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Singlemalting #249 – Hyde 1640 Stout Cask Aged Irish Whiskey January 23, 2020

G’day everyone and welcome to 2020. 2019 was an incredible year, made all the sweeter by overcoming some of our biggest challenges ever. With a full week of -30 and beyond safely under our belts here in Alberta, the sun is now shining down on +1 and I even feel… Read more

Singlemalting #248 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 25 – Bunnahabhain 30 Year Old December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas everyone and welcome to Christmas day. What a journey we have had over the past 24 days. As promised we delivered more sherry (seriously), a bit more peat and possibly the most eclectic range of whiskies in any edition so far if thats possible. In todays special little… Read more

Singlemalting #247 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 24 – Invergordon 29 Year Old December 24, 2019

Welcome to Christmas Eve everyone. Hopefully you are either heading somewhere to spend time with family and friends or having them over to your place. Here in Ontario there is still snow on the ground so it looks like a white Christmas for us. So lets get into some dramming.… Read more

Singlemalting #246 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 23 – Glen Spey 21 Year Old December 23, 2019

Welcome to day 23 and a trip to Speyside to discover an older expression of Glen Spey from A.D. Rattray. We have had one other Glen Spey as day 1 of our 3rd edition. It was in fact the first ever Secret Spirits bottling in full bottle format and at… Read more

Singlemalting #245 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 22 – Deanston 10 Year Old December 22, 2019

Today is the last of the great Oloroso expedition by Secret Spirits. You, our awesome community asked for a LOT more sherry in this edition and so we delivered. As most of you are aware sherry casked whiskies have become much more expensive and so some sacrifices had to be… Read more

Singlemalting #245 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 21 – Linkwood 18 Year Old December 21, 2019

Day 21 dawns frosty and cold here in Ontario (spending Christmas with the in-laws this year). Thankfully today I am in my jammies all toasty and warm and about to hop into today’s delicious dram from Wemyss Malts. Gardener’s Biscuit Break Linkwood 18 Year Old is the flavor of the… Read more

Singlemalting #244 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 20 – Caol Ila 7 Year Old December 20, 2019

Welcome to day 20. Right into the heart of the Christmas season we bring together for the first time a combination of first fill Oloroso and Caol Ila Single Malt. For any of you that have done some of the past editions you would have tried several delicious Caol Ila… Read more

Singlemalting #243 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 19 – Dalmore 12 Year Old December 19, 2019

Day 19 dawns with an independently bottled (by Secret Spirits) Dalmore 12 Year Old aged in a 1st fill Oloroso cask. So we get to cross off yet another distillery on the list. Still many more to go and some that are going to be neigh unattainable as an indie… Read more

Singlemalting #242 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 18 – MacDuff 14 Year Old December 18, 2019

Welcome to day 18, the eve of the final full week of dramming adventure. Today we are tasting the second offering from the crew at Claxton’s. Back in Speyside again, we have a Macduff 14 year old. The last time we got to savor MacDuff was in the 5th edition… Read more

Singlemalting #242 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 17 – Watermelon Wedge North British 10 Year Old December 17, 2019

Today we have the first Single Grain offering in this 6th edition from none other than Wemyss Malts. This particular cask of North British Distillery in Edinburgh is called Watermelon Wedge. At 10 years of age it is comfortable the youngest Single Grain we have botted in any edition. Before… Read more

Singlemalting #242 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 16 – Ardmore 9 Year Old December 16, 2019

Hello whisky adventurers. Welcome to day 16 of this 6th edition calendar. Today we have done something very naughty. For those of you doing blind tasting, good luck. This is the first time we have ever had a Highland whisky disguised by aging it in a deep dark and dirty… Read more

Singlemalting #241 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 15 – Lossit Archivist December 15, 2019

G’day whisky pilgrims and welcome to another glorious day to discover new and delicious whisky flavors. Today we ante up a little on the Lost Distillery company with one from their Archivist range that typically include whiskies that are pushing into and beyond the 20 year old range. The Lossit… Read more

Singlemalting #240 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 14 – Miltonduff 10 December 14, 2019

Welcome to the end of the 2nd week of this 6th edition adventure. Miltonduff has been showcased a number of times in past editions. Once alone as an older Samaroli bottling and a once as part of a particularly amazing Samaroli blended malt. Built on the site of the meal… Read more

Singlemalting #239 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 13 – Arran 21 Year Old December 13, 2019

Another first for any of our editions today we present a 21 year old single cask of Arran bottled by Douglas Laing. I have been looking forward to this one as I have had some truly delicious Arran expressions over the years but few of this age. Arran distillery was… Read more

Singlemalting #238 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 12 Wemyss Malts Lord Elcho December 12, 2019

Today we have the sole Blended Scotch Whisky in the 6th edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar. Coming from those able folk at Wemyss Malts the Lord Elcho is their only Blended Scotch brand. Some of you may remember all the way back to the 1st Edition and the 15 Year… Read more

Singlemalting #237 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 11 Dufftown 11 Year Old December 11, 2019

Welcome back everyone to day 11 and an accidental revealing of an 11 year old whisky. Sometimes these things just happen. Today we visit yet another distillery that is a first timer for any of our whisky adventures. We had never been able to find a Dufftown bottled by one… Read more

Singlemalting #236 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 10 Big Peat December 10, 2019

G’day all of you peat heads out there. Sorry for the delay this year in getting around to some serious peat. With all of the sherry votes we had this year we just had to make sure that we were off to a very sherried Christmas. The peat votes also… Read more

Singlemalting #235 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 9 Orkney 10 Year Old December 9, 2019

Welcome to da islands mon…. sorry wrong islands. Welcome to the almost perpetually wet, stormy, brine covered and glorious Scottish isles. Today we head to Orkney to a distillery that most of you know very well. This is again one of those casks where the distillery must not be named… Read more

Singlemalting #234 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 8 Benrinnes 10 Year Old December 8, 2019

Another day and another single cask from Secret Spirits. Today for the first time we enjoy a unique cask from the Benrinnes Distillery in Speyside. The first Scotch Whisky I ever sold was the Stronachie 12. The long lost distillery was recreated after an original bottle was procured by A.D.… Read more

Singlemalting #233 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 7 Scallywag December 7, 2019

Welcome to the end of the first full week. Cindy and I hope that your whisky adventuring has been fun so far. Today we try something from a very good independent bottler with a long history of exceptional casks and brands. Douglas Laing is a welcome addition to the list… Read more

Singlemalting #232 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 6 Dream to Dram Kingsbarns Single Malt December 6, 2019

Welcome to the Lowlands everyone. As promised today is the first time we have ever been able to feature the very first whisky release from a Scottish Distillery. Many of you whisky adventurers that have been through our Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar journies before will recognize the Wemyss Malts name.… Read more

Singlemalting #231 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 5 – Ledaig 10 Year Old December 5, 2019

Welcome to our first peaty day of the 6th edition. Some of you are going to have a hard time with this whisky and some of you have barely tolerated the so called whisky that has come before in anticipation of this dram. Today we are grabbing a ferry to… Read more

Singlemalting #230 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 4 – Burnside Blended Malt 7 yo December 4, 2019

G’day everyone and welcome to day 4. Today we secretly knock off another distillery from my list. I have a map in my office (needs a bit of updating) and I have been slowly highlighting any distillery that we have included in our calendar editions. Some of them are going… Read more

Singlemalting #229 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 3 – Towiemore Classic December 3, 2019

Welcome to day 3 of the 6th edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar. We will be at the end of the first week before you know it so stop and savor each whisky. Try to find some contemplative moments amid the hussle and bustle of this busy time. Today we head… Read more

Singlemalting #228 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 2 – Tomintoul 13 December 2, 2019

So here we are in Speyside (one of my favorite regions) with a delicious offering from the folks at A.D. Rattray independent bottlers. We have had a few Tomintoul single casks in previous editions but none that were aged in a sherry butt. You may remember earlier this year while… Read more

Singlemalting #227 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 1 – Auchentoshan 17 December 1, 2019

Welcome everyone to another December Scotch Whisky adventure. It is so exciting for Cindy and I to be able to bring you our 6th edition this year. So many amazing people helped to make this happen and so many delicious whiskies are in store for those of you that managed… Read more

Singlemalting #226 – That time of year again – Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 6th edition November 12, 2019

G’day everyone, The last few months have been somewhat challenging as Cindy and I continue to work hard to get our 6th edition out to as many whisky lovers as possible. Without going into excruciating detail this has actually been our most difficult year ever. Some of the highlights include… Read more

Singlemalting #225 – Deep in the Heart of Scotland Part 2 plus Whiskey Sour recipe August 21, 2019

G’day whisky friends, I hope your Summer is recharging your sunshine batteries and for those of us in Canada prepping us for the long dark of the coming Winter. We have now uploaded a bunch more of our Whisky Hunt episodes from the trip to Scotland earlier this year in… Read more

Singlemalting # 224 – Deep in the heart of Scotland Pt 1 July 8, 2019

G’day everyone,   A lot of you have already been following along with some of our adventures via Youtube as we upload a couple of video’s a week that really take you along with us this year. If you have missed out on any of the updates you can head… Read more

Singlemalting # 223 – The Secret Spirits Whisky Adventure Train March 1, 2019

G’day everyone and welcome to another year of Secret Spirits whisky adventures. We are starting 2019 by doing something brand new and to be honest a touch crazy. As many of you that have been following our journey know already, Cindy and I have really had some impressive hurdles that… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 25– Singlemalting # 222 – A.D. Rattray Glen Grant 30 Year Old December 25, 2018

Welcome to Christmas Day everyone. What a journey we have had together in this our 5th edition. I hope that through the varying complexities of Speyside to the honey’s and heathers of the Highlands along with some big hitting Islay, salty Islands and old grain Lowlands that you have come… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 24 – Singlemalting # 221 – Secret Spirits Inchmurrin 21 Year Old December 24, 2018

Today’s dram was probably the most drama we have ever had in bottling a whisky. Needing at least 105 bulk liters to fill 2000 mini’s we of course only chose casks that have all of that and some to spare. When this cask arrived at our warehouse it was substantially… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 23 – Singlemalting # 220 – A.D. Rattray North British 30 Year Old December 23, 2018

Today we head to the Lowlands for a visit at the North British Distillery in Edinburgh. Single Grain Scotch Whisky is a fascinating category and one that we have always included in every adventure. All of the single casks that we have ever presented in this category have been over… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 22 – Singlemalting # 219 – Lost Distillery Company Towiemore Archivist December 22, 2018

