IT'S... VALENTINE'S DAY

To the untrained eye, our Valentine’s Day Tasting Set is a decidedly cynical thing; cashing in on something whose true meaning has become muddied by commercialism; a day which once stood for that many-splendoured thing, but has become a time of being guilt-tripped into picking up tacky, over-priced cards and obligatory gift-buying.

The truth is we loathe Valentine’s Day. We’re bitter, worn out husks, disenfranchised with love. So much so that the other day I listened to an entire Coldplay album whilst drinking lukewarm tea. It was one of the most depressing things ever to have happened.

That’s what married life has done to me. Though, of course, it’s not without its variety. In fact there are rare times in the mornings when I wake up first and just lie there watching my spouse as she sleeps, looking so peaceful. And just occasionally as I do, I’ll think to myself: “oh god please take one of us, either one I don’t care”.

That’s love, and now the 14th of February is approaching, and the annual gift-buying must commence in order for this love to be declared to the world.

So, feeling bitter, we at Drinks by the Dram created our Valentine’s Day Tasting Set. Call it cynical if you will, but we think it stands for something more. You see, there’s nothing cutesy or romantic about this tasting set. There are no hearts or flowers on it, no pictures of anatomically incorrect bears, none of those stupid owls which everyone puts on everything now. Instead there’s just a two-tone damask pattern - the motif of doom.

Within the stark cardboard walls you’ll find five 3cl samples containing single malt whiskies from famous Scottish distilleries. These aren’t light, easy-going, romantic drams either. There’s a Mortlach Rare Old (we hate to be bitter but it’s not that rare or old. It is tasty though); an intensely tropical single cask Arran; a juicy, fruity Glenfarclas 10 year old; a single cask, first fill Balvenie; and an Auchentoshan matured in no fewer than three different types of sherry cask.

A far cry from a stuffed animal or a bouquet of roses (which will perish), this tasting set is simply a nice thing which you can drink, with or without that loved one. You can sample each single malt with a wry smile, safe in the knowledge that you’ve not bought into the whole lovey-dovey nonsense and that you’re somehow above it all, and that you’re only indulging in it in an ironic way.

Currently stocked by Master of Malt for £28.95 (click here), we vow that for each tasting set sold, we’ll make a modest profit which we’ll keep for ourselves.

After all, isn’t that the true meaning of Valentine’s Day?

Drinks by the Dram