5 maritime single malts you have to try
These whiskies bring with them the rich flavours of the sea
Cheery cocktails in rainbow colours by the beach are great and all, but seasoned mariners know there is no better drink to fully appreciate the gravitas of being at sea than a dram of their favourite single malt. In this list, we have chosen whiskies that carry unmistakable hints of the sea that are intermingled beautifully with peat smoke, to create a rich liquid that is both flavourful and emotional.
Coal Ila 12 Year
Pronounced as ‘cull ee-la’, the distillery was founded way back in 1846, and in its long history it has been demolished and rebuilt, and now it is part of Diageo. Coal Ila is now the largest – both in size and production – distillery in Islay, and is well known as one of the lighter, more nuanced of Islay’s single malts. This 12 year bottle is one of their entry-level offerings that debuted in 2002, and is an easy point of entry into the world of nautical whiskies.
Bowmore Vault Edition First Release ‘Atlantic Sea Salt’
A mouthful if you ever needed to name what your drink of choice is, this is the first release in a four-part limited edition series that highlights the distillery’s maritime style. The classic, smoky flavour of Islay whiskies is evident in the taste, and it is paired with a hint of fruitiness for a more refreshing overall flavour. The drink finishes with a hint of saltiness, as per its name.
Nikka Yoichi Single Malt
This whisky that was relaunched in 2016 comes from Nikka’s renowned Yoichi distillery. Purists may hesitate to reach for the bottle as it is a blend of single malts from different years, but the adventurous will be rewarded. The drink is full-bodied with a mellow peat that opens up on the palate, bringing notes of spices, fruits, and nuts. It is a complex drink that still retains a maritime character.
McCarthy’s Peated Oregon Single Malt
This three year-old peated single malt brings two worlds together by using peat malted barley from Scotland and Oregon Oak barrels to create a liquid that is smoky and sweet with hints of honey and plums. The Clear Creek distillery is one of the pioneers in US micro-distilling and this single malt should be a definite on your to-try list when you’re choosing a bottle for the sea.
This whisky is named after the second largest whirpool in the world with good reasons. Arbeg 10 is added with whisky aged in French Limousin Virgin Casks, resulting in a drink that is intense in aroma and powerful in flavour. A glass or two on a cold night while you’re enjoying the night sky on your deck is the best way to drink this.
It goes without saying, we hope, that any kind of alcoholic beverage must be enjoyed responsibly while on a boat. This short list is a small drop in the barrel, and we’re sure you have your own favourites drinks as well. Let us know all about them in our social media channels.