Day 22 dawns. It just seems like yesterday that we started this adventure together. It’s been a great ride so far this edition and there has been plenty to learn, plenty to talk about and most importantly plenty to contemplate. Apart from Christmas Day when we had the stellar Samaroli… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 21 – Singlemalting # 218 – Old Malt Cask Inchgower 21 Year Old December 21, 2018

Ahh yes Inchgower. I first fell in love with a cask from this distillery that was the first release of A.D. Rattray ever released in Canada. On that occassion it was an inky dark first fill sherried 25 year old. The price that we sold that for 15 years ago… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 20 – Singlemalting # 217 – Single Cask Nation Stones of Stenness Orkney 18 Year Old December 20, 2018

Welcome back everyone. Hopefully none of you died in yesterday’s hospital explosion. Today we are heading to Orkney for a visit to the Island region of Scotland. There are only 2 distilleries on Orkney, Scapa and Highland Park. We have had both distilleries represented in previous calendar editions but it… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 19 – Singlemalting # 216 – A.D. Rattray Williamson (Laphroaig) 13 Year Old December 19, 2018

Welcome again peat pilgrims to another Islay jaunt along our Scotch Whisky Adventure. Today’s dram comes from a big hitting distillery when thinking about the level of peating the barley undergoes. Laphroaig was founded in 1815 and is now owned by Beam Suntory. Located at the Southern tip of Islay… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 18 – Singlemalting # 215 – Secret Spirits Glenallachie 9 Year Old December 18, 2018

Time to unleash “THE BEAST”. Many of you have been sleepily, comfortably nodding along to the clickety clack of our Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Train as it meanders through the hills and towns of Scotland. There has been the occasional sighting of something lurking beneath the peated moors but nothing… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 17 – Singlemalting # 214– Secret Spirits Glentauchers 10 Year Old December 17, 2018

G’day everyone and welcome back. Today we jump into a dram from a distillery that I first tasted when sourcing whiskies to include in the 1st edition. Glentauchers proved to be absolutely delicious and I have sought out casks every since. Glentauchers is a Speyside distillery founded in 1898 by… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 16 – Singlemalting # 213– Wemyss Malts Nectar Grove Limited Edition Blended Malt December 16, 2018

G’day there whisky fans. Today we have a delicious treat from those good people at Wemyss Malts. As with the other Wemyss whiskies in this edition we had to get a little creative with the label to get around the TTB shenanigans. Nectar Grove is of course how Wemyss labelled… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 15 – Singlemalting # 212 – Secret Spirits Caol Ila 8 Year Old December 15, 2018

Caol Ila, workhorse of the Islay underworld. Pumping out more Smoky, Peaty, Islay goodness than all the rest of the Islay distilleries combined by quite some margin. As you already noted on day 5 we actually did a cask of Caol Ila in the 4th edition but were unable to… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 14 – Singlemalting # 211– A.D. Rattray Knockdhu 9 Year Old December 14, 2018

Welcome back to another day of whisky adventuring. What a great day to introduce a new distillery to our calendar mix. Knockdhu is a Highland Distillery located in the town of Knock Banffshire right on Speyside’s doorstep. Founded in 1893 by John Morrison after he purchased the land from the… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 13 – Singlemalting # 210– Malt Whisky Company Auchinderom (Peated Glenglassaugh) Sauterne Cask December 13, 2018

Very excited about todays whisky. Mythical unicorns don’t appear very often and this is indeed a very rare treat. Certainly knowing the gentleman behind this dram was the key to having this offered up to make your adventure extra special. Stuart Nickerson who I am very thankful to say was… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 12 – Singlemalting # 209– Lost Distillery Company Stratheden Classic December 12, 2018

I hope you all enjoyed a history lesson with the Auchnagie on day 3. Today we get to travel back to Fife and look into a distillery that stood for almost 100 years. Owned by 3 generations of the Bonthrone family Stratheden officially operated from 1829 to 1926 although there… Read more

Singlemalting # 208 – 5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 11 – Wemyss Malts Vanilla Burst Blended Malt December 11, 2018

Well hello again calendar junkies. Today we have another one of those American TTB label challenges. This whisky from Wemyss Malts is actually called Vanilla Burst but we could not put vanilla on the label so instead we chose Delicious Burst. Hope that no one is as confused as I… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 10 – Singlemalting # 207 – Secret Spirits Royal Brackla 11 Year Old December 10, 2018

Welcome to another Secret Spirits cask. Today we head to the Highlands and are filling our glasses with a dram from the Royal Brackla Distillery. It is one of only 3 distilleries to ever bear the name Royal. Royal Lochnegar is still in production however the other, Glenury Royal was… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 9 – A.D. Rattray Glen Moray 10 Year Old – Singlemalting # 206 December 9, 2018

So all is revealed in the fullness of time. Glen Moray is our comparison distillery this edition and we have a cask off between Secret Spirits Glen Moray 9 Year old from way back on day 4 and this A.D. Rattray bottling on day 9. If you didn’t keep any… Read more

Singlemalting # 205 – 5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 8 – Old Malt Cask Balmenach 13 Year Old December 8, 2018

Old Malt cask get their second appearance in our calendars and showcase Balmenach Distillery. This is the first time we have had the pleasure of bottling a cask of Balmenach in any of our editions so I’m excited to share this dram with all of you. As you may be… Read more

Singlemalting # 204 – 5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 7 – Adelphi Breath of Speyside December 7, 2018

Hello there Advent’urers. Hope you are all having a blast so far. Here we are at the end of our first full week and it’s time to get some serious sherry cask action going. Adelphi has made only one appearance before in our third edition with the only closed distillery… Read more

Singlemalting # 203 – 5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 6 – Exclusive Malts Regional Islay Sherry Cask December 6, 2018

Here be some Peat for the People. I understand…you’ve been waiting paitently and smirking with restrained amusement as we talk about “delicate complexity” and the incredible array of flavor to be found in Scotch Whisky. All the while we really needed to be schooled in what “real” Scotch is all… Read more

Singlemalting # 202 – 5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 5 – Secret Spirits Craigellachie 12 Year Old Single Malt December 5, 2018

Hope you are enjoying the journey so far. I can promise amazing whiskies to come as the Secret Spirits Advent Calendar train winds its way across the Scottish countryside. It is so much fun putting this together every year that the inevitable challenges that come along are a great way… Read more

Singlemalting # 201 – 5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 4 – Secret Spirits Glen Moray 9 Year Old Single Malt December 4, 2018

Time for something bottled by us here at Secret Spirits. I do love to showcase a variety of other independent bottlers as a lot of you can attest to with our back editions. Since the 3rd edition however we have steadily been increasing the number of casks that Secret Spirits… Read more

Singlemalting #200 – 5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 3 – Lost Distillery Company Auchnagie Classic December 3, 2018

It’s hard for me to believe that we are at the 200th Singlemalting episode. It should by rights be a lot more than that but alas the Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar is a demanding wee beastie of an adventure that requires a lot of love. The Lost Distillery Company has… Read more

5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar | Day 2 Blog #199 | Wemyss Malts Treacle Chest December 2, 2018

The United States of America, Land of the Free, Home of the Brave and Bastion of the craziest alcohol laws anywhere on earth. Tapping your Day 2 cubby hole and pulling out your dram you may be forgiven for a bit of confusion. The title of this whisky is indeed… Read more

Singlemalting # 198 – 5th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 1 – Single Cask Nation MacDuff December 1, 2018

Unbelievable that the time is here to begin our 5th Scotch Whisky Adventure together. This year we welcome a whole new community of delicious dram drinkers from the USA, UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and New Zealand. It is really exciting to share this journey with so… Read more

Singlemalting # 196 – Magnificent Bastard? Why yes I am. August 31, 2018

G’day everyone and welcome to the fun tale of my visit to meet Daniel and Rex of the Whiskey Tribe. I have had several trips to Texas this year as we at Secret Spirits continue to work hard to bring delicious adventures to deserving folk in the US. It was… Read more

Singlemalting # 195 – Promise of Hope – Whiskey collectables July 23, 2018

G’day everyone and welcome to what will be the first ever blog that I have written on a whiskey without actually tasting it.     Recently I was on yet another trip South and managed to snag myself a bottle of something extremely rare. I have not really been a… Read more

Singlemalting 194# – Keeper Time June 14, 2018

G’day everyone, It has been an extremely eventful year thus far and overdue for me to ket the fingers flying on the keyboard for another Singlemalting Blog. Earlier this year I had the absolute honour to travel to Scotland and attend the Spring induction of the Keepers of the Quaich.… Read more

Singlemalting # 193 – It’s fun to say Schnapps February 25, 2018

Welcome back to the as promised review of something very interesting from the Yukon. While there last September I received a bottle of Concept 7 from Yukon Spirits and have been waiting till the deep of Winter to crack it open. Yukon Spirits has been in operation since 2009 when… Read more

Singlemalting # 192 – Big Brand Jazz February 8, 2018

G’day everyone and welcome back to a brand New Year. After spending Christmas in Ontario I was back at another wonderful whisky festival week in Edmonton, Calgary and Victoria. You can read about how amazing these festivals are in one of my previous blogs. As promised today I am sharing… Read more

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Singlemalting #191 – Day 25 – 4th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – Samaroli 30 Year Old Invergordon December 25, 2017

Welcome to day 25 and Merry Christmas. So at last the quartet is complete. We have had in this order on Christmas day – 1st edition “Blended Malt 33yo”, 2nd edition “Single Malt 30yo”, 3rd edition “Blended Scotch 34yo” and now 4th edition “Single Grain 30yo”. All previous day 25… Read more

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Singlemalting #190 – Day 24 – 4th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – A.D. Rattray Tamnavulin 29 Year Old December 24, 2017

Welcome to Christmas Eve and a chance to welcome a new distillery to the Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar list. This cask from A.D. Rattray was just shy of 30 years old so could have qualified for the Christmas Day dram with a few more months. Settling for Christmas Eve however… Read more

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Singlemalting #189 – Day 23 – 4th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – Single Cask Nation – Tormore 21yo December 23, 2017

Right down to the very end of our journey now with only 3 drams to go. Today we have the lone expression from our mates at Single Cask Nation. Love the casks that these two guys choose and was excited nonetheless to at least get one special dram from them… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 22
Singlemalting #188 – Day 22 – 4th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – Samaroli Spey 1995 – Tormore and Alt a Bhainne December 22, 2017

