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Airport malts may be worth a flying visit to duty free


By Matt MacPherson


I’M fortunate enough to be in Japan at the moment learning as much as possible about their whisky.

There may also be a rugby tournament on at the same time but that was a coincidence…

While travelling I had some time to kill in airports and naturally, I gravitated to the duty free to browse what was on offer. There’s an important thing you need to know about the whisky selection available at airports – there’s a section that’s travel retail exclusive, which means its only available at airports.

The question is, should you buy them?

Most consumers looking to pick up a bottle on their travels are generally looking to make a quick choice before their flight is called.

There’s an important thing you need to know about the whisky selection at airports – travel retail exclusive, which means it is only available at airports. But should you buy them?
There’s an important thing you need to know about the whisky selection at airports – travel retail exclusive, which means it is only available at airports. But should you buy them?

My feeling is that the marketing teams have realised this and target these susceptible customers with fancy packaging and names like master reserve special limited casks that really don’t mean anything apart from the likelihood that the whisky is going to be sub-par. However, whisky is very subjective and what I might loath, you might love. I quite fancied a dram so I tried what was on offer.

The results were good and bad. Most of the drams were average but there was one that took me by surprise.

Maybe it’s because I’m becoming more and more obsessed with peated whisky but the Laphroaig PX Triple Matured was outright delicious.

It was intensely smoky like you would expect from Laphroaig but had a wonderful sweetness that really made it special.

To answer the earlier question, should you buy them? I guess just try them for yourself and go with what you enjoy, not what they are being encouraged to promote!

Matt MacPherson is the owner and founder of The Malt Room in Inverness.



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