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Month: December 2014

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

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 used mostly for Johnnie Walker. As a Single Malt Mortlach has been released in the Rare Malts range and through independent bottlings but does not have an ongoing proprietary label outside of these select few offerings.

Whisky: Wemyss “Pastille Bouquet” 1998 Mortlach single malt

*Cask # 5402 – Bourbon Hogshead – Speyside 46% alcohol non-chill filtered*

Colour: Washed Gold

Nose: Definite sweet start like holding your nose over a bowl of sugar covered soft chewy Jubes this I think is the Aussie version of pastilles. A jumble of fruit characters here.

Palate: Deepening flavor with a touch of sugar coated coffee bean after a particularly creamy latte.

Finish: Flourish of full cream and swirls of candied fruit.

Water: Softens the coffee effect and lightens the sweetness. Continues to linger on and is velvety smooth.

**Curt from All Things Whisky has also been “Tasting” along with the calendar. Check out his notes HERE.

The delicate nature of some of these flavor profiles require a bit more dedication to expanding our palate’s. As I mentioned earlier work out your palate and reap the rewards of amazing flavors that you have never even considered. Stick to the same narrow flavor range and you will miss out on the abundant expanse of incredible diversity that your little taste buds can pick up. Use the axiom stop and smell the flowers and always try anything that you have not tasted before – at least once.

The retailers that have this delightful Mortlach are the following – only 60 bottles:


Vine Styles

Kensington Wine Market

Coop Wines and Spirits


Andrew Hilton Wines and Spirits

Spruce Grove

Liquor on McLeod


Ingredients Artisan Market

Tomorrow we re-visit a distillery from a different perspective and cask type through a different bottler. I hope you left just a tiny amount of the first example so you can compare (highly doubtful 🙂 )

See you then …


Wemyss Malts Website


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

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 to Bacardi in 1998 the Glen Deveron branding was dropped and the Single Malt given the name of the Distillery, Macduff.  Interesting to note that Glen Deveron was bottled as a 10 year old and a 5 year old for export.

It is used mostly for the Dewar’s blends although tends to pop up regularly as independent bottling’s.

Whisky: Samaroli Macduff 2009 5 Year Old Single Malt
*Cask # 900258 American Oak – 45% alcohol non-chill filtered*

MacDuff 5yo MacDuff 5yo

Colour: This is by far the lightest of all the whiskies in the calendar this year and looks like a nice glass of fresh water with just the fainest splash of lemon juice
Nose: Grassy meadow with a freshness like walking through a paddock after heavy rain. Sweet barley and biscuits.
Palate: Surprisingly full and round, some medicinal character and faint whiffs of peat show through. A touch of salty seaweed underlines it all. Reminds me of a nice slice of fresh sushi with its creamy rice and crispy seaweed wrap.
Finish: Lingering briny peat and just a touch of smoke.

Water: Brings out some soft fruit to intermingle with the flavors of the seaside.

**Curt from All Things Whisky has also been “Tasting” along with the calendar. Check out his notes HERE.

This is a really unique whisky and shows how much character can be developed at such a young age even in Scotland. Those that love salty lightly peated drams will be all over this one.

Only 30 bottles available from the following great retailers:


Sherbrooke Liquor Store

Spruce Grove

Liquor on McLeod




Ingredients Artisan Market

It is great to see bottler’s like Samaroli that will completely be upfront with younger casks that are delicious.

See you tomorrow …


Samaroli Bottlers Website

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

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 Grains like North British and Cameronbridge.

Girvan distillery lies in the lowlands and was founded in 1963. The Ladyburn distillery was also operating on site up until its closure in 1975. Girvan is probably best known for making what has become a staple Gin for many “Hendrick’s”.

Today is our only stop in the Lowlands and one that I’m sure you will be pleased that we have made.