Saaaamarolllllliii.. (sung with stage worthy hand gestures and deep bass vocals). Got to love these Italians and their take on Scotch Whisky. Silvano was widely praised as having one of the best palates on earth and with some of their offerings being the best examples of Scotch Whisky I have… Read more

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Singlemalting # 187 – Day 21 – 4th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Old Malt Cask Glen Keith 20yo December 21, 2017

As promised we are back to Hunter Laing and their Old Malt Cask series with a cask from the Glen Keith distillery. Glen Keith was the first distillery to open in Speyside after the great crash in 1898, opening its doors in 1958. Always owned by Chivas Bros it was… Read more

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Singlemalting #186 – Day 20 – 4th Edition SWAC – Exclusive Malts Cameronbridge Single Grain 25yo December 20, 2017

Welcome to a brand new independent bottler in this 4th edition. Exclusive Malts is one of the brands released by the Creative Whisky Company. Owned by David Stirk this indie has been putting out delicious casks for quite some time. It is a pleasure to have him on board and… Read more

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Singlemalting #185 – Day 19 – 4th Edition SWAC – A.D. Rattray Williamson (Laphroaig) 5yo December 19, 2017

So before we slip into some comfy slippers & contemplate the days before Christmas I felt it was time for something young, sultry and smokin from our friends at A.D. Rattray. Williamson is the industry term for casks of Laphroaig that are not supposed to be disclosed. It is such… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting #184 – Day 18 – 4th Edition SWAC – Secret Spirits Glenrothes 19yo Single Malt December 18, 2017

Disclosed for the second time in this edition. Today is time for a visit to Glenrothes in Speyside. We have had some exceptional expressions from this Distillery in past editions and I was excited to be able to source one of our own. Glenrothes is owned by the Edrington group… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting #183 – Day 17 – 4th Edition SWAC – Samaroli MacDuff 19yo Sherry Cask December 17, 2017

We have only had the odd Sherry cask aged whisky from Samaroli. The Glen Scotia in the 1st edition was one such dram and a fine dram it was. Read all about it here. Today though we are talking MacDuff. This is our comparison piece that we like to do… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting #182 – Day 16 – 4th Edition SWAC – Lost Distillery Company Lossit Classic December 16, 2017

Today we take another peek behind history’s curtain at another Distillery recreation by Lost Distillery Company. Lossit Distillery was on Islay between 1817 and 1867. You can get a thorough grounding in the history and story of Lossit at the Lost Distillery Website. This is a very cool recreation especially… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting # 181 – Day 15 – 4th edition SWAC – Wemyss Malts Peat Chimney Blended Malt Batch Strength December 15, 2017

Time again for some peat driven goodness and this time we turn to Wemyss. This is their new take on an old classic. Peat Chimney first made its debut in the 1st edition calendar way back in 2014. Worth another read. After our taste of the Spice King Batch Strength… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting # 180 – Day 14 – 4th Edition SWAC – A.D. Rattray Glen Elgin 21yo Single Malt December 14, 2017

Oh the joy of a new distillery in the mix. I absolutely lean towards not only amazing casks but also adding a new distillery to the list. Glen Elgin is a distillery in Speyside that was founded in 1898 and was the last distillery built during the boom of the… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting # 179 – Day 13 – 4th edition SWAC – Shetland Reel Batch 3 December 13, 2017

Some of you will remember the Batch # 1 Shetland Reel from the 3rd edition calendar. It was a superbly put together blended malt by industry legend Stuart Nickerson. I just had to check out this years limited edition batch and see what he had in store for us. Carefully… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting #178 – Day 12 – 4th edition SWAC – Secret Spirits Speyside 19yo December 12, 2017

So excited to be able to bring you the second round of Secret Spirits very own bottling’s. This time around we have a 19 year old Single Malt from an undisclosed Speyside Distillery. For those of you that do not know why we would bottle a whisky without sharing its identity… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting #177 – Day 11 – 4th edition SWAC – Samaroli Islay 2017 edition December 11, 2017

“Islay TIME”….. I can hear the pitter, patter of all of those big time Islay fans running to open today’s number 11 door and grab themselves a comfy spot in the living room. Islay whiskies are normally brash and full on but somehow Samaroli still manages to find the nuance… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting # 176 – Day 10 – 4th edition SWAC – Lost Distillery Company Jericho Archivist December 10, 2017

Well it’s Sunday here today in Canada so what better way to relax and think about what a privilege it is to be able to enjoy fine whiskies than to sink back into your favorite chair with a great dram. Today we get back to The Lost Distillery Company and… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting # 175 – Day 9 – 4th Edition SWAC – Wemyss Malts “The Hive” Batch Strength December 9, 2017

Hello again and welcome to another daily dram courtesy of Secret Spirits. Today we are in for a treat as we get to try the batch strength version of Wemyss Malts extremely popular Blended Malt Scotch Whisky called The Hive. You can read about the original here from way back… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting # 174 – Day 8 – 4th Edition SWAC – A.D. Rattray Fettercairn 11yo December 8, 2017

Welcome to day 8 of the 4th edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar. Today thanks to A.D. Rattray independent bottlers we get to try a distillery that is making it’s first appearance in any of our editions. Situated in the Highlands under the Grampian foothills in the Howe of Mearns, Fettercairn… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting # 173 – 4th edition SWAC Day 7 – Ainneamh Sherry Blended Malt 12 Year Old December 7, 2017

As most of you already know I love a good blended malt which is a combination of various Single Malts. One of the most misunderstood categories in the world of Scotch Whisky. Combine the right malts and you can find yourself with something much more interesting than just bottling them… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting # 172 – 4th edition SWAC – Day 6 Samaroli Glenallachie 8 YO December 6, 2017

Day 6 dawns as we are almost a week into the 4th edition already. Time for us to taste something from one of my favorite independent bottlers on earth Samaroli. I have to at this stage share my sympathies for the Samaroli family at the passing of Silvano earlier this… Read more

whisky advent calendar
Singlemalting # 171 – 4th edition SWAC Day 5 – Secret Spirits Caol Ila 8 Year Old December 5, 2017

Only our 3rd ever bottling under the Secret Spirits label and I was excited to include something brooding and smoky from Islay. I managed to find this whisky after a long drive South in Scotland to a windswept warehouse on a lonely road far from the warm whisky bars of… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting # 170 – 4th edition SWAC Day 4 – Lost Distillery Company Dalaruan Classic December 4, 2017

Welcome back everyone to a day that brings a return to the archives. Dusty old books, newsprint and endless hours of pouring over any and all evidence that Glasgow University and the boys from Lost Distillery Company could glean brings us the Dalaruan Classic. Dalaruan Distillery ran from 1825 to… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting #169 – Day 3 4th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar A.D. Rattray MacDuff 7 Year Old December 3, 2017

Welcome back everyone as we get stuck into a very familiar independent bottler if you have been following our calendars from the beginning. A.D. Rattray was the first independent bottler I ever worked with and my introduction to the vast world of Scotch Whisky. MacDuff or Glen Deveron as it… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting # 168 – Day 2 – Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – Wemyss Malts Spice King Batch Strength December 2, 2017

Welcome to day two everyone as we get to try something new from the good folks at Wemyss Malts. Wemyss has played a prominent part in all of our editions and was integral in our launch of the 1st edition. For me to not have something from this great historical… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
Singlemalting # 167 – Day 1 – 4th edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – Old Malt Cask Tamdhu 18 Year Old December 1, 2017

Welcome back Whisky fans to another edition of your hand curated journey through the regions and styles that make Scotch Whisky so amazing. As you might have read from my blog last week we had a lot of fun putting our 4th edition of the Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar together… Read more

Singlemalting # 166 – 4th time around November 20, 2017

Another year quickly passed and I found myself back in Scotland again to help out with our mad production schedule for the 4th edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar. I love being able to make last minute decisions and a cancelled New York trip due to potential Hurricane interference left me… Read more

Singlemalting – # 165 Busy as a Beaver November 13, 2017

A second Great White North adventure to the Yukon was a must after the amazing time I had last year (read the blog here). This time around the focus was Whitehorse but I’m sure we will be back up in Dawson again at some point. In a Yukon first some… Read more

Singlemalting # 164 – Whisky Bucket List – Jack Rose Saloon, check September 11, 2017

I had been looking forward to heading to Washington DC for sometime and so it was with great excitement that I landed in Pennsylvania to be greeted by my fellow whisky enthusiast Jared from Impex beverages. 3 full on days of whisky accounts covering Delaware, Maryland and of course DC.… Read more

Singlemalting Blog # 163 – San Fran Tiki August 12, 2017

With all sorts of fun done and dusted in Texas and LA it was San Fran time which is a great city to visit. No rest for the wicked after getting to the hotel at around 11pm I was up and ready to rock at the JVS offices at 9:00am.… Read more

Singlemalting Blog # 162 – That’s how we roll in LA …… August 5, 2017

“All i want to do is have a little fun before I die”…….. After a great leg in Texas it was time for some California sunshine and amazing Los Angeles hospitality. Having spent some time in this market in my previous life I felt another bout of  deja vu coming… Read more

Singlemalting Blog # 161 – Doin it Big in Texas July 27, 2017

It’s amazing how so much comes back around in this industry and so it was over 6 years ago that I last visited the Lone Star State of Texas and this time at the helm of my own company with a case full of Secret Spirits goodies and some Texans… Read more

Singlemalting Whisky Blog # 160 – Wigle Wigle May 29, 2017

On my recent trip to the US I had the pleasure of travelling to some amazing whisky retailers in the Eastern States and happened upon a bottle of Wigle Organic Rye. Having not reviewed an organic whiskey before and with some high praise from Jacob at The Old Wise Dog… Read more

Singlemalting Whisky Blog # 159 – Cuba “aaah” April 20, 2017

After spending my first week in Cuba I thought a getting back into the swing of it blog might be in order. Safely tucked away in my luggage were some cigars and of course a couple of bottles of Cuban rum. Today we are going to do a pairing with… Read more

Secret Spirits Scotland Tour – Blog # 158 March 23, 2017

G’day everyone and welcome back to the Singlemalting Blog. After my whirlwind blogging marathon leading up to Christmas I spent some down time back in the home country. Anyone who read the last blog knows that I had my day 25 calendar whisky on Christmas day in Australia a full day… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Christmas Day Blog #157 – Samaroli 34 Year Old Blended Scotch December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas everyone and welcome to the last day of this years whisky discovery journey. I awoke at 6:00am this Christmas morning to the cacophony of bird calls outside my window. Warbling Magpies, Galah’s, Sulfur Crested Cockatoos, Rosella’s and more all letting the world know that they were up and… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 24 Blog #156 – Single Cask Nation Bunnahabhain 28 Year Old December 24, 2016

