Christmastime always conjures up certain scents and flavors that are deeply intertwined with the holiday season.

Such familiar Christmas-related scents and flavors can include – but are certainly not limited to – the likes of: gingerbread, candy canes, pine needles, mulled wine, fruitcake, cinnamon, Mandarin oranges, chocolate, cranberry sauce, clove, rosemary and thyme, star anise, roasted chestnuts, an open fire – – and much more.

With festive flavors and fragrances like the aforementioned in mind, we’ve devised a list of our top 5 whiskies that taste like ‘Christmas in a glass’ – and we’ve also found the perfect cigar for you to pair them with.

So kick your feet up, light up a good cigar, and pour yourself something festive.

Style: Single Malt Scotch

Abv: 46%

  1. Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, Highlands Region, Scotland, UK

Characterized as rich and chocolatey. Mandarin orange meets dark chocolate and melted marshmallow, with peppermint, black pepper and walnut.

Still resonating with the rich, velvety aroma of ruby port, Glenmorangie ships Portuguese barrels to serve as further maturation for the Quinta Ruban, imprinting the spirit with a lingering chocolatey mint aroma and ruby glow.

This is Christmas in a glass personified.

  • Nose: Icing sugar, nutmeg, almond pastries and milky coffee 

  • Palate: Dark chocolate bar, Mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, marshmallow, peppermint and raisin.

  • Finish: Medium-long with stewed berries and dark chocolate. 

Style: Single Malt Scotch

Abv: 61.2%

2. Aberlour A’Bundah, Speyside Region, Scotland, UK

Sherried and intense. Full bodied and creamy.

A’Bundah is bottled at cask strength to ensure rich and complex flavors of dried fruit, Christmas fruit cake and dark chocolate.

  • Nose: Baking spices, praline, Seville orange, Oloroso sherry.

  • Palate: Orange, black cherries, Christmas fruit cake, ginger, dark bitter chocolate and oak. 

  • Finish: Long, robust and intense, with exotic spices, dark chocolate and oak. 

  • Pair with: Padrón 1964 Exclusivo Maduro

Style: Blended American Straight Rye

Abv: 49.3%

3. A Midwinter Nights Dram, High West Distillery, Utah, USA

A blend of  straight rye whiskeys finished in French port barrels. A complex, spicy, dark fruit-forward whiskey that is best enjoyed next to a warm fire as the snow piles up on the windowsill.

Tastes like Christmas plum pudding with mulling spices, dried fruits and crème anglaise.

  • Nose: Brandied cherries, dried orange peel, fig jam, raisins, baking spices and toast. 

  • Palate: Vanilla caramel, strawberry rhubarb crumble, molasses, toffee and leather.

  • Finish: Long, with mulling spices, candied dates, black pepper and mint. 

Style: 100% Canadian Rye

Abv: 63.5%

4. Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye Whisky, Alberta Distillers, Alberta, Canada

Bottled uncut, straight from the cask. This rich and robust whisky expression was Jim Murray’s ‘World Whiksy Of The Year’ in 2021. The nose is heavy with a brief bit of alcohol first, and then opens up nicely with caramel and vanilla swirl candy.

The finish on this cinnamon bomb leaves you with a warming sensation in your chest. Perfect for a cold winter’s day.

  • Nose: Caramel, vanilla swirl candies, cinnamon, caraway.

  • Palate: Burnt brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg.

  • Finish: Exceedingly long, warming and spicy with cinnamon hearts and oak. 

Style: Single Malt Scotch

Abv: 43%

5. Highland Park Viking Honour 12 Year, Highlands Region, Scotland, UK

Highland Park’s 12 Year Old single malt whisky is spicy and well-rounded, packed with the flavours of sun-kissed Seville oranges and rich fruitcake spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Heather honey mingles with waves of heathery peat smoke, which will transport you to a warm place by an open fire.

  • Nose: Fine oak spice, herbal heather and willow, butterscotch, honey, hints of dry fruit and peat smoke. 

  • Palate: Spicy oak, grain spice, orange zest, peat smoke with herbal flavours of heather, menthol and lowland hay. Mild butterscotch and lightly sweet malt flavours underpinned by hints of almond/marzipan and canned fruit.

  • Finish: Butterscotch, sweet malt, oak and grain spice. Peat, raisins and mint.