Have yourself a Hazelwood Christmas full of sherry, spice, and everything nice this festive season. Discover the perfect whisky gifts for the connoisseur, sweet-toothed and those notoriously difficult to buy for with our gift guide.
The fire is stoked and crackles with anticipation. The curtains are drawn, and if you pause for just a moment and listen so very, very carefully, you may just hear the gentle jingle of sleighbells on their way.
At the dining table, lashings of sherry-bombs and nuanced peat glaze the glasses, paired with tender meats, roasted chestnuts, decadent Christmas puddings and of course, the odd tangerine or two, snaffled from the bottom of the present stocking, offset by pealing laughter and toasts to good health - slàinte mhath.
As the evening draws to a close, the setting sun marks the building excitement as the late hour makes way for the arrival of a coveted Sherried Single Cask, sourced only weeks prior for the festivities. This is no ordinary amber – this is a whisky that has been painstakingly cared for and sourced by the head warehouseman of the House of Hazelwood. A drop which has slumbered for the better part of a century, before awakening and leaving the sheltered refuge of the dunnage warehouses for the occasion. A Christmas whisky so precious in its quantity, that only a few drops can be spared. To not enjoy such a taste triumph would be a terrible shame - 'tis the season after all.
Since 2022, the Gordon Family have invited whisky aficionados around the world into the family private stocks, and this Christmas, the House of Hazelwood promises to share its most decadent drops so those can enjoy their an unforgettable Christmas of flavour in the comfort of their own homes.
The Christmas Whisky Gift Guide
Every year, the festive season seems to sneak up upon us all too quick – and before we know it, we find ourselves in pursuit of the perfect Christmas whisky gift, in the hopes of delighting the connoisseur close to our hearts. The good news is the House of Hazelwood is always certain to delight. Described as the greatest inventory of aged and rare Scotch Whisky in the world, prospective recipients of such as whisky gift really do need to be on the very nice list.
A Gift of Craftsmanship – The Huntsman Blend
One of the newest additions to the House of Hazelwood family, The Huntsman Blend is a celebration of craft, led by the whisky maker’s most skilled blenders and Campbell Carey, creative director and custodian of the esteemed Huntsman, fine tailors of Savile Row.
The partnership, announced in October earlier this year, saw the release of a highly limited edition 50-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky, inspired by the Speyside home from which the House of Hazelwood attributes its origins. To coincide with whisky, the Huntsman, in a mark of mutual creativity, released a specially designed House of Hazelwood tweed, inspired by the rolling hills, dunnage whisky warehouses and highland flora and fauna which surround the grounds of the family home. Through Huntsman, the tweed is available to buy in the form of a beautifully tailored jacket – a symbolic celebration of their upcoming 175th anniversary.
The ideal whisky gift, the special edition of The Huntsman Blend 50-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky is also offered alongside a fabric-bound hipflask, exclusive to the release, of which is offered in a gift pack, complete with engraved wooden box and two generous sample bottles of the whisky – the ideal solution for the collector who likes to both savour and save.
Nose: A rich, oak character greets the nose, offering notes of wood spice, honey and toasted coconut.
Palate: The palate develops into a style akin to a Speysider, offering up mouth-watering juicy, bursting red fruits and blackberries.
Finish: The finish is long, extending the presence of oak, lightly spiced - a tribute to the exclusive American Oak maturation.
Just 75 bottles of this special release are available to buy and are offered at a natural cask strength, free from added colour and chill-filtration.
A Gift of History – Blended at Birth
Every release from the House of Hazelwood could be described as a gift of history: highly aged casks, each with their own colourful story to tell. But there is perhaps none more pivotal for the whisky collector than that of Blended at Birth, a 1965 Vintage Blended Scotch Whisky, which is today regarded as the first and the last of its kind in the world.
What pushes this highly limited release into near-extinction, is the way in which it was made, with new-make spirit blended at the point of inception, as opposed to after it has matured for three years to legally become Scotch Whisky – a practice of which today is now prohibited by the Scotch Whisky Association. This whisky will never be seen again – and yet, its presentation is utterly remarkable, offering up tannins and tastes of spiced fruit cake – a true festive feast for the tastebuds. A truly beautiful, elegant festive spirit.
