The Best Whiskeys To Pair With A Warm Blanket And A Roaring Fire

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Feb 20 | By entertainoiam2admin | Views: 18 | Comments: 0
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For most of us, February, March, and even some of April are months where winter still dominates. The northern parts of the U.S. are blanketed with snow. Chilly, gray, sunless days are the norm. It’s the perfect time to find a comfy spot in front of a fireplace, burn barrel, or space heater, cover yourself in the softest blanket you can find and sip on that sweet whiskey. Rye, scotch, bourbon, rum-finished, it’s all good.

Anthony Merlino, the beverage director at Bergamo’s in New York City likes to keep his warming whiskey corn-based whenever possible. “When I think of a blanket and a fire, my mind goes straight to bourbon.” He adds. “George T. Stagg is a 15 plus year whiskey aged in new charred oak barrels. With lush toffee sweetness, hints of vanilla, dark berries and underlying notes of tobacco.” This over-proof bourbon is perfectly suited for a cold winter’s night in Merlino estimation.

Tony Abou Ganim, master mixologist and bar consultant at Highlands in Detroit, on the other hand, prefers something from across the pond. “For warming up under a blanket, in front of a fire, cuddling with that special person in your life, or your dogs, or a great book, I would lean towards Scotch whisky.” He continues, “there’s something magical about sipping scotch and in particular a single malt that feels almost like a blanket for your insides.”

Other bartenders have their own ideas of which whiskeys they’d sip on while they hide away from dredges of winter. That’s why we asked some of our favorites to tell us the one whiskey that pairs perfectly with a warm blanket and a roaring fire.

Glenmorangie Lasanta

Style: Single Malt Whisky
ABV: 43%
Average Price: $54.99

Jesse Cyr, bartender at Foreign National in Seattle

The first brand that comes to mind is Glenmorangie, specifically their Lasanta expression. Glenmorangie is a powerhouse in the single malt scotch world. Their full-bodied, creamy house style is a great representation of a Highland single malt. Glenmorangie Lasanta is finished in Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, giving the spirit a wonderful toffee, roasted nut, and dried fig flavor. It’s like the classic imagery of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, but in a glass. This whisky begs to be enjoyed with a warm blanket, in your favorite chair, flames crackling in the background.

Lagavulin 12 Cask Strength

Style: Single Malt Whisky
ABV: 56.5%
Average Price: $179.99

Alex Carlin, beverage director of Infuse Hospitality in Chicago

You don’t even need a blanket when you’re enjoying Lagavulin 12 Cask Strength. You have the smoke and fire already in the bottle. All you need are the marshmallows. I would highly recommend soaking marshmallows in your favorite scotch and refrigerating them for 2 hours for a wonderful snack.

The Macallan Rare Cask

Style: Single Malt Whisky
ABV: 43%
Average Price: $249.99

Abraham Millett, head bartender at Plunge Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The Macallan Rare Cask is from Scotland and it’s single malt. It has notes of ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, raisins, and oak. Nothing warmer than all of those cozy and tasty tidbits. It reminds me of bread pudding, neither of which should be over-indulged in for equally deleterious reasons.

Ardbeg 10

Style: Single Malt Whisky
ABV: 46%
Average Price: $59.99

Jose De Jesus Medina Camacho, bar manager at Automatic Seafood & Oysters in Birmingham, Alabama

Ardbeg 10 is one of my favorite whiskies. I’m not sure why some people won’t give smoky whisky a chance. But, what could be better to pair with fires and blankets?

High West A Midwinter Night’s Dram

Style: Straight Rye Whiskey
ABV: 46.3%
Average Price: $119.99

Kala Ellis, bar manager at O-Ku in Nashville

A Midwinter Night’s Dram by High West is the perfect whiskey to sip by a warm fire. It is like a liquefied cinnamon and nutmeg crumb cake. It’s a little fiery on the finish, but that added heat extends the finish on it quite a bit. I personally enjoy Act 3, Scene 3 the most. But every iteration is incredibly flavorful. Not always an easy one to find out there but always worth the purchase.

Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey

Style: Irish Whiskey
ABV: 40%
Average Price: $19.99

Patrick Turner, bartender at B&O American Brasserie in Baltimore

On many occasions, I can be found outside with buddies, gathered around a big ol’ bonfire with wool blankets, and sipping on Tullamore D.E.W.

Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Style: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
ABV: 43.2%
Average Price: $35.49

Andres Padilla, head bartender at 312 in Chicago

If I need a whiskey to drink by the fire, I’m pouring a glass of Woodford Reserve. It’s a semi-sweet bourbon with caramel and toffee notes. It’s perfect to enjoy while you’re wrapped in a blanket next to a fire.

Talisker Port Ruighe

Style: Single Malt Whisky
ABV: 45.8%
Average Price: $50

Darron Foy, head bartender at The Flatiron Room in New York City

Talisker Port Ruighe is one of my all-time favorite whiskies. It brings together two of my loves — peat and port. I think this is a great example of how you can balance the strong, sometimes overpowering flavor of peat with wine, chocolate, and stewed fruit notes. Just imagine being snugly wrapped up like a burrito, sipping on sea spray intermingled with Turkish delight candy and burnt toffee. Yum.

Bushmills Original

Style: Irish Whiskey
ABV: 40%
Average Price: $20.99

Melissa Carroll, bar manager at Fisk & Co. in Chicago

If I start to feel a chill, I always go for a Bushmills Hot Toddy. It has this lovely shortbread cookie quality to it that almost reminds me of Girl Scout cookies. Honey, lemon, a few whole cloves, some very hot water, and this classic Irish whiskey will have me warmed up in no time.

Angel’s Envy Bourbon

Style: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
ABV: 43.3%
Average Price: $43.99

Bryan Mayer, bartender at Azabu in Miami

If I’m drinking a whiskey to warm me up, it’s going to be Angel’s Envy. It’s a savory bourbon that stands alone great and will warm up the coldest of winter nights.

Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

Style: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
ABV: 50%
Average Price: $49.99

Will Witherow, bartender at Live Oak in Alexandria, Virginia

If I’m sitting by the fire with a warm blanket, chances are I’ll be drinking Four Roses Single Barrel. Nothing like relaxing to the crackling of firewood and a smooth bourbon that has a long finish.

Bulleit Rye

Style: Straight Rye Whiskey
ABV: 45%
Average Price: $23.99

Leah Stumbo, bar manager at Bar Moxy in Nashville

Bulleit Rye Whiskey has an oak aroma and the yummy taste of spice, vanilla, and honey leave you feeling comfy and perfect for cuddling up in front of the fire.

Bruichladdich The Octomore

Style: Single Malt Whisky
ABV: Varies, 50%-65%
Average Price: $200

Bryant Orozco, bar manager at Madre Restaurants + Mezcaleria in Los Angeles

There is something about scotch that always reminds me of being fireside, so I would have to go with a peaty, smokey scotch. When I have the extra cash, I splurge on The Octomore. It’s Peaty AF. Plus, with that warm blanket, it puts me right to bed.

High West Campfire

Style: Blended American Whiskey
ABV: 46%
Average Price: $69.99

Jill Bulmash. mixologist at Monk’s Flask in Asheville, North Carolina

One that gives me that hygge feeling every time is High West Campfire Whiskey. It has the perfect amount of smokey smoothness to keep you toasty from the inside-out.

The Macallan 18

Style: Single Malt Whisky
ABV: 43%
Average Price: $319.99

Tony Abou Ganim, master mixologist and bar consultant at Highlands in Detroit

When it comes to single malt scotch, it truly represents such a diverse category with each bottling being so unique and wonderful that it truly is nearly impossible to select just one. But since you asked, I would need to go with The Macallan 18 year Sherry Oak Cask. I discovered and fell in love with this expression years ago and it continues to be my choice whenever a fire and blanket are involved. The tone of this whisky is established with a big blast of sweet sherry giving way to stewed plums, black cherry, and dark berry preserves. The finish on this amazing whisky goes on and on with a reminder of caramel, sweet vanilla, toasted oak, and that wonderful sherry! Someone, please put another log on the fire.

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