Whisky: A.D. Rattray 1988 Girvan 25 to single grain

*Cask # 79184 – Cask type was not disclosed – 55.4% Cask strength non-chill filtered*

Colour: Looking at it from a playing the percentages angle I would say that it is definitely American oak as after 25 year the colour is still only mid gold.

Nose: Go gentle into this one as we have a fully fledged cask strength whisky in our glasses. Wow nose is taking me back to the small Australian bakery and a fresh Lamington. (insert link or picture) Lamington are a sponge cake dipped in chocolate and then rolled in coconut. This bottle could be called “Lamington” Girvan 25 Year Old. Amazing, can’t wait to taste it.

Palate: Creamy vanilla bean creme brulee topped with a lively light crust of toffee’d sugar. Surprisingly soft at 55.4% on the palate.

Finish: Danish pastry with a touch of pear glaze.

Water: Brings even more of the coconut out of the nose and instills some rich satsuma plum that takes over the finish.

**Curt from All Things Whisky has also been “Tasting” along with the calendar. Check out his notes HERE.

Most of the Single Grains that I have had in the past have been really dark and reminiscent of an Old Pappy Van Winkle. This Girvan is fresh and fruity and far more like a Single Malt than a Single Grain.

Fantastic work A.D. Rattray this is an absolute gem.

These lucky retailers have some of the only 60 bottles available:


Highlander Wine and Spirits

J. Webb Wine Merchants

Willow Park Wine & Spirits


Andrew Hilton Wines and Spirits


Ingredients Artisan Market

Tomorrow we taste the youngest whisky in this years calendar. Open your minds and get ready for some mind altering enlightenment.

See you then …


A. D. Rattray Website

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

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.

Whisky: Wemyss 1992 “Licorice Spiral” Glentauchers 20 yo

*Cask No. 6036 Bourbon Hogshead – 46% non-chill filtered*

Glentauchers is predominantly used for Ballantines and Teachers blends. Founded in 1897 solely for making whisky for blending it’s first famous brand was one of the founders James Buchanan’s Black and White blend.

The nearby Packhorse bridge was also the site of a deep pool called Guan’s pot where witches were “tested” to see if they floated or sank. Not good news either way really.

Colour: Very light in colour for a 20 year old in a bourbon cask. I love seeing whiskies that have not had caramel added to them. It’s fascinating just how variable casks are in imparting deepening hues.

Nose: As advertised on the label there is some sweet licorice here reminding me of licorice allsorts with a wedge of white and yellow confectionery in between.

Palate: Even more Anise coming through baked into a Jonathan apple crumble (could be a different sort but why not throw my namesake apple into the mix).

Water: Lifts the apple and softens the licorice with continued flavor bursts for a long finish.

**Curt from All Things Whisky has also been “Tasting” along with the calendar. Check out his notes HERE.

How cool is whisky??? Seriously there is nothing on the planet as a spirit that can compete for such a wide range of flavor. All coming from one humble little ingredient.

This amazing whisky is available from the following switched on retailers:


Willow Park Wine & Spirits

Highlander Wine and Spirits

Kensington Wine Merchants

J. Webb Wine Merchants


Andrew Hilton Wines and Spirits


Ingredients Artisan Market

A great way to hit the mid point of our journey.

I hope you are beginning to appreciate (if you were not already) how wonderfully diverse the world of whisky is. This is why independent bottling’s of single casks are so great. What better way to enjoy a distillery than a snapshot in time of that age and that barrel especially when released by top quality bottler’s like the 3 in this calendar that are always looking for a unique expression.

Tomorrow we up the ante with a trip to yet another new region.

See you then …


Wemyss Malts Website

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

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 just that very reason. Although officially the present distillery was established in 1810 is is claimed that whisky was distilled on the island as far back as 1502.

Whisky: Samaroli 1997 Isle of Jura 17 yo single malt

*Cask number 9118 – American Oak – 43% Non-chill filtered*

Colour: Again light in colour as was the last Samaroli offering of Glenfarclas. The American oak they are using seems to be lightly charred and even after 17 years only leaves a little of itself behind in terms of colour. Light straw.

