Whisky & Water, Dufftown Distilleries

The finest whiskies in the world start with just two ingredients, barley and water. From simple beginnings, something infinitely more desirable emerges after a long slumber in a dark, damp Scottish warehouse – something smooth, spicy and spellbinding.

The most crucial ingredient, however, is considerably harder to procure: whisky demands of its makers an abundant supply of patience, for under no circumstances can a single malt be hurried. Only after three years in oak does it earn the right to call itself a Scotch whisky, and it takes at least a decade in darkness to earn the respect of a true connoisseur – and some prestigious whiskies are as old as 70 years, laid to barrel by previous generations.

As with the making, so with the drinking – for a dram must not be downed. Pour into a tulip-shaped glass; tilt and turn the glass to watch the oily nectar coat the sides; ‘nose’ the whisky to pick up on peaty, smoky or fruity expressions; add a splash of spring water to release its buttery tones; and finally sip to open up the great Scottish outdoors. Deep leather armchair and crackling fire optional.

Barley is high in linoleic acid, a traditional calmant for dry skin.

Britain in a Bottle Noble Isle sources natural extract of malted barley from the time-honoured Balvenie Distillery in Dufftown, one of only a few distilleries still harvesting and malting its own barley to create an exclusive range of handcrafted single malt Scotch whiskies, characterised by a smooth, honeyed complexity.

www.thebalvenie.com

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