Happy Christmas Eve everyone. Just seems like yesterday that we started on this journey and now we only have one more night to go before it all comes to an end. Being a special day we always plant something fantastic behind the #24 door. This is the oldest whisky ever… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 23 Blog #158 – Samaroli Peaty 20 Year Old December 23, 2016

Welcome to the night before Christmas Eve. Something warming this evening to help with the persistent chill that has settled over Alberta for the entire month of December. Coldest that I can remember for a while for this long without one of those lovely Chinook winds that keep us sane.… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 22 Blog #157 – Adelphi Cambus Single Grain 27 Year OId December 22, 2016

Welcome to a very exciting addition to our Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar story. Firstly we have the pleasure of having Jason Johnstone-Yellin from Single Cask Nation sitting here with me tasting this dram and secondly we were able to secure our first ever closed distillery cask from Alex Bruce and… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 21 Blog #156 – Wemyss Malts Marmalade Appeal Glenrothes 27 Year Old December 21, 2016

G’day everyone and welcome to another comparison tasting. As you know we like to do one or more comparison casks from the same distillery so that you can appreciate both age and cask differences. Today we try a Glenrothes that is 19 years older than the Malt Whisky Company expression… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 20 Blog #155 – Secret Spirits 26 Year Old Speyside Single Malt December 20, 2016

Welcome to the second ever cask for Secret Spirits and of course with yours truly being in full control (I use that term extremely loosely) of what gets chosen and where everything ends up on our 25 day countdown I just had to have a whisky that could make it into… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 19 Blog #154 – Samaroli Spey Blended Malt 20 Year Old – Miltonduff and Tormore December 19, 2016

Christmas sure is getting close now so it’s time for an older Samaroli whisky. There is no doubt that Samaroli is a fairly high end choice when it comes to shelling out for Independent bottlers. They do consistently however release some of the more amazing whiskies that I have yet… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 18 Blog #153 – A.D. Rattray Croftengea 11 Year Old December 18, 2016

Today we do a comparison piece which is really going to showcase how much impact casks have on the flavor profile of a whisky. Earlier on day 9 we tried the Single Cask Nation Loch Lomond, Croftengea and now we get to compare an A.D. Rattray Croftengea in a completely different… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 17 Blog #152 – Wemyss Malts Applewood Bake Invergordon 26 Year Old December 17, 2016

Has everyone recovered from their trip to the hospital yesterday? I can almost still taste that Samaroli Islay even now. Well today we are almost doing the polar opposite in pulling out our wee bottle of the Wemyss Malts Applewood Bake Invergordon Single Grain. As most of you are aware… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 16 Blog #151 – Samaroli Islay 8 Year Old December 16, 2016

It’s been pretty cold here in Alberta of late to say the least so it is well overdue for another return visit to Islay the land or warming peat and smoke. Samaroli have done an amazing job with their blending of Single Malts over the years and I like to… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 15 Blog #150 – Malt Whisky Company MacDuff 16 Year Old December 15, 2016

Back in the drivers seat today is Stuart Nickerson from Malt Whisky Company with a bit of a favorite distillery for me. I have had some really good MacDuff whisky over the years and one single cask in particular from A.D. Rattray always stands out for me. Knowing how good… Read more

Rum’s Revenge Polly want a cracker – Blog #149 – West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants Central American Guatemala Rum December 14, 2016

What say ye? I’ve seen yer lurkin about all prissy like with yer fancy whisky calendar an all. Let it be known that The Rum’s Revenge hereby be hijackin this ere blog for the good of all Pirate kind. Thar be piratin to do, swillin of Rum and the like… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 14 Blog #148 – Ainneamh Speyside 18 Year Old December 14, 2016

Whisky Wednesday today, also known as hump day for a lot of people as you climb that hill and then speed toward the weekend. Well no need to be afraid of not having fun every day of the week as we get to dip into the 3rd edition for yet… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 13 Blog #147 – A.D. Rattray Auchroisk 25 Year Old December 13, 2016

Welcome to lucky day 13 of the 3rd edition. As a treat for being so lucky we have the oldest whisky so far in the lineup waiting to be poured into your NEAT glass. Auchroisk (pronounced Ah-thrusk) is a Speyside distillery that started production in 1974. Owned by the Diageo… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 12 Blog #146 – Lost Distillery Co. Gerston December 12, 2016

Welcome to the start of another great whisky week as we welcome back the boys at the Lost Distillery Company. I was really intrigued when I looked into what these guys were doing.  They break everything down to these 10 elements that I have borrowed from their website for you:… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 11 Blog #145 – Wemyss Malts Kiln Embers Limited Edition December 11, 2016

Back to the land of smoke and peat today with a fabulous limited edition blended malt from Wemyss. Their Velvet Fig was one of the hits of the 2nd edition and I am always interested to see what they have coming up when I visit Scotland in January. This year… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 10 Blog #144 – A.D. Rattray Glenallachie 8 Year Old December 10, 2016

Day 10 and we are starting to really get into this editions heart. There have been some really delicious drams so far and I’m looking forward to the rest of the ride. Back today with A.D. Rattray the first independent bottler I ever spent time in the market with. Owned… Read more

Rum’s Revenge Anchors Away – Blog #143 – Six Saints Rum December 9, 2016

Arrgh Matey’s ye be finding this ere Secret tale o the Rum’s Revenge. If ye be whisky drinkin sorts, then be off with ye and come back when ye get yer hands on a Rum’s Revenge Pirate Chest. Through treacherous waters we be sailin over the seven seas to find… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 9 Blog #142 – Single Cask Nation Loch Lomond (Croftengea) 10 Year Old December 9, 2016

Here we are on day 9 of our little jaunt through the glens and moors of Scotland. Today we welcome back Single Cask Nation to the lineup. You may remember a particularly delicious Undisclosed Islay from the 2nd Editon that was their debut. Thanks to Joshua and Jason for spending… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 8 Blog #141 – Malt Whisky Company Glenrothes 8 Year Old December 8, 2016

G’day Sherry Cask lovers…. Today is for you. The peat geeks get their hit every week so shouldn’t you have a turn on a regular basis? In the bustling (I use that term lightly as Scotland is generally anything but) region of Speyside where most of the Scottish distilleries exist… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 7 Blog #140 – Samaroli Allt a Bhainne 2008 December 7, 2016

Welcome back to the end of the first full week of whisky tasting through the 3rd edition. What a fun ride so far with some new players in the mix and a lot of different drams and wee bottles that have hit the recycling bin. Today as promised we are… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 6 Blog #139 – Ainneamh Highland 18 Year Old December 6, 2016

Ainneamh (pronounced any-oov) means a rare thing in Gaelic and is an apt name for the independent bottling company owned by Brian Woods and Scott Watson. Releasing only a small number of bottling’s each year means that this whisky geek pair seek out only the most delicious drams. Today we… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 5 Blog #138 – A.D. Rattray Ledaig 9 Year Old December 5, 2016

Welcome back for a little fire breathing today as we finally give those that love a little smoke in their whisky their due. Sourced from the Tobermory distillery on the Isle of Mull today’s dram is labelled Ledaig by A.D. Rattray in deference to the brand used for their peated… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 4 Blog #137 – Lost Distillery Company Jericho December 4, 2016

It’s a perfect snowy Sunday afternoon here in Calgary to take some time out for today’s dram. I must add a big welcome to The Lost Distillery company on their debut with their take on Jericho. A unique and enthralling story unravels as we delve into the ghostly past of a… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd edition Day 3 Blog # 136 – Shetland Reel Blended Malt December 3, 2016

Today’s outing sees us heading up to Unst and the site of what soon will be the most Northern whisky distillery in Scotland. I have not yet had the pleasure of getting up there but it is in the works sometime over the next few years. It is a very,… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd edition Day 2 Blog # 135 – Wemyss Barrista’s Dram Craigellachie December 2, 2016

Off to the wonderful and magical land of Wemyss Malts. I might have said this before, in fact I definitely have, but I love the creativity that Wemyss bring to their single cask range with an awesome descriptive title that gives everyone an idea of what they might expect from… Read more

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd edition Day 1 Blog # 134 – Secret Spirits 18 Year Old Speyside December 1, 2016

Welcome again to another rollicking 25 days of whisky whisky whisky. What a ride it has been this year to get to this day. Unfortunately with the best intentions we inadvertantly killed our launch parties. We had some challenges with calendars on display being “played” with a little too much… Read more

Singlemalting Whisky Blog # 133 – Yukon Gold November 30, 2016

Whisky has taken me around the world and given me experiences that I honestly hadn’t even dreamed possible. Adding in a bucket list trip to Canada’s Yukon this past September tipped the scales as the most amazing week of the year. After months of planning with the Yukon Liquor Corp… Read more

Singlemalting Whisky Blog # 132 – “Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those doing it” – Life of an Entrepreneur November 27, 2016

Even if you are not an entrepreneur I’m sure that most of you having completed a task multiple times become a little more proficient at it. Putting better systems in place, designed from hard lessons learned, to deal with ongoing challenges, should make it a little easier each time. Well… Read more

Singlemalting Whisky Blog # 131 – First Secret Spirits launch at Chicago Jewbilee November 24, 2016

Cindy and I absolutely loved attending another fabulous Whisky Jewbilee and I have written about our past experiences with these well run shows a few times so it was exciting for us to be actually presenting for the first time ever in the US at Joshua and Jason’s event. This… Read more

Singlemalting Whisky Blog # 130 – Scotland Forever Part 2 November 21, 2016

What could be more fun than sourcing 25 unique Scotches every year along with a new tasting glass, pin and booklet? The answer is of course to launch a new product so you can source 12 amazing rums, a skull glass, pin, map, chest and ship in a bottle. The… Read more

Singlemalting Whisky Blog – # 129 Scotland Forever Part 1 November 19, 2016

Hard to believe that the last quarter of the year is here and it seems ages ago that it was time to head back to Scotland to oversee the last rites on the 3rd edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar. This time the trip took a twist with Joshua Hatton from Single… Read more

