I hate autumn. No matter how many years I've been out of school, I can't lose that feeling of dread I get when the nights get shorter and the temperatures get cooler. The end of baseball season and the beginning of hockey season both depress me immensely. I don't even like Halloween. But there are two good things I can say about fall. One is that I no longer have to worry about sweat stains on my T-shirts. And the other is that cool, crisp autumn nights are perfect for drinking Scotch whisky. Whether it's the smoky, peaty flavor of an Islay malt, the sweet complexity of a Speyside, or even a smooth and mellow blend, a good Scotch can melt the chill in your bones, and it's a balm for the spirit besides.
Scotch whiskies -- especially single malts -- are often made to seem as if they've been around for decades, if not centuries. But even the most aged distilleries have been experimenting with new variations on their old classics. This year has brought a bevy of new whiskies from Scotland, many of which are worthy to stand alongside your old favorites in your liquor cabinets. Here's just a smattering of the best:
Which one of these fine new brands is my favorite? It wouldn't be polite to say... would it? Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, all seven of these new whiskies are worth trying. Alba gu brath -- Scotland forever!