of Chopin Polish Vodka and  a bottle of Good Stomach Polish Honey Vodka.

That’s not the end of it. In terms of samples, I have a bespoke blend made by friend Jason when we were at Glengoyne (Jason’s Tasty surprise), Lark Tasmanian Single Cask, Drambuie, Greenore 18, Linkwood 15, Master of Malt Tamnavullin 16 and many many more!

The Advice

So I have described what I have in my drinks cabinet. What’s the problem? Well, here it is. At the end of a hard day, I enjoy having a dram. If it has been one of those days. You know the kind of day. The kind of day that pushes you to the very limit. The kind of day that makes you pour yourself a large dram, slump in your chair, put your feet up, stop and contemplate the day you have had. As you reflect on the day, you take a large swig from your favourite whisky glass (either my chunky Balblair glass or my rocking Talisker glass) and plan tomorrow, because tomorrow will always be a better day. Tomorrow is the day where it will all go right.

My problem is that my chosen whisky’s for these particular moments have run out. For a while, I was dramming Jameson 18, as it took me back to Ireland and a brilliant trip. Then there was my Midleton Single Cask Port (A cask sample), which again took me back to Ireland (both of these are unbelievable drams). For a short while, I was dramming a 35 Year Old Chivas Blend, before I decided to do it as a tasting with the Edinburgh Uni Water of Life Society (totally worth it. They loved it). I tried to use the Ardbeg 33.96, but while being an excellent whisky, a cask strength, super peaty Ardbeg  is just a bit too strong. I think the dram for these moments needs to have flavour, but not be too strong. It needs to have sweetness too.

This is where I need your help. What should I go for as my new dram for the end of a hard day? I am going to buy a bottle. What is your dram for the end of a hard day?

Your help is always much appreciated.



  1. Thinking about easy OB to find…
    Balblair 89: smell of tropical fruits, will relax you thinking about a nice beatch in carabbean seas (once you realized it’s not true you will need 2 or 3 more).

    Or Clynelish 14, always deserves

  2. Go for Tesco’s finest white label blend.

  3. @ Davide Good shout on the Balblair.

    @ Lucas Have you tried Tesco’s finest white label?

  4. You can replace Polish Wodka with this
    Isn’t polish?

  5. Your day sounds like my week, shall be popping open and dramlaxing this evening with a Balvenie Doublewood.

  6. hmm, tough question. After a tough day I’d probably want something like the Aberlour a’bunadh. Something thats going to very quickly remind you why you love whisky, and very quickly remind you how little a rough day matters when you can enjoy such a fine dram! Or the glenfarclas 105 is another excellant choice.

    The Balvenie double wood always goes down well tho if you don’t fancy a cask strength! I did head for the talisker the other day however after I was particularly fed up!

  7. I find myself often grabbing a Wild Turkey Rare Breed for such occasions. Also some other easily accessible drams like Pulteney 12, Lagavulin 16, I guess the Classics pretty much sum it up.

    If I’ve had ‘one of those days’ that just doesn’t cut it, and I take some time to estimate whether I’m going to be still grumpy when sipping, or if that moment is one of peace and quiet. That is the biggest decision maker ;-)

  8. That could be Bowmore 15yo mariner. Or another Islay. I prefer Islay’s but have also some others in my cabinet. FE Glencoyne, auchentoshan or aberlour. At least the weekend has to start positive.

  9. Hard day?

    Grab a soothing Glenfarclas 15.

  10. I second (or third ;) the Balvenie DoubleWood…this is also one of those whiskys that I think it’s key to try both before and after adding a couple drops of water. I tried the PortWood recently as well…….it was divine, but a bit pricey for a bottle. You might like Talisker 18 yo, that is my ‘go-to’ these days.

  11. Good suggestions, guys.

    @Chris – I can’t say I have but we should totally do a tasting of supermarkets’ own blends!

  12. My current default end-of-a-hard-day whisky is Clynelish 14, Waitrose seem to be quite good at putting it on special offer, which is nice.

    I ran out recently and just got the distiller’s edition as a replacement – also 14 years old and finished in Olorose casks for a bit of sherry influence. I tried it at Whisky Squad last month and was rather taken by it.

    I also agree with the A’bunadh/Glenfarclas 105 suggestion – I’ve got both of those in the cupboard and they’ve been doing good service in the last few weeks…

  13. I have a bottle of Whyte & Mackay Waitrose Partnership Blend that I’m tempted to open at some stage over the weekend. Though I feel it’s probobly just a marginaly pimped up version of the standard Whyte & Mackay Special.

    Talking of supermarket drams, I have been rather impressed with Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference range of single malts, which are bottled by Ian Macleod distillers. For under £20 very impressive compared to some other supermarket offerings I’ve tried.

  14. Thanks for the advice folks. I think I may go for a bottle of Abunadh.

  15. Great choice!

  16. Well I think I may just have the perfect dram. I recently opened a Glen Ord 18 year old from D. Laing – Old Malt Cask.
    It was big, bold, sweet and with slight peat.

  17. Don’t see enough Glen Ord about. Quite a tasty whisky. Great choice!

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