Singlemalting Blog # 128 – Whisky for a good cause – I’m in … November 9, 2016

Things have been busy here at Secret Spirits over the Summer as we ramp up a new look Singlemalting website and get deep into preparations for launching the third edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar and the first edition Rum’s Revenge. Before departing for my second Scotland trip of the year… Read more

Whisky Nirvana on a Cricket Tour | Blog # 127 July 12, 2016

G’day everyone, That time of year already the the annual Glenmore Cricket club tour to Vancouver and Victoria is well under way. Instead of whisky reviews out of paper cups and pictures of dodgy bedspreads this year I had the opportunity to crank it up a notch. Have you ever… Read more

Canadian Rockies | Blog # 126 June 23, 2016

As promised this week I am delving into a new brand to hit Canadian shelves that has garnered some decent press. The Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old is the brainchild of Beverage group Fountana. Distilled by Highwood distillers in Alberta these aged casks were chosen specially by the Fountana team… Read more

Aussie, Jew, Aussie – Oi, Oy, Oi | Blog #125 June 13, 2016

So here we are at our second whisky of this combined blog. Sorry it has taken a while between drinks here as there has been a lot going on with Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar manufacturing and the launch of our new Rum’s Revenge. After a delicious Rye it was time… Read more

An Aussie and a Jew walk into a bar… | Blog # 124 May 23, 2016

This week while on the road in Chicago with none other than Single Cask Nation founder and all round awesome guy, Joshua Hatton, we decided to do a joint blog on a couple of interesting whiskies. Having never done this before we ask that you please bear with us as… Read more

Cigar Envy | Blog #123 April 26, 2016

“Trying to delve into the flavor profile of a cigar is something that I have only really started doing. Before that much like my early whisky journey I kind of new what I liked but didn’t know why.” G’day everyone As promised this week is a whisky and cigar pairing… Read more

Young Whiskey from an Old Distillery | Blog # 122 April 11, 2016

On vacation this year and much like other relaxing trips I like to seek out an unusual whiskey that I have not seen on shelves in Canada. It seems like American whiskey tends to be a go to and when vacationing in the US, why wouldn’t it. Finding a great… Read more

Spring into Whisky | Blog #121 March 29, 2016

What an amazingly nice Winter we have had here in Alberta and it feels like we are in for an early Spring this year. My thoughts always start turning to time on the deck and some delicious drams paired with a great cigar. Almost time for me to put away… Read more

The Romance Continues | Blog #120 March 23, 2016

Continuing on with their themed festival bottling’s the guys at Jewish Whisky company collaborated with the Westland Distillery in Seattle (very fitting). These festival whiskies have now become very sought after and collectible and with only 150 bottles available of this expression I know it will go fast. “This whisky… Read more

Springtime Seattle Sipping | Blog #119 March 15, 2016

Heading to Seattle for the inaugural Whisky Jewbilee was an exciting prospect. Especially when you consider that Washington State and particularly Seattle is fast becoming a major whisky hub in the US. “Over 20 distillers just in the city limits meant that we were sure to experience some innovative and… Read more

When whisky is just not enough | Blog #118 March 7, 2016

“My wife Cindy and I recently came back from what is becoming the most intense and fun few weeks of the year.” The task of choosing 25 unique whiskies for our Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar just got more exciting with the addition of a new product this year that required… Read more

Timboon Too | Blog # 117 March 1, 2016

To say that I just had two exciting weeks would be a massive understatement as Cindy and I travelled Scotland, Ireland and Italy to pick whisky and something secret for a new launch this year. Next week, I will let you know all about it, but today I am tasting… Read more

Vangroovy gets it’s own festival | Blog # 116 February 22, 2016

The inaugural Vancouver Whisky Festival rounded out the week for me as the 5th event in 7 days. Held at the Terminal City Club in Downtown Vancouver this event is designed for a maximum of 150 participants to enable an intimate experience. With sponsors like Aston Martin showing off some… Read more

Once More Unto The Breach | Blog # 115 January 18, 2016

Welcome to 2016 and the start of another amazing year of whisky experiences. I hope everyone had a refreshing time over Christmas with family and friends. Time to get back at it and every New Year for me really starts with what is now known as Whisky Week. 3 whisky… Read more

Day 25 Christmas Day – Samaroli Linkwood 1984 | Blog #114 December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for coming along this year for the 2nd edition of our Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar. It’s been a really fun time for Cindy and I, and we hope that you have found new experiences and diversified your palate for this wonderful drink. As mentioned a… Read more

Day 24 – Wemyss Malts Old Spiced Balm Dailuaine 1983 | BLOG #113 December 24, 2015

Welcome to Christmas Eve. The most exciting day of the year when I was young (still is). Gathering around the tree and taking in the beautifully wrapped presents and spending time with the family. Growing up in Australia I experienced a very different Christmas from most of you. Playing cricket… Read more

Day 23 – A.D. Rattray Bunnahabhain 1988 | Blog #112 December 23, 2015

Back to Islay today for one of my favorite Islay Distilleries.  Bunnahabhain founded in 1881 it is now owned by the South African Distell group. Bunnahabhain boasts the more approachable Islay experience. Indeed it is a lot softer on the peat than the other distilleries on the island although in… Read more

Day 22 – Malt Whisky Company Tobermory 1994 | Blog #111 December 22, 2015

Welcome to the 5th whisky in our 8 day 20 year old + countdown to Christmas. Tobermory Distillery Off to the Islands today with a whisky from the Tobermory Distillery on the Isle of Mull. Formally all whisky produced by this Distillery was called Ledaig (le-cheg). Now only the small… Read more

Day 21 – A.D. Rattray Glentauchers 1992 | Blog #110 December 21, 2015

Today we revisit the focus of our comparison study in the 1st edition calendar. Glentauchers was close to being the favorite distillery last year and for good reason. All 3 expressions were really delicious and unique. Glentauchers Distillery Given the opportunity to do another single cask from this distillery was… Read more

Day 20 – Wemyss Malts Aromatic Orange Tobacco Glenrothes 1988 | Blog #109 December 20, 2015

Here we are with our second comparison tasting of the calendar. You will remember back to day 11 and blog # 100 where we tasted the Glenrothes Kumquat Cluster. Well today we have an older Single Cask Glenrothes (sherry butt). Given how rare Glenrothes is as an independent bottled expression… Read more

Day 19 – Samaroli Miltonduff 1995 | Blog #108 December 19, 2015

7 Days and counting as we force ourselves to struggle through dealing with 20+ year old drams.  Today’s 20+ is actually 20 Years Old and hails from the Miltonduff Distillery in Speyside. Miltonduff was established in 1894 on the site of the meal mill of Pluscarden Abbey which was built… Read more

Day 18 – A.D. Rattray Auchroisk 1993 | Blog #107 December 18, 2015

Right then we are into the business end of this years edition. Starting out our 8 day 20 year + countdown to Christmas. Auchroisk Distillery We kick it off with a distillery that has not been part of the Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar before. Auchroisk (A-thrusk) is a Speyside Distillery… Read more

Day 17 – A.D. Rattray Craigellachie 2008 | Blog #106 December 17, 2015

Last year we compared three different expressions of Glentauchers. One from each of the 3 independent bottlers.  It was a great experience to see how unique each cask can be and the differences in each of them was remarkable. This edition we wanted to do the same thing but instead… Read more

Day 16 – Samaroli Benriach 1996 Single Malt | Blog #105 December 16, 2015

G’day everyone and welcome to day 16. Time seems to be flying by as we start to feel the excitement of the lead up to Christmas Day. Today we have another Samaroli Single Malt that has been a big hit with those that came along to a few of the… Read more

Day 15 – A.D. Rattray Invergordon 1991 Single Grain | Blog #104 December 15, 2015

I love this stop on the Whisky Tour as I love older Single Grain whiskies and the “Lamington” Girvan from last year was one of my favorites of the 1st edition. Today we head to the Highlands of Scotland to a distillery that was founded in 1959. Invergordon is currently… Read more

Day 14 – Samaroli by Samaroli 2008 Blended Malt | Blog #103 December 14, 2015

Another opportunity to see Samaroli in action with a carefully crafted blended malt. This time the distilleries in question are Glenallachie, Glentauchers and MacDuff. Glenallachie Distillery Glenallachie was founded in 1967 so is a relatively young distillery and is owned by Chivas Brothers with most of it’s production heading to… Read more

Day 13 – Single Cask Nation Undisclosed Islay 2008 | Blog #102 December 13, 2015

Like a kid at Christmas, I promise you the excitement will build as we count down to day 25.  Welcome to day 13 which is hump day for our 25 day journey. I hope you have all enjoyed the variety and unique flavors of the first half. Today we focus… Read more

Day 12 A.D. Rattray Bank Note 5yo | Blog #101 December 12, 2015

We are about half way through our journey together this year and it is time to insert our only trip to the Blended Scotch category this edition. Wanting to take you on a complete journey of the Scotch landscape means that we will always be stopping here once. AD Rattray… Read more

Day 11 Wemyss Malts Kumquat Cluster Glenrothes 1993 | Blog #100 December 11, 2015

100th blog today and I am so pleased to bring up the milestone while blogging through the second edition. For my wife Cindy and I, creating the Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar is a labor of love. We have so much fun putting it all together and getting up and over… Read more

Day 10 Samaroli Islay Blended Malt 2006 | Blog #99 December 10, 2015

Back to the Bastion of Big, Sanctuary of Smoke and Parapet of Peat. Only 5 days since our last outing here and I thought with all of the Christmassy sherry goings on that it was time to hit it again. Samaroli as we have discussed love their softly complex and… Read more

Day 9 A.D. Rattray Glen Moray 2007 | Blog #98 December 9, 2015

What Now 64.8%??? This is for me the highest ABV for a Single Malt Scotch or any kind of Scotch for that matter that I have tried.  This was one tight barrel kept somewhere dark away from the angels. Grab your Angel’s Share water dropper I think it will come… Read more

Day 8 Wemyss Malts Dark Treacle Fondant Craigellachie 2002 | Blog #97 December 8, 2015

Working our way into the second week of daily drams and we find a single cask offering from Wemyss Malts. I don’t know about you but Dark Treacle Fondant just sounds inviting. Craigellachie Distillery The Craigellachie distillery is in Speyside. The name Cragellachie means “Rocky Hill” Which is apt for… Read more

Day 7 Samaroli 1997 Strathisla | Blog #96 December 7, 2015

Today we get to taste a seldom seen independent bottling of Strathisla. The oldest Continually operating distillery in Scotland having been founded in 1786, Strathisla is absolutely the picture postcard of what an old Scottish distillery looks like in your dreams. Strathisla Distillery  Gorgeous gardens and shingle topped pagoda chimney’s.… Read more

