Come and See the Tropical Side of Whisky

Words by Jane Ryan

Come and See the Tropical Side of Whisky image 1

Fruity, bright and made for mixing, there's a whole world of whisky out there that's busily been borrowing rum's barrels to give itself a tropical makeover.

When burying your nose into the depth of a whisky glass to sniff out some delicious notes, tropical flavours are not unheard of. In fact we list ripe pineapple on the nose and on the palate when we enjoy a dram of The Glenlivet 12 year old. Faint tropical notes are one of the reasons Scotch whisky works so well in Highball cocktails with easy fruity flavours.

Because whisky is not just for winter.

Seizing on this, Scotch whisky brands have been finishing their whiskies in ex-rum barrels from the Caribbean to amplify the existing tropical side of whisky. Typically this works the other way around, with rums aged in old whisky barrels, but by reversing it you get an incredible spirit that has all the backbone of a whisky with the fun party vibes of a rum.

How does this work in practice? For The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve, the makers take a portion of their Speyside single malt that was first aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finish this for a few months in oak casks previously used to mature Caribbean rum. Because only a portion gets this rum makeover we're left with plenty of malty, toffee and even orchard fruit flavours before being hit with the tropical delights of pineapple, mango and banana. Business in the front, party up the back.

If you've never been able to get into single malts this could be your gateway whisky. The rum finish gives an exceptional smooth finish and makes for a brilliant cocktail ingredient so you can experiment with whisky in the safe comfort of a Mai Tai. And if you already love whisky? There's a whole world of tropical cocktails for you to finally enjoy with your favourite spirit.

Caribbean Reserve Cocktails

Mai Tai

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Garnish: Mint sprigs and orange wheel
Glass: Rocks
How to make: SHAKE all ingredients with ice and strain into glass filled with crushed ice.
50ml The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve
15ml orgeat syrup
15ml triple sec
5ml lime juice

Coco Lime Smash

ency 92 imageGarnish: Lime wedge and mint sprig
How to make: MUDDLE ingredients in the base of a shaker. Add ice and SHAKE. Fine strain into ice-filled glass.
60ml The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve
45ml coconut water
2 lime wedges
7.5ml simple syrup
8 Mint leaves

Tartan Tiki

ency 79 imageGarnish: Pineapple leaf and orange wedge
Glass: Collins or rocks
How to make: POUR ingredients into ice-filled glass and serve.
50ml The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve
25ml pineapple juice (fresh pressed)
2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
Top with peach sparkling water

Punch Fresco

ency 95 imageGarnish: Mint and watermelon slice
Glass: Rocks glass with tajin rim.
How to make: MUDDLE ingredients in glass. Add cubed ice and serve.
45ml The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve
4 watermelon chunks (45ml parts if watermelon juice)
1tsp sugar cane or agave

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