Nose: Salty coastal freshness with some lifted floral notes, still a very full nose at 43%.

Palate: Delicate subtle character builds around a touch of honeydew melon. The freshness and refreshment continue through such lovely light balance. I can understand again why Samaroli chose to use American oak so as not to overpower these playfully light complex flavors. The usual light smoke of Jura seems to be missing here which is interesting.

Finish: The layers of sweet and salty, sea and meadow come together to create a really intriguing whisky.

I love lighter delicate whiskies and this one is right in that vein. Samaroli certainly know how to treat a lady like this, softly and with careful attention as these lovely flavours could so easily have been snuffed out and overpowered with the wrong cask treatment.

Water: again I left it alone but if any of you are brave enough to try a splash let me know how it went.

**Curt from All Things Whisky has also been “Tasting” along with the calendar. Check out his notes HERE.

Well we are almost half way there and tomorrow is the tipping point that will slide us down towards Christmas. To celebrate this halfway stage we will visit a seldom seen distillery that is definitely one of the rarities in this years calendar.

You can find this delight at the following retailers:


Highlander Wine and Spirits

Crowfoot Wine and Spirits

Aspen Wines and Spirits

Kensington Wine Market

Britannia Wine Merchants


Chateau Louis Liquor Store

Sherbrooke Liquor


Ingredients Artisan Market

I hope you have been enjoying the calendar so far. We will be ramping up with some pretty amazing whiskies over the coming days.

Here is a recap of what you have had during the first half.

Day 1 – Wemyss Citrus Burst Linkwood 1997 – 16 Year Old Single Malt

Day 2 – A.D. Rattray Aultmore 2007 – 7 Year Old Single Malt

Day 3 – Samaroli Spey (Cragganmore) 1993 – 21 Year Old Single Malt

Day 4 – Wemyss Peat Chimney 12 Year Old Blended Malt

Day 5 – A.D. Rattray Stronachie 10 Year Old Single Malt

Day 6 – Samaroli Tormore 1995 – 19 Year Old Single Malt

Day 7 – Wemyss “The Hive” – 12 Year Old Blended Malt

Day 8 – A.D. Rattray Cask Islay Single Malt

Day 9 – Samaroli 1997 Glenfarclas 17 Year Old Single Malt

Day 10 – Wemyss Lord Elcho 15 Year Old Blended Scotch

Day 11 – A.D Rattray Stronachie 18 Year Old Single Malt

Day 12 – Samaroli 1997 Isle of Jura 17 Year Old Single Malt

See you all tomorrow for a great Saturday dram as we peek over the horizon and fix our eyes on Christmas Day a mere 13 more sleeps away.


Samaroli Website

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

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 and one of the least expensive 18 year old whiskies in the market.

Whisky: Stronachie 18 yo single malt

*46% (Benrinnes) – non-chill filtered. Combination of Bourbon and Sherry casks roughly 50/50*

A. D. Rattray Stronachie 18yo A. D. Rattray Stronachie 18yo

Colour: Golden reddish hues

Nose: Honey and Heather in abundance and deeper richer spicy citrus covered notes than its younger sibling.

Palate: Honey and butter on malt biscuits with a lovely oily full mouth feel. Leads into some light clove and pepper.

Finish: Lingering and complex this is a dram with a lot going on.

Water: Tried just a splash of water and the spice gave way to more sweet citrus and just the faintest hint of marzipan right at the death.

**Curt from All Things Whisky has also been “Tasting” along with the calendar. Check out his notes HERE.

The first version of Stronachie 18 was always a favorite and this new version I think is even better. Certainly bang for the buck you just can’t go past this delicious 18 year old.

The Stronachie range having been in the market re-released for over a month is the only reason I have not been able to say that 100% of the 1st edition whiskies have not been in Alberta before. So for those of you that snuck in and grabbed a bottle of Stronachie 10 or 18 in the past 4 weeks you have had a tiny heads up on some of the calendar contents.