Day 6 Malt Whisky Company Tullibardine | Blog #95 December 6, 2015

Tullibardine in Blackford was the first distillery I ever visited in Scotland.  Back to the Highlands today for a Distillery that was closed for almost a decade. Iconic white washed walls and decent access from Edinburgh make this a good visitor attraction. Much like Tomintoul, Tullibardine is a modern distillery… Read more

Day 5 A.D. Rattray Caol Ila 2006 | Blog #94 December 5, 2015

Finally an excursion to Islay. As with last year there is a need to sprinkle the calendar with regular stops to the Isle of all things smoky and peaty. There are those whisky drinkers out there that just literally impatiently work their way through everything else just so they can… Read more

Day 4 Wemyss Malts “Velvet Fig” | Blog #93 December 4, 2015

TGIF – Day 4 with the weekend looming and a chance to sit back, kick up our heels and delve into the 4th whisky of our 25 day journey. We welcome Wemyss malts for the second year. I love the way that Wemyss have a lot of fun with their… Read more

Day 3 Samaroli Spey 1996 – Blended Malt Glentauchers and Benriach | Blog # 92 December 3, 2015

Welcome to day 3. For the first time we get to use the Samaroli Whisky glass for a Samaroli whisky. Samaroli have been around since 1968 (the year I was born). Silvano Samaroli at that time was the only visionary outside of the UK buying up large amounts of Scottish… Read more

Day 2 Malt Whisky Company, Craigmills a Portsoy Distillery (Glenglassaugh) Sauterne | Blog # 91 December 2, 2015

That’s the longest title for one of my blogs ever. Welcome to day two. I hope everyone had a great time at the Launch party last night. For those of you that missed out please RSVP as fast as possible next year as there is limited space. Toasting in the… Read more

Day 1 A.D. Rattray Tomintoul 1999 | Blog # 90 December 1, 2015

Finally the day has dawned and here we all are getting our 2nd edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar underway. For those special 400 that managed to find a 1st edition last year, welcome back. For all the newcomers, welcome to an amazing ride through the Scotch Whisky landscape. Firstly a… Read more

Blended Malts – wake Up and Smell the Awesome | Blog # 89 November 30, 2015

So a day before we delve into this years Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar, it’s time to stir the pot a little with what for me has been a growing irritant. The Scotch Whisky Association has certainly helped this irritant to grow and in some circles it has permeated even level… Read more

Any Portanova in a storm | Blog # 88 November 23, 2015

It has been well over a year since I represented Amrut Distilleries in Canada and the US. Time however has not diminished my love of this Distillery and it’s iconic whisky. Today I want to review a bottle that I have had for a while and an expression that I… Read more

This is how it’s “Spelt” | Blog #87 November 17, 2015

G’day everyone, As promised last week I am reviewing a very unique whiskey offering. Distilled at the KOVAL distillery in Chicago. This Organic Spelt Whiskey really intrigued me on my recent visit to KOVAL and being a rare and discontinued bottling meant that I just had to have a bottle.… Read more

Chicago Whisky Jewbilee Festival Bottling | Blog #86 November 10, 2015

As promised last week here is my review on the very exclusive Chicago Jewbilee Festival bottling. To say that these guys think ahead would be an understatement. Everything from the ongoing story told by the labels to the tie-in of barrels being re-used. In this case, the whiskey was firstly… Read more

Jewbilee | Blog # 85 November 3, 2015

Off to the Windy City (Chicago) for my first ever whisky Jewbilee as a guest of the Jewish Whisky Club, Jason, Joshua and Seth. One of the fun opportunities in putting together the Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar this year was the inclusion of a whisky from these guys and to… Read more

Rocky Mountain High | Blog #84 October 21, 2015

What an awesome couple of days at the recent Calgary edition of the Rocky Mountain Food and Wine show. With Brian from Whistling Andy on site we were locked and loaded with an array of delicious whisky and a couple of additional treats. For those of you that have never… Read more

Rye … oh My | Blog #83 October 13, 2015

What a spectacular Thanksgiving weekend. On the annual pilgrimage out to Lake Minnewanka and with a carefully concealed bottle of Stalk and Barrel Cask Strength Rye in tow to spice up our fall. This is only the second year for us but our friends have been at it for 5+… Read more

Winter is coming | Blog #82 October 6, 2015

What a great time of year to get your thoughts turning to all things whisky. Apart from the huge amount of whisky related consumer events coming up there is just that chill in the air confirming that warming drams will be a mainstay to help get you through the long… Read more

When Scotland Calls one must answer part 5 | Blog # 81 September 29, 2015

Fantastic spa facilities at the Dunblane Hydro which must have helped me to get my clock adjusted as I managed to make it all the way to 6:30am. A full Scottish breakfast after a dip in the pool is a great way to get the day started. On the road… Read more

When Scotland Calls one must answer… Part 4 | Blog # 80 September 21, 2015

Righteo then … 4:30 can at this point be called sleeping in. Up and on my way to Craigton Packaging again on my way out of town to Dunblane. A last minute survey of all the finished calendars and some much needed paperwork sorted and it was time to get… Read more

When Scotland Calls one must answer – Part 3 | Blog # 79 September 14, 2015

2:30 am again…..really. OK then into a somewhat grueling routine of early emailing, 5:00am workout, 6:00am brekky and onto Craigton ready for work at 7:00am. With a hope to get the Canadian order knocked over by the end of the day we all got stuck in to what was now… Read more

When Scotland calls one must answer – part 2 | Blog # 78 September 9, 2015

Up at the absolute crack of dawn (2:30am) and jet lag was truly set in. The good news was the amount of time I had to get some work done, work out, have an amazing Scottish brekky and turn up at Craigton bright eyed and bushy tailed at 7:00am. What… Read more

When Scotland calls one must answer … | Blog # 77 September 3, 2015

After all the fun and excitement of putting together the 1st edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar, Secret Spirits has been hard at work doing it all again this year for edition number 2. You may recall some of the fun and games we had along the way in my blog… Read more

Cricket Tour – Dram Tasting Second Edition | Blog # 76 August 10, 2015

So here I am again on the annual Glenmore Cricket Club tour of Vancouver and Victoria.  Sneaking along a delicious bottle of unique whisky adds a touch of the civilized to the mostly rudimentary fun of beer, cricket, darts more beer and really good mates. This time around the hotel… Read more

To share or not to share……. | Blog # 75 July 15, 2015

Everyone who has some decent bottles of whisky at home will have experienced this dilemma. A friend or two come over and you decide to have a dram but they are not that experienced with whisky. Should you ply them with the cheap stuff rather than waste your better bottles?… Read more

It’s a Bourbon Stampede | Blog # 74 July 8, 2015

Bourbon is one of the rising stars of the whiskey world and the Alberta market is no exception. Bourbon as a category has exploded with shelf offerings going from a handful of well known names to dozens of smaller craft distilleries. I have in the past touched on the odd… Read more

Canada Rules | Blog #73 June 30, 2015

G’day Eh!! Sounds weird for sure but an Aussie now converted into an Ausadian or Cantralian and I can tell you that with the receipt of my Canadian passport and going through the citizenship ceremony I see myself as 100% both (well maybe slightly always a little more Aussie). So… Read more

Unobtanium… to read or a big tease | Whisky Blog #72 June 18, 2015

Let’s face it most bloggers that spend enough time and energy on their hobby to garner some read solid readership numbers will begin to open up opportunities to drink more and more expensive whiskies. As a consumer on the other side of your electronic medium of choice do you get… Read more

Single Malt…….Vodka?? Blog # 71 June 4, 2015

With the market for small distillery hand crafted whisky at an all time high there are a lot of new start ups looking to ride the wave over the next 5 to 10 years. Starting a distillery is an expensive prospect.  Just the equipment alone demands hefty capital. When you… Read more

Whisky Truly is the Water of Life – Hot Toddy time! | Blog #70 May 25, 2015

So after several years of no doubt dodging many cold. flu and beastie bullets I finally succumbed to a Spring bug. Despite plying myself and my wife with oil of oregano, pro-biotics and many other good for you substances this particular bug was hitting us and hitting us hard. Devoid… Read more

Till you’re blind – the FUN way to Taste Whisky | Blog # 69 May 20, 2015

There is nothing I like more than getting blind with whisky… and by that I mean not knowing what you are tasting. There is something inherit in all of us that despite promising ourselves we will keep an open mind and not be biased that reacts when we see a.… Read more

Hyde & Seek | Blog #68 May 8, 2015

Even more exciting than our recent vacation in the deep South was receiving a very special sample bottle from Conor Hyde at Hibernia Distillery in Ireland, delivered safe and sound by the resort staff. Irish Whiskey has been gaining momentum in popularity for years now with a lot of whisky… Read more

Return of the Mystery Whisky Shopper | Blog #67 April 26, 2015

Last year I had a lot of fun visiting Total Wine in Orlando and pulling a “mystery shopper” on them to see which direction they would steer me for whisky choice. See Blog HERE Finding myself back in Orlando again I made a bee line back to Total Wine to visit… Read more

Scotchy Scotch Scotch Part 4 | Whisky Blog #66 April 6, 2015

Touching down in Brussels we just had time for a mandatory beer and waffle before winging our way to Rome. Thankfully the roads were empty at Midnight as our taxi driver tried to break the speed record for an airport to the Eternal City. Rome is awesome and having been… Read more

Scotchy Scotch Scotch Part 3 | Blog #65 March 30, 2015

Phew so many whiskies so few days… Time for a breather and a couple of nights with my first Scotch supplier and good friend James Cowan. Working for A.D. Rattray at the time that I first met him he has worked for several companies including Tullibardine, Benriach and now Sazerac.… Read more

Scotchy Scotch Scotch Part 2 | Blog #64 March 24, 2015

Edinburgh Castle What’s better than a lazy day taking a train through the lush Scottish landscape from Glasgow to Edinburgh on a sleepy Sunday? Day 1. Well after settling in to our hotel we made good use of the lobby lounge to relax and have afternoon tea complete with scones,… Read more

Scotchy Scotch Scotch | Blog #63 March 10, 2015

Wow! Great to be back in Scotland again … after a rainy bus ride from Edinburgh airport to Glasgow that took twice as long. We later learned that the Celtics were playing Milan and Glasgow was packed with football fans. For those that must know the game was tied 4… Read more