Nose: Rich notes of marzipan, Dundee cake and leather on the nose
Palate: Pleasing tannin-rich herbal tea on the palate and a cool, minty aftertaste.
Just 192 bottles of this limited-edition whisky are available to buy and are offered free from added colour.
A Gift of Decadence– The Old Confectioner’sIf there is one time of the year it is acceptable to indulge in the delights of sticky toffee, honeycomb, creamy fudge, and liquorice, it is Christmas time. So many of us still feel that rush of excitement as we dig deep into our stockings to unearth our surprises – and this sense of sweetshop nostalgia has been bottled, in the form of The Old Confectioner’s, a 44-Year-Old Blended Malt Scotch Whisky.
This Scotch Whisky has slumbered for over four decades in refill sherry butts. It has taken on not just flavour, but the ability to transport the drinker to the old-fashioned sweet shops of the past – thanks to its extensive maturation - giving way to mature notes such as leather and old oak countertops – the serendipitous backdrop to notes of liquorice, candied fruit, and all things delicious that can be decanted from an old glass sweet jar.
There is perhaps no greater rival for the affections of the sweet-toothed – The Old Confectioner’s really is the perfect whisky gift.
Nose: Familiar sweet shop notes of liquorice and luscious candied fruit greet the nose.
Palate: On the palate, initial caramelised notes lead into a darker treacle toffee and liquorice character.
Finish: The finish is long and complex – moving slowly from sweet to dry with flashes of leather and oak recalling old wooden countertops.
Just 256 bottles of this scrumptious release are available to buy and are offered at a natural cask strength, free from added colour and chill-filtration.
A Gift of Sherried Sensation– The Tops
In recent years, fortified wine has taken a step down in popularity, and sweetly spiced Sherry is seldom seen outside of the festive occasion. But there are no better bedfellows than that of a Scotch Whisky that has been matured in casks that once held sherry, and in the instance of The Tops, a 33-Year-Old Speyside Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, there is no better demonstrate for the merits of such a maturation.
With malt components selected from the very best – or “the tops” – of the inventory by the whisky maker, this malt has slept well, taking on indulgent properties that pair remarkably well alongside festive foods. Notes of toffee, treacle and caramel offer the perfect balance to roasted chestnuts and savoury snacks, while the spiced and sherbet flavours stand up in their own right against meaty mouthfuls of Christmas dinner. A truly versatile whisky, made for the sherry lover.
Nose: Rich and indulgent on the nose with notes of treacle, toffee, and caramel.
Palate: The palate is sweet to start with a lively drying oak character and sweet sherbet aftertaste.
523 bottles of this sherry-bomb are available to buy and are offered at a natural cask strength, free from added colour and chill-filtration.
A Gift of Surprise - The Cask Trials
For many of us, there is no challenge greater than keeping to ourselves the secret of a surprise. Knowing that we are in possession of a soon-to-be-gift that the recipient with cherish is as almost as delightful as the act of gifting itself.
Such a treasure is undoubtedly difficult to come by, particularly for those who are hard to buy for, but The Cask Trials, a 1968 Vintage Single Grain Scotch Whisky, is made for those who have their name penned on the very nice list.
A whisky for the ultimate connoisseur, this Single Grain, hailing from the much-loved cult classic grain distillery of Girvan, has slumbered for over half a century in European Oak. An unconventional maturation, no doubt, but one that has yielded exceptional results, with this grain whisky taking on such mature properties, which if tasted blind, you could be forgiven for believing it was in fact a well-aged malt.
The definition of decadence of decanted, yet so precious in its quantity, if the owner of the whisky shares a drop of this expression with you, should be considered the highest of honours.
Nose: Rich, decadent and intense with a resinous quality and dried fruits on the nose.
Palate: Roasted coffee and Muscovado toffee notes follow on the palate.
Just 303 bottles of this special Single Grain Scotch are available to buy and are offered at a natural cask strength, free from added colour and chill-filtration.