The Best Single Malt Whiskies For a Special Occassion

Want to toast a special occasion? Pick up one of these spectacular single malts.

by Nicholas McClelland
Originally Published: 

If we do not stop to celebrate life’s special moments, then what makes them special? Whether it’s a new job, a child’s graduation from kindergarten, an in-laws’ anniversary, or the finish of a particularly tough week, celebrations should ensue. A ceremonial toast is always a good way to mark an occasion and spread the cheer. While Champagne may be the more traditional celebratory tipple, we prefer to toast with single malt whisky. Yeah, it’s got a bigger kick. But it also lingers much longer on the palate so you can savor that success a little longer. Buy the right bottle and it feels even more significant. If you have a special occasion on the horizon, or just want to pick up a nice bottle to savor a little moment, here are five excellent whiskies to try.

Glenmornagie 18

Every time we drink a glass of Glenmorangie 18, it feels like a win. The highland maker ages the whisky for 15 years in American white oak casks, then separates a portion for three years in Oloroso sherry casks, while the remainder lingers behind. At the end of those 36 months, the parts are reunited to create a deeply complex whisky with notes of dates, figs, nuts, vanilla, and a subtle, satisfying smoke.

Buy Now $130

The Macallan 12 Sherry Oak Cask

Easy to find if you’re out for an anniversary or about town with friends, The Macallan 12 Sherry Oak Cask is a sumptuous whisky at accessible price. This Speyside juice ages for a dozen years in Spanish Sherry casks sourced from bodegas in Jerez giving it lovely notes of oak, fruit, and spice as well as a luscious sweetness.

Buy Now $58

Nikka Yoichi Single Malt

Japanese single malts can be hard to find at your local shop. But we think Nikka’s Yoichi Single Malt is worth a bit of searching. From a peat-like smoke, imparted from the coal-fired process, emerge flavors of citrus, kiwi, ginger and a touch of leather, making it a luscious dram and one of our absolute favorites. Simply finding a bottle is worth a little celebratory tipple.

Buy Now $89

Kavalan Pedro Ximenez Sherry Single Cask Strength

Taiwanese maker Kavalan produces some of best whisky in the world, and our favorite, the Solist Pedro Ximenez Sherry Single Cask Strength, is a jawdropper (as its price.) Beautifully balanced, flavors of mixed nuts and cherries play off bitter-sweet chocolate and spice.

Buy Now $500

Glenfarclas 25

A dear friend gave us a bottle of Glenfarclas 25 to take the sting out of an upsettingly round birthday. It worked! Family-owned since 1865, Glenfarclas ages the whisky in Oloroso sherry casks chosen from a single Spanish bodega. It is a delicious, a classic sherried whisky, with flavors of fruit cake, spice, and a hint touch of cocoa.

Buy Now $170

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