I’m sure most of us who have travelled through an airport are familiar with the quandary of whether to purchase a bottle of something from duty free; if you’re anything like me, it’ll be more a question of what than if!
World Duty Free run many of the duty free shops at UK airports and are currently celebrating ‘Whisky Fest 12’, which ends on 22nd May. This annual celebration of whiskies from around the world is the home of many a promotion (savings of up to 35% on normal retail prices), making it much easier to treat yourself to an old favourite or to try something new.
There are a number of benefits to buying whisky from World Duty Free: firstly, it’s cheaper (even outside of Whisky Fest, you save around 25%); secondly, the staff are knowledgeable, friendly and very willing to help you find the perfect bottle and, during Whisky Fest, there even are more whiskies available to sample, so you can try before you buy.
My favourite reason, however, is the presence of travel retail exclusives; things you can’t buy on the high street back home, so there’s a chance to pick up something new and a bit special. Here are some examples of some of the exclusives that I’ve been lucky enough to try:
Johnnie Walker Double Black
Nose: Fresh, hints of flapjack and a charred smokiness. Reminds me of the outdoors.
Taste: Brilliantly silky texture. A rich, woody sweetness to start, followed by a delicious smokiness that really lasts, gradually fading into a dry peatiness. Excellent, but subtly building warmth after the finish.
Jack Daniel’s Silver Select
Nose: Sweet, with lots of caramel and light woody notes.
Taste: Initially soft and sweet, almost syrupy. A second or so later and there’s an intense, fresh bourbon flavour that really packs a punch: pine, vanilla, oak and a very faint hint of banana.
Isle of Jura Superstition
Nose: Rich and heavy, with peat, wood and spice, and a hint of rice cakes.
Taste: With a medium-level of peatiness and a dry finish, this had good balance. The peaty notes appear all the way through and I was intrigued at how it had the mouthfeel of a liqueur, but a distinctly savoury flavour.
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in a UK airport over the next few days, make sure to celebrate with them at Whisky Fest 12 and take the opportunity to try at least one whisky that you wouldn’t normally go for.