Whisky Magazine Issue 117
This article is 2 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.
Copyright Whisky Magazine © 1999-2017. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.
Our man takes to the high seas for check out the latest offerings
Is the infamous cross-Channel booze cruise still alive and kicking? On a gloomy rain-lashed December morning last year I decided to find out along with scores of other bargain-hungry Brits who were no doubt looking for a last-minute Christmas deal in one of those hypermarkets which keeps the good burghers of Calais in gainful employment. I was staying on board for the return trip as a guest of P&O, however, to tour the festive onboard retail offering. The Spirit of France is one of P&O's newest ships. Along with its sister vessel, The Spirit of Britain, it's also the largest ferry sailing on the Channel. Boasting an executive lounge, a brasserie and a large onboard shop it clearly tries to ape the look and feel of a modern airport and is world away from the tatty, overcrowded ferries I remember from yesteryear. Wines and spirits are tucked away in a corner of the store, a clear sign of the category's diminished importance since intra-EU duty-free ended all those years ago. Happily though the range of single-malt whiskies was pretty good. The range extends beyond the leading brands to some less well-known malts such as Glenkinchie, Tormore and Ardmore that you wouldn't necessarily expect to find in such a small range. My pick of this solid assortment would be the powerfully smoky travel-retail exclusive Talisker Dark Storm at £45.99. On tasting promotion on the day I travelled was The Macallan Select Oak, all vanilla and butterscotch, but once I'd managed to fight my way...