Off to Scotland for a wee dram or two!! | Blog # 62 February 17, 2015

So after almost a decade since my only visit to the home of all things Scotchy, my wife Cindy and I are about to embark on a “seek and secure” mission for the second edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar. As you would have read in Blog #60, my first night… Read more

Ever scored 100? | Blog # 61 February 9, 2015

There are many ways you can score 100. Perhaps that math test you aced at school or that perfect art project that stood out from your peers and earned you the perfect score. There are loads of wines that have received the coveted 100 from both Wine Spectator and Wine… Read more

I’ve Lost My Marbles! | Blog # 60 February 2, 2015

Ever tried something really special? Perhaps it was the setting, or the company or the quality of the dram itself. A combination of all three could make it one of those cherished memories to last a lifetime. So it was with my first night ever spent in Scotland. A whisky… Read more

4 Cities in 5 days, a Whisky Journey | Blog #59 January 21, 2015

January is a whisky month! Even more than the ramp up towards Christmas and the frenzy of shoppers grabbing special bottles for their loved ones, January is one of the busiest whisky months of the year. If you are getting into whisky and want to experience an opportunity to try… Read more

A Midwinter Night’s Dram Straight Rye Whiskey | Blog #58 January 14, 2015

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2015! As promised in Blog# 27 I am starting a series of blog’s on some of my picks for drinking this Winter. First whisky is the appropriately titled “A Midwinter Nights Dram” from High West Distillery in Utah. A blend of Straight Rye… Read more

Advent Day 25 – Christmas Day – Samaroli 1980 “The Samaroli Blend” 33 Year Old Blended Malt | Blog #57 December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas everyone and welcome to the closing chapter of this years calendar! When you open up your little whisky alcove you will notice that there is a little Christmas card. If you can find the time to go back through your notes, head on over to Secret Spirits we… Read more

Advent Day 24 – Christmas Eve – A.D. Rattray 1999 Bowmore 14 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #56 December 24, 2014

Welcome to Christmas Eve everyone! Over the years we have had some very special casks of Bowmore from Tim Morrison’s own stock at A.D. Rattray (some of you might still have some tucked away). I wanted something special from A.D. Rattray for Christmas Eve as they are responsible for my… Read more

Advent Day 23 – Wemyss “Ginger Spice” 1988 Glenrothes 24 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #55 December 23, 2014

The Glen of Dounie on the edge of the town of Rothes is the location for what has become a very popular whisky in recent years. Glenrothes Distillery, First opened in 1879 and used mainly for the Cutty Sark premium blend the squat round Glenrothes bottle is now instantly recognizable… Read more

Advent Day 22 – “Samaroli Sherry” 1992 Glen Scotia 22 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #54 December 22, 2014

G’day everyone and welcome to Monday! So far we have had some outstanding casks from Samaroli and today we have our first experience of a whisky aged in Sherry from them and I can say I’ve been eagerly awaiting this day to dawn. Glen Scotia is one of only 3… Read more

Advent Day 21 – Wemyss “Evergreen Forrest” 1989 Cragganmore 23 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #53 December 21, 2014

The last Sunday before Christmas and a very fitting whisky title. Hopefully you have a lovely Evergreen Christmas tree up at your place and can snuggle on the couch with this dram from Wemyss. This is another chance for a comparison if you think back to Day 3 and the… Read more

Advent Day 20 – Samaroli 1996 Glentauchers 17 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #52 December 20, 2014

Surprise surprise, for those that had not figured it out from my clues we have the third installment of the Glentauchers experience. Same distillery, 3 independent bottlers and 3 very different tasting whiskies. This time Samaroli comes up to bat with an American oak version from not one but 2… Read more

Advent Day 19 – Wemyss “Spice King” 12 Year Old Blended Malt | Blog #51 December 19, 2014

Ahhh … Friday one of the most favored day’s of the week. Today we try the last of the range of yummy blended malts from Wemyss with their “Spice King” Very in keeping with the Christmas spirit as it is certainly the time for all sorts of warm and memory… Read more

Advent Day 19 – Wemyss “Spice King” 12 Year Old Blended Malt | Blog #51 December 19, 2014

Ahhh … Friday one of the most favored day’s of the week. Today we try the last of the range of yummy blended malts from Wemyss with their “Spice King” Very in keeping with the Christmas spirit as it is certainly the time for all sorts of warm and memory… Read more

Advent Day 18 – Samaroli 1994 Braes o’ Glenlivet 19 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #50 December 18, 2014

Blog #50!!! Wow … where does the time go? Braes o’ Glenlivet or Braeval is located high (relative term) in the secluded hills overlooking the town of Glenlivet. It’s name changed in 1995 to avoid confusion with it’s more well known neighbor Glenlivet Distillery. It was built in 1972 by… Read more

Advent Day 17 – A.D. Rattray 1996 Glentauchers 18 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #49 December 17, 2014

Think back to day 13 and Wemyss “licorice Spiral” Glentauchers 1992 20 Year Old. Look at your notes and get ready to compare. I wanted to show how unique each single cask is and having the same whisky from the perspective of two bottler’s is a great experience. The “Licorice… Read more

Advent Day 16 – Wemyss “Pastille Bouquet” 1998 Mortlach Single Malt | Blog #48 December 16, 2014

Today its Wemyss turn again with a lovely 15 Year Old Mortlach. Mortlach was built on a known site used for illicit distilling in the early 1800’s. In 1823 it received an official license and became the first legal distillery in Dufftown. One of the best kept secret’s of the… Read more

Advent Day 15 – Samaroli 2009 MacDuff (Glen Deveron) 5 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #47 December 15, 2014

Welcome to a new working week. I hope that your Monday was full of adventure and proved to be an invigorated return to doing something that you are passionate about. Today we discover MacDuff. Built in 1959 it was sold as Glen Deveron named after the Deveron river that it… Read more

Advent Day 14 – A.D. Rattray 1988 Girvan 25 Year Old Single Grain | Blog #46 December 14, 2014

Welcome to what will be for many of you a unique experience. Single Grain whisky has been much maligned as the lesser ingredient in Scotch whisky blends. All on it’s own however and especially as it gets older it is a wonderful whisky to behold. Over the years I have… Read more

Advent Day 13 – Wemyss 1992 “Licorice Spiral” Glentauchers 20 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #45 December 13, 2014

Official half time show here at Singlemalting for the 1st edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar. I don’t have any big name artists or flashy award winning commercials. What I do have however is a 20 Year Old Glentauchers from Wemyss that if we are to go by the label promises… Read more

Advent Day 12 – Samaroli 1997 Isle of Jura 17 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #44 December 12, 2014

Friday already and another weekend beckoning. Today we travel to the Isle of Jura for the “island” stopover on our whistle stop tour of Scotland. It is an interesting stat that the red deer that inhabit the Isle of Jura outnumber the human population by 30 to 1. Jura is… Read more

Advent Day 11 – A.D. Rattray Stronachie 18 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #43 December 11, 2014

Today we have the older brother of the Stronachie 10 that we tasted 6 days ago on day 5 of our journey. This is the new version released in the Alberta market only a month ago. For those that tried the older version of the Stronachie 18 you will find… Read more

Advent Day 10 – Wemyss Lord Elcho 15 Year Old Blended Malt | Blog #42 December 10, 2014

Blended Scotch – a combination of Single Malt and Single Grain whisky is by far the driving force behind Scotch Sales worldwide. Mostly scoffed at by Whisky aficionados as raw and harsh, blended Scotch is seen as the drink for the masses providing an ok experience but nothing special. Times… Read more

Advent Day 9 – Samaroli 1997 Glenfarclas 17 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #41 December 9, 2014

Glenfarclas well known for their heavily sherried flavor profiles are a Speyside Distillery (yes I know another one). Founded in 1836 whisky has been distilled at Glenfarclas by 6 generations of the Grant family. Glenfarclas means the “Valley of the green grass”. Using mainly Oloroso Sherry casks Glenfarclas has built… Read more

Advent Day 8 – A.D. Rattray Cask Islay Single Malt | Blog #40 December 8, 2014

Ahhh … the start of a new week. So full of possibilities and another chance to really make a difference in other peoples lives. I know that I have been able to make a difference in yours by bringing you this fun filled month and 25 whiskies that 99% of… Read more

Advent Day 7 – Wemyss “The Hive” Blended Malt | Blog #39 December 7, 2014

G’day Sport’s Fans Nothing like a Lazy Sunday afternoon and a nice dram by the roaring fire relaxing with a good book or some vitally important sporting event on the telly taking you away from the stresses of the week. I hope you are all able to spend some relaxation… Read more

Advent Day 6 – Samaroli Tormore 18 Year Old | Blog #38 December 6, 2014

Day 6 and the first weekend of the month. Today we discover Tormore 1995, 18 Year Old through the taste and expertise of Samaroli. Tormore is styled as the “Pearl of Speyside” and begins the Speyside Whisky Trail experience. Built by renowned architect Sir Albert Richardson in 1958 Tormore is… Read more

Advent Day 5 – A.D. Rattray Stronachie 10 Year Old Single Malt | Whisky Blog #37 December 5, 2014

G’day and Happy Friday everyone. With the weekend looming the temptation will be strong to skip ahead and open more than just one whisky. Try to resist, be strong and you will be rewarded. What better on a Friday evening than to settle down to a nice relaxing dram for… Read more

Advent Day 4 – Wemyss “Peat Chimney” 12 Year Old Blended Malt | Blog #36 December 4, 2014

G’day everyone and welcome to day 4. Feels like we have already been on this trip together for a while and I love that plenty are getting into the comments section to have their say. Having been promoting whisky for a long time I completely understand the nature of the… Read more

Advent Day 3 – “Samaroli Spey” 1993 21 Year Old Single Malt – Cragganmore | Blog #35 December 3, 2014

Welcome back whisky pilgrims. Day 3 and we are still riding the Speyside train. Today’s offering is from Italian Independent bottlers Samaroli. Rarely bottling at cask strength Samaroli prefer to define their take on the perfect balance for any cask. Whisky: “Samaroli Spey” 1993 21 yo single malt *Single Cask… Read more

Advent Day 2 – A.D. Rattray Aultmore 2007 7 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #34 December 2, 2014

Day 2 of our 25 day journey. Open up your calendar and find alcove No.2. Pop it open and grab your wee dram. Whisky: A.D. Rattray Aultmore 2007, 7yo single malt. A.D. Rattray love to bottle at cask strength and allow you to play with as much or as little… Read more