My preference actually on this was with just a tiny splash of water. How did you prefer it?

You can find Stronachie 18 by clicking on this link to Connect Logistics.


Ingredients Artisan Market

Tomorrow we jump on a boat and visit a region of Scotland as yet untouched on this years 1st Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar journey.

I look forward to seeing you then for a fantastic Friday …


A. D. Rattray Website

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

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. With Single Malt stocks not able to keep up with demand no doubt you have seen an increase in price of your favorite dram lately. A new generation of “Premium” blended Scotches have hit the market to fill the gap.

These blended Scotches have much higher percentages of Single Malt than most and offer a delicious alternative at a reasonable price while still bearing an age statement.

Wemyss, like many independent bottlers, wanted to tap into this market with a premium blend of their own. It seemed fitting in taking you on a complete journey through all the different Scotch Styles in this 1st Edition that we touched down at least once on the Blended Scotch landscape. Certainly a premium 15 Year Old is a good place to make this stop.

Whisky: Lord Elcho 15 yo blended scotch whisky

*40% Alcohol – 40% Single Malt and 60% Single Grain*

Plenty of Sherried casks used.

Lord Elcho, 1721-1787, was the eldest son of the 5th Earl of Wemyss, one of the current company owners’ ancestors. Courageous and loyal, Lord Elcho was the commander of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army. After the Jacobites’ defeat at the battle of Culloden in 1746, Elcho was exiled to France – never to return to his native Scotland.

Colour: Golden with polished copper tinges

Wemyss Wemyss “Lord Elcho” 15yo

Nose: Ginger brandy snaps filled with fresh cream and crisp toffee apple fresh from the small town fair, midway candy vendor.

Palate: Salted creme caramel, just a hint of spicy sandlewood reminding me of my visit to Mysore south of Bangalore in India. Those sandlewood shops were amazing and this little palate hit just took me right back there.

Finish: Rich milk chocolate rounds out a lovely long and balanced finish.

Water: No chance

**Curt from All Things Whisky has also been “Tasting” along with the calendar. Check out his notes HERE.

This is a great example of the new generation of premium blends. Wemyss has created something elegant and decidedly delicious.

For those of you that never think about blends. For the sake of your wallets you might need to take note of premium blends like Lord Elcho for your every day dram.

You can find Lord Elcho by clicking on the link below and entering your postal code or city. Only 60 bottles available initially, however we will continue to bring small amounts of this delicious premium blend to market.


Buy Lord Elcho here.


Ingredients Artisan Market

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow for one of my favorite whiskies.


Wemyss Malts Website

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

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 great value. Of note was the Glenfarclas family casks vertical release in 2007. The collection started in 1952 and ran through to 1998.

Imagine a Glenfarclas aged in American oak?? Well imagine no longer. This is a very rare animal indeed.

Whisky: Glenfarclas 1997 17 yo single malt

*Cask # 1376 – American Oak – Speyside 45%*

Samaroli Glenfarclas 17yo Samaroli Glenfarclas 17yo

Colour: The first Glenfarclas I have seen that is super light almost straw coloured. After 17 years in cask you would think that there would be a little more colour imparted by the barrel. That’s the great thing about Whisky and individual casks. Each one is different and because there is no caramel added, whatever the barrel imparts is all you get.

Nose: The softer side of Glenfarclas coming through here with lifted delicate honey and Alpine wildflowers reminding me a bit of a hike to Healy’s pass a few Summer’s ago when all the wildflowers were in bloom. The air was fresh and sweet and invigorating.

Palate: Instantly coats the tongue and spreads a soft blanket of sweet spice and just an undercurrent of something exotic… trying to put my finger … er tongue on it. Where is a good nosing kit when you need one.

Finish: A tiny splash of sweet mandarin undercuts the finish. Fresh lively and delicious.

