This Christmas gather you friends and family and raise a toast with a special glass of your favourite malt! Whisky is a spirit that really comes into its own during the cold winter months. Perfect for keeping out the chill whisky is a popular tipple for Christmas and Hogmany and makes a great gift too. If you are gifting friends and family a bottle of whisky a pewter flask or Quiach, a traditional Scottish drinking vessel is a lovely addition. Here are some perfect tipples to sample over the festivities season. Glengoyne has some fine offerings including the Glengoyne 17 years has a well-balanced palate of flavours and a delicate citrus taste. The distillery sits on the right on the so-called ‘Highland Line’ which is a mark on the map created by Parliament in the 18th century to help collect taxes. At the time whisky producers in the highlands paid less that their fellow producers in other parts of Scotland. From Glenmorangie Highland Park 12 Year Old Island Single Malt Whisky is worth its premium price, subtle smooth and fragrant, this is a classic offering from Orkney with notes of honeysuckle and heather. Springbank 12 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky comes from one the oldest family run distillery and their latest offering doesn’t disappoint with toffee and orange flavors coming through nicely. Whisky lovers may have felt understandable concern over reports this week that the popularity of Scottish whisky has peaked to such a level that stocks could be at risk. Export sales this year increased by over 23% in the last nine months – and this is before Christmas and New Year sales are taken into account!- with the surge in sales potentially leading to shortages. The growth of markets in South America and Asia has seen new middle classes emerge who are attracted the prestige and traditional surrounding Scottish whisky. The ten year lag time of production is a further factor. However all would not be lost are these are some alternatives should a shortage happen – Japanese malt whisky is, like it’s Scottish counterparts is double – distilled in pot still. Japanese whisky has come on leaps and bounds over the last ten years and has received lots of positive attention in Europe, particularly when the Nikka Yoichi 10 Year Old Japanese Whisky won the Best of the Year prize in the Whisky Magazine awards. Scottish and Japanese love of whisky came together in a more sombre mood when Scottish distilleries came together to support the relief effort following the devestating Japanese earthquake and Tsumani. Distillers Arran, BenRiach, Bladnoch, GlenDronach, Mitchell's Glengyle, Kilchoman and Springbank created the ‘Spirit of Unity’whisky – over £90,000 has been raised so far thanks to sales and the money has been used to provide urgent supplies and to house over 300 people in temporary accommodation. So this Christmas celebrate unity and enjoy a Scottish or Japanese malt. From midnight mass to the chimes of the New Year there is no better time to enjoy that water of life.