Globe-Trotting Whiskies: fermented grain mashes from everywhere but Scotland

Globe-Trotting Whiskies: fermented grain mashes from everywhere but Scotland

Where to Drink Now: Globe-Trotting Whiskies

Everyone knows that Scotland produces some of the best whisky on the planet, but the British isle isn’t the only country making excellent grain-based spirits. Distilleries from unexpected locales—including India, Taiwan and South Africa—are barrel-aging brown liquors infused with flavours and aromas that are distinct to those regions. Here, five world whiskies worth sampling.

Circle Red 1
Amrut put India on the map as a bona fide producer. The Fusion single malt is spicy and tropical with bold peat flavours typically found in a scotch. $78.25. LCBO 220756

Circle Red 2
South Africa’s Three Ships five-year is a classic: smoky and peaty with caramel smoothness. It stands up to any entry-level scotch, but at a lower price point. $34.95. LCBO 329060
Circle Red 3
Sweden’s Mackmyra single malt is elegant and surprisingly sweet, with floral aromas, berry favours and hints of vanilla. $66.95. LCBO 269639
Circle Red 4
For a rugged whiskey with herbal aromas similar to quality tequila, there’s P&M three-year from Corsica. It’s young, so it has lots of alcohol heat, but it’s sweet, too. $59.95. LCBO 369827
Circle Red 5
Japanese whiskey typically stays true to the Scottish style. The Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 12-year is ultra smooth, artfully balancing cherry fruit, citrus peel and smoke. $74.40. LCBO 332957

The Emmet Ray (924 College St., 416-792-4497) stocks all of these exotic bottles, and co-owner Andrew Kaiser provides crash-course samplings for neophytes.