A versatile Tesco Whisky
Whisky is, in (over)simplified terms, distilled beer; it is made from gains of barley that are malted to create sugars, then brewed to create alcohol, distilled for concentration and finally aged in casks for complexity and colour.
The original purpose of whisky, like all northern European spirits, is as a store of energy to survive the long, harsh winter.
High in alcohol and acidity, slightly oxidative and often with a touch (or more) of smokiness, whisky is made to last.
It matches well with many typically wine-unfriendly foods; think hot-smoked salmon, mince pies, chocolate and robust spicy dishes, from haggis to chili or curry.
There is very little whisky cannot cope with - except light and delicate foods; it is intense by its very nature, so positively demands old-school strong, sweet-savoury calorific foods that would overpower most table wines.
At 40% alcohol, it is around twice the strength of sherry or Madeira, and almost three times that of a table wine, so is more to be sipped than glugged.
Some people will suggest you add water or even mixers; personally, I prefer to sip it neat.
If you need an excuse to get some whisky in now, British Food Fortnight is from 18 September – 3 October in 2021; but, it makes a great drink in all but the hottest of weathers.
Tesco Finest Speyside Single Malt Whisky (£23)
floral and delicate with apples-and-pears fruit and roasted spices; citrus, pineapple and sweet vanilla with a well-integrated oak, good underpinnings and a persistent, harmonious finish.
A versatile whisky, sip as an aperitif or match with smoked fish, spiced dishes or mince pies and Christmas pudding.
It has an IWSC Silver Medal.