The whisky blog for the curious and converted, the lover and learner, the anorac and adventurer and especially the newbie and neophyte.

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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 been on vacation thinking that … 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 to form the foundation of … 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 for us to get a … 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 we hope that it all … 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 review. I know I promised … 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 little store in Honolulu was … 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 the Islay for a few … 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 was designed as a follow … 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 delicious drams during the course … 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 some additional hard work for … 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 a whisky that was given … 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 very sexy cars and an … 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 festivals in Alberta followed by … 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 few times we (insert I) … 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 in the back yard and … 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 recent times there have been … 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 amount of peated whisky released … 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 not to be passed up. … 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 I did not think when … 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 in 1236. An original stone … 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 founded in 1974 to produce … 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 of 3 from the same … 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 “sneak peek” events that I … 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 the only Grain Distillery that … 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 that famous blend. It uses … 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 on Single Cask Nation. You will … 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 Whisky Experience Shop Bank Note … 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 all the endless array of … 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 delicate drams. Lets see what … 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 in real handy in a … 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 the cliff overlooking the river … 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. Built of ancient Scottish stone … 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 in Scottish terms having been … 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 get their dosage of peat. … 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 labelling as they like to … 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 Whisky. Defying tradition and coming … 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 Advent season with the Tomintoul … 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 wee bit of an explanation … 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 headed and seemingly open whisky … 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 believe Amrut still releases on … 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. Spelt has become more popular … 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 aged for 8 years in … 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 help launch the Single Cask … 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 been to this event it … 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+ years. Utilizing one of the … 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 cold months ahead. To kick … 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 to Edinburgh I met up … 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 underway. Craigton Packaging Crew Team … 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 becoming a very well oiled … 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 a fun opportunity to be … 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 #21,  blog #28 and 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 in question is right in … 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? Or should you treat them … 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 Bourbon like Blog #14 where … 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 for this coming Canada day … 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 excited about reading insights into … 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 throw in the minimum 3 … 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 of normal olfactory senses and … 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.     Packaging b.   … 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 enthusiasts hunting for unique and … 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 Chris and the team and … 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 lucky enough to visit twice … 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. It was great to spend … 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, jam and cream while looking … 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 goals all. Craigton Bottling Plant … 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 in Scotland was something special. … 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 Advocate and have gone on … 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 newbie at the time I … 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 some really amazing drams and … 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 whisky taken from their Rendezvous … 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 would love for you to … 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 first love affair with Scotch … 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 by Single Malt enthusiasts. Whisky: … 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 distilleries that reside in the … 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 “Samaroli Spey” which we learned … 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 sister casks. Samaroli 1996 Glentauchers … 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 evoking spices. Whisky: Wemyss “Spice … 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 evoking spices. Whisky: Wemyss “Spice … 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 Seagram’s to provide whisky for … 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 Spiral” was in a Bourbon … 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 Diageo beverage giant Mortlach is … 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 sits beside. After it’s sale … 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 had other delicious older Single … 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 a Licorice Spiral flavor profile. … 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 Norse for Deer Island for … 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 this the same amazing value … 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 my friends are a changing. … 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 a reputation for providing really … 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 you have not tried before. … 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 time as you taste through … 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 a stunning distillery. Note if … 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 a tiny piece of solitude … 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 “Islay Geek”. If you are … 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 Number 1974 – American Oak … 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 water as you feel is … 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 Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Spiegelau … 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 project killing challenge. At 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 Independent Bottlers throughout my entire … 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 have 25 completely unique whiskies … 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 that has changed my life … 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 my wife and I came … 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 with excitement sometimes thinking about … 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 such parcel with a wee … 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 reveal more about that in … 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 the dog and sipping on … 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’ and even with the infiltration … 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 after rummaging around in my … 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 400 limited edition numbered 1st … 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 no heed or saw 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 the deck. Tasmania Distillery received … 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 cricket. This year I decided … 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 that in your head, it’ll … 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 starts donning those old cowboy … 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 Australian and part Canadian, or … 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 only one clear winner in … 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 Florida on a daily basis … 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 the Irish, they deserve the … 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 Wine in Orlando while on … 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 has changed the way I … 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 strength of 54.1%.The whiskies, having … 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 interesting. If you have been … 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 from traditional “copita” nosing glasses … 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 #5 comes in all shapes … 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 it’s release, from the International … 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 good for whisky or not. … 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 their whisky experience. Firstly why … 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. It will add something different … 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 lot more pleasure as you … 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 feet firmly rooted in deep … Read more