Ok, I am breaking my rule. I have a rule. No talking about Christmas until at least December. It is now November. However these are special circumstances. In a nigh The Culture level intervention scale.
Hey I’m allowed to make “The Culture” references. Iain Banks was a huge whisky fan. It is thematically linked.
Anyway, no talking about Christmas until December, but… When Chris Scullion of Bath Whisky and Rum Club, which is now part of the Independent Spirit store asks for your assistance in doing tasting of twenty four whiskies you do not say no because of a mere point of pride.
So, Masters of Malt, the people behind Drinks By the Dram, have provided him with a copy of the advent calendar. And for the mere cost of my aid in putting up our notes on Alcohol and Aphorisms I am invited to add my thoughts on half of each bottle. Many thanks to both Masters of Malt and Chris, it is an honour.
So, the notes themselves will be going up as and when we manage to drink them, but for now a quick glance at what is coming up. I’m going to put this behind a click to see more in case people have this and don’t want the surprise ruined.
WARNING: I will be putting up the notes over the next few weeks, so if you want avoid spoilers you may want to take care on browsing the blog until we are done.
Glenfarclas 25 Year Old: Oh me oh my, the 21 Year old Glenfarclas is lovely, so this should be something a bit special. Looking forwards to this one.
Yoichi: No age statement: I am a big fan of the Japanese whisky I have tried, but have not actually got around to trying any Yoichi yet – Here is my chance to put that right.
Compass Box: Great King Street: Artists Blend: Aha, I have tried this one! Back when I accidentally thought it was a vatted malt. Very smooth, and a very good show for what blended whisky can be.
Elijah Craig: Small batch: 12 Year: I am comparatively inexperienced with Bourbon. Time to add a bit of knowledge to that area then.
The Dalmore: 15 Year: Another one I have tried. I don’t think I have given a Dalmore a bad write up yet, and this was no exception.
Kilchoman: Machir Bay 2014: Only tried one Kilchoman before but it impressed me. Always an Islay fan, so hope this will continue the trend.
Glen Scotia: Double Wood: I love the Springbank set so I consider Campbeltown a beloved region. I’ve yet to find a whisky to rave about from the other main distillery in the area – Glen Scotia (yes I know Kilkerran aka Glengyle exists as well, but it is closely linked with Springbank). Let’s see if this is finally the one to rave about.
Balvenie Single Barrel Sherry Cask: 15 Year: For a while I thought I had tried this, but this is a separate entity to the usual Single Barrel expression. Interesting.
Tullamore D.E.W 12 year Special Reserve: Despite it’s prevalence I have never actually tried Tullamore D.E.W, let alone this rarer expression. Going in a bit blind on this one.
Monkey Shoulder: Probably the most middle of the road of the set I would say, some people love this. It never really clicked with me.
Arran: Batch 4: that Boutique-y Whisky Company: Arran has always been a nice soothing malt for me, at 52% this may come in a bit harsher, but with more room to play. Should be a fun one to tinker with, wonder which way it will go.
Caol Ila: 12 Year: Hah! It is a long standing joke that despite my love of Caol Ila, and the many expression I have tried, I have never actually done notes on the standard 12 year expression. Time to finally scratch that itch.
The Glendronach: 12 Year: I’ve only tried the aged expressions of this, at 18 and 31 years – They tend towards the smooth, so I wonder if the young expression will still have that character.
Isle Of Jura: Superstition: Another fairly common one, and one I have tried, but solid as hell. For roughly a third my whisky drinking life I have had a bottle of this in my cupboard, and not just because I keep getting given it as a present by mates.
Fettercairn: Fior: Man, I think I have tried Fettercairn only a few times in my life. Doesn’t seem to turn up very often. This looks a lot darker than the expressions I am used to, so may surprise me nicely.
Balvenie: 12 Year Double Wood: While I didn’t like this much when I first encountered it, I did try it years later with water which helped a lot and made it smoother and sweeter. Not a bad one, but doesn’t excite me as much as some of the others.
Mackmyra Brukawhisky: The Swedish Whisky: Tried the first edition from this lot. Was fun but fresh faced and a bit brash. Hopefully the main expression will have given it a bit more room to play.
Girvan: Cask Strength: Huh, you guys again. Had quite the Girvan experience earlier this year. Found the Cask Strength on the weaker end of their range, but it is also the one I got least exposure to so may be nice to revisit.
The Lost Distilleries Blend: Batch 6: Made with whisky from the closed Mosstowie, Port Ellen, Glenisla, Imperial, Caperdonich, Glen Mhor and Brora, and grain whiskies from Port Dundas. Holy crap. Ok, I am excited for this. I’ve tried roughly half of the distilleries and I am excited for exposure to the others.
Isle Of Jura: Elixir 12 Year: Another very nice one I have already tried. Not exactly rare, but this is a nice whisky.
Dalwhinnie: Winters Gold: They suggest serving this frozen? Really? Huh. I’m not quite sure what to say on this. Dalwhinnie is generally a bit light for me, but this sounds odd and interesting.
Teeling: Single Malt: Well, I liked their small batch. That was amazing value. Hopefully this will be similar quality.
Glenfiddich 18 year: I never really got this one last time I tried it. Since it is generally very well reputed may be nice to take another look. See if I just had a bad night.
Invergordon: 50 Year Old 1964: cask 2 Xtra Old Particular: Erm. Wow. Ok, a 50 year old single grain. Ok. Wow. Looking forwards to this very much.
Ok, it looks like a very solid lot. Eight I have tried, and linked to the pre existing notes, though a few of those I will be intrigued to revisit. I’d say about four which seem to be pretty standard expressions, but to make up for that there are a lot of unusual bottlings. I am particularly excited for the Glenfarclas 25, Invergordon: 50 Year Old 1964, The Lost Distilleries Blend: Batch 6: and Kilchoman: Machir Bay 2014 – and very intrigued to see how the Glen Scotia: Double Wood works out
Full notes will be up as and when ready. Trust me, we will not be waiting long to dive into these. So, yeah, erm, I am sorry but..yeah, Christmas build up has started here. If it makes you feel better lets just say
“Winter is Coming!”