Advent Day 1 – Wemyss “Citrus Burst” Linkwood 1997 16 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #33 December 1, 2014

The day we have all been waiting for has finally dawned. Welcome to the daily Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar tasting for those lucky 400 calendar holders. If you have not done so already open up those doors and punch out the large calendar logo. Inside is a collector’s 1st Edition… Read more

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 1st Edition Part 5 | Blog #32 November 25, 2014

What do gypsy moths,  lost glassware, alcohol volumes and shipping deadlines have in common. They all almost stopped the 1st Edition Scotch Whisky Calendar from ever getting to market. I could literally create a very long list of key moments over the past year where we had to overcome a… Read more

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 1st Edition Part 4 | Blog #31 November 17, 2014

Welcome back to part 4 of the 1st Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar story. So, with 2 thirds of the whisky selection secured but not finalized I still needed another supplier to complete the line up and then go through the individual whisky choices. Having been an avid proponent of… Read more

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 1st Edition Part 3 | Blog #30 November 10, 2014

The heart of the project of course is the whisky. The range and quality of the Scotch had to be impressive. Above all though, especially after looking at feedback on the Master of Malt calendar which utilized already bottled whisky and a lot of very familiar drams. We wanted to… Read more

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 1st Edition Part 2 | Blog #29 November 3, 2014

Anything that is really worth doing will definitely test you. I would have to say that this past year has been one of the most challenging of my working career. Armed with an idea backed up with passion and a decade of industry experience I set out on a path… Read more

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 1st Edition Part 1 | Blog #28 October 27, 2014

To say that this week is exciting would be a massive understatement. Lets start at the beginning to tell the story properly. Almost 4 years ago after working hard selling whisky at the Vancouver Hopscotch festival, which happens annually every November, I was out doing  a little Christmas shopping for… Read more

Does it feel like Whisky Season at your place? | Blog #27 October 16, 2014

G’day everyone, With the days rapidly getting chiller here in the Northern Hemisphere and October almost half over my thoughts definitely start to turn like the autumn leaves away from the frivolous and refreshing into a desire for something full and warm. In fact I get positively over the top… Read more

40 Year Old ‘Spring Water’ Lands on my Doorstep | Blog #26 October 10, 2014

One of the absolutely fabulous things about being in this line of work is getting little parcels on the front doorstep and occasionally finding a very rare package in the mail that ran the Canada Post gauntlet and survived. A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive one… Read more

A Dram, a Pipe and a Warm Fall Afternoon | Blog #25 September 29, 2014

G’day again everyone, It is an extremely busy time right now at Singlemalting land and I apologize for getting slightly behind in the blogging stakes. I will be making up for it in December as I will be blogging from the 1st every day right through till Christmas Day. I’ll… Read more

40% Whisky??? | Blog #24 September 10, 2014

G’day everyone, Did I say 40% whiskies?? Well while I was rummaging through my collection of all things yummy, a very cold wind blew in from the Rockies and darn if I didn’t have to light the fireplace and think about snuggling up on the couch with my wife and… Read more

Independent Bottling | Blog #23 August 23, 2014

G’day everyone, An interesting week for me with some quality time spent at Rockyview General, where thanks to some additional time on my hands I am reclined in my uber adjustable hospital bed getting this blog into my iPad. The sad part of course is that hospitals are ‘dry zones’… Read more

Tasting Non-Age Statement Whiskies “NAS” | Blog #22 August 13, 2014

G’day again and apologies for the slight tardiness of this blog. A lot has been going on over at Secret as we work to bring the Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar to the Alberta and Saskatchewan markets this year. As promised it’s time to taste a few NAS whiskies and… Read more

A Word from our Sponsor | Blog #21 August 3, 2014

We apologize for this interruption to your regular programming. While we are working to restore normal service here is a word from our sponsors…Secret in conjunction with proudly presentThe Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 1st Edition.After two years and a long hard road we have been able to produce… Read more

Non-Age Statement Whiskies “NAS” | Blog #20 July 23, 2014

Scotch whiskies that due to limited supply of aged stock and burgeoning Asian markets are now re-branded without an age statement. G’day everyone and welcome to the hot topic on the whisky airwaves right now. Non-Age Statement Whiskies You’ve seen them lurking on shelves for years but most paid them… Read more

Summer Time Favourite | Blog #19 July 16, 2014

G’day everyone,Back in the saddle (Stampede finishes today) and on my own deck again looking at a bottle of one of my favorite Summer drams ever.From a small and, until recently, relatively unknown distillery the Sullivan’s Cove Double Cask from Tasmania Distillery is the dram of choice for me on… Read more

It’s Just Not Cricket! | Blog #18 July 7, 2014

This week finds me basking in sunny Victoria on the annual Glenmore Cricket Club tour to Vancouver and the island. Not normally a whisky focused time for me, with beer flowing profusely, darts and billiards the order of the day at the Sticky Wicket after a hard fought game of… Read more

Whistling Andy Montana Straight Bourbon Whiskey June 30, 2014

Written by Special Guest Blogger Joshua Hatton State of Montana – 40% ABV – you can find this whiskey at these locations.Just the name alone, Whistling Andy, brings back memories of watching Andy Griffith reruns when I was just a wee boy.  Remember the whistling theme song?Now that I’ve put… Read more

A Stampede Rendezvous | Blog #17 June 25, 2014

It’s the second day of Summer and my first opportunity to sit out on the deck and relax over a nice pipe and whiskey. What a great setting to put pen to paper for this weeks Blog. With Stampede, Canada’s Premier Outdoor event starting in just over a week everyone… Read more

Oh Canada, my home and native land… | Blog #16 June 16, 2014

Well an epic week for me after living in the Great White North for over 12 years, I finally sealed the deal and became Canadian. Swearing the Oath to the Queen and becoming official on the 12th of June 2014 at  9:30am. So now I have a split personality part… Read more

Secret Whisky Shopper Part 4 | Blog #15 June 11, 2014

Now down to the final whisky. My heart really wanted to grab both of the sold out bottles of Rye from Willet and Angels Envy but alas it was not meant to be. So to counterbalance my bourbon purchase I decided that it would have to be Scotch. There was… Read more

Secret Whisky Shopper Part 3 | Blog #14 June 3, 2014

So after some really quality time with Tony and Chris I had to make up my mind on the purchases. The first whisky on the list to be removed from the store in my possession was the Hancock’s President’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon. With the balmy 35 degrees Celsius in… Read more

Secret Whisky Shopper Part 2 | Blog #13 May 27, 2014

Why does a Scot always instantly command respect when the topic of whisky comes up? Firstly, the accent, it sounds as though they have had a few drams already and are speaking from field tested experience. Secondly, given that the Scots have been making whisky for longer than anyone, except… Read more

Secret Whisky Shopper Part 1 | Blog #12 May 19, 2014

What do vacationing in Florida, Bourbon, Scotch, Rye and the Largest liquor store in Orlando have in common? They all come together as the subject for this series of blogs. Being normally on the selling side of the whisky transaction I thought it would be fun to head into Total… Read more

4 Glasses – 1 Whisky Part 4 | Blog #11 May 12, 2014

Now that we are finally on the last part make sure you start with Blog #8 followed by Blog #9  and Blog #10 which are part one, two and three of this series. This little trip has been extremely fun and I have found out a lot about my palate and it… Read more

4 Glasses – 1 Whisky Part 3 | Blog #10 May 5, 2014

Before reading any further make sure you start with Blog #8 followed by Blog #9 which is part one and two of this series. So here we are finally getting to the nitty gritty and having a taste or two. The first round of tasting was done with Duncan Taylor Mortlach 1993 at full cask… Read more

4 Glasses – 1 Whisky Part 2 | Blog #9 April 29, 2014

Before reading any further make sure you start with Blog #8 which is part one of this series. Having poured a healthy dram into each glass lets look at how each one effects the nose and palate. Nose: Nosing whisky is a big part of what makes this spirit so… Read more

4 Glasses – 1 Whisky Part 1 | Blog #8 April 22, 2014

Over the next 3 weeks we are going to look at how different glasses can effect your whisky experience. May I present firstly the 4 glasses we will be comparing for your tasting pleasure. # 1 – The Glencairn Scotch Whisky glass The shape of this glass is mostly derived… Read more

Accessorize Your Whisky | Blog #7 April 15, 2014

Whisky toys – More fun than you can poke a dram at… Let’s take a step back from the more serious venture of whisky analysis and talk about some really fun toys you can acquire to have in your whisky sandbox. 1.     Ice – the topic of blog… Read more

Whisky Review – Amrut Fusion Single Malt | Blog#6 April 7, 2014

The subject Whisky in today’s Blog, Amrut Fusion, has received a tremendous amount of attention in the past few years. It has been written about, talked about, debated, argued, dismissed, lauded, praised, and ultimately consumed. I was fortunate enough to receive a sample of Amrut Fusion almost a year before… Read more

“Hard a Port – Iceberg ahead!” | Blog #5 March 31, 2014

By far and away the most favoured way to drink whisky worldwide is over ice. In much the same way that the Titanic, despite the best intentions of its captain, sailed on to inevitable destruction, so too do many stick to their firmly held beliefs about ice and if it’s… Read more

Water Water Everywhere but not a Drop to Drink | Blog #4 March 24, 2014

Watering Whisky – How much is enough If you have even a passing interest in whisky/ey. The topic of water inevitably comes up. How much is enough, am I allowed to add ice and so on, till the whisky newcomer can be completely confused or strong armed into a belief that really does not enhance… Read more

St. Patrick’s Day – Writers’ Tears Pot Still Review | Blog #3 March 17, 2014

I know this week was supposed to be a blog about Watering whisky, however given that today is St Patrick’s day I thought I would postpone that till next week and tackle a traditional Irish Whiskey review. Every avid whiskey drinker should take time to consider Pot Still Irish Whiskey.… Read more

Why You Should Stop and Smell the Mangos | Blog #2 March 10, 2014

This weeks blog is about every individuals unique palate and how it is honed. What makes your palate the way it is and what can you do to increase the range of flavors to develop your palates’ experience? Stretching your palate and broadening your flavor profile will bring you a… Read more

What Do I Know About Whisky??? | Blog #1 March 4, 2014

Welcome to the passionate whisky soaked Blog, where passion and innovation meet history and tradition.It’s the dawn of a new whisky age and some of us are being dragged kicking and screaming while others are running ahead eager for a taste of the sparkling future. Why should those with… Read more

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