Wow, this is a delightful side of Glenfarclas that is normally well shrouded by heavy sherry treatment.

Not taking anything away from the amazing Sherry profile that Glenfarclas is renown for, it is fantastic to try this whisky with only minimal American oak impact.

Water: I find myself leaving the water out of it with Samaroli as they are pretty good at getting close to my preference with their bottling strength. Let me know if you water it what the outcome is.

**Curt from All Things Whisky has also been “Tasting” along with the calendar. Check out his notes HERE.

There’s a very limited number of the 700ml bottles available:


Crowfoot Wine & Spirits

Kensington Wine Market


Ingredients Artisan Market

So, wade in and let me know what you think of this “unveiled” version of Glenfarclas. Would you like to see more American oak aged versions in the future or do you think that all Glenfarclas should be in sherry?

Tomorrow we visit the style of Scotch that is the beating heart of the industry.

See you on hump day …


Samaroli Website

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

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. (We will talk about the solitary whisky that has previously been available later).

What better way to start a new week than with another visit to the home of all things peaty.

Whisky: A.D. Rattray Cask Islay single malt

*46% non-chill filtered*

This is actually batch two for whiskies bottled under the “Cask Islay” title by A. D. Rattray. The first offering was a blended malt and I did a tasting on it a while ago in Blog # 22 entitled NAS (non-age statement) whiskies. You can read up on that after. For now we are looking at a completely different animal.

A. D. Rattray Cask Islay A. D. Rattray Cask Islay

Colour: The last rays of a Winter sunset

Nose: Roasting Peat and a touch of a nurse’s hospital kit (see blog # 23)

Taste: Freshly laid bitumen gets it all going with some drag strip tire tracks right down the middle. Sweetness peeks its nose in with pieces of dark kettle corn finishing with salty smoke.

Finish: Some fruit finally shows it self on the long finish with just a hint of pear. Earthy peat pervades and continues on and on. This is a yummy, naughty, dirty, dirty dram.

**Curt from All Things Whisky has also been “Tasting” along with the calendar. Check out his notes HERE.

Young Islay whiskies have really led the way for the rest of Scotland in showing consumers that young can still mean balance and complexity.

New distilleries like Kilchoman have found cult status with very young whisky and Ardbeg that has received some extremely lofty accolades in recent times has predominantly bottled very young non-age statement versions.

This is our first and only Non Age Statement whisky in the 1st Edition Calendar. It felt fitting for me in taking you on a complete journey that we showcased what is fast becoming a market changing trend so that you can all experience for yourselves how good NAS can be.

After another rewarding hit for you peat heads and to appease those that feel like your head is about to implode fear not. Tomorrow we embark on a journey to a well known Distillery with a very different take on their usual flavor profile.

See you all on the morrow


A. D. Rattray Website

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

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 your 1st edition calendar. This time of year can be so amazingly hectic and crammed with stuff that you lose those moments of quiet contemplation over something delicious and warming.

Now that we have so aptly set the mood lets look at our whisky for today being Day no. 7 and the finale to our first full week of calendar treats.

Whisky: From Wemyss Malts we have “The Hive” 12 yo blended malt  at 40% alcohol.

Remember that a Blended Malt is a combination of 2 or more Single Malts.

Colour: Prehistoric amber (Jurassic Park reference)

Wemyss Wemyss “The Hive” 12yo

Nose: A full bouquet of aromas which bodes well for a 40% whisky. Indeed true to it’s name there are plenty of honey notes leading into dried apricot soaked in Grand Marnier.

Taste: Soft enveloping honeycomb wrapped in a layer of creamy milk chocolate, reminds me of Violet Crumble (Google it) only without the crunch. A spoon of granny smith apple pie filling with a dash of marmalade.

Finish: A very pleasant slightly bitter orange peel jumps into the mix and it all lingers nicely.

A very easy and approachable daily dram if you want a hit of sweet and creamy.

Water: none

**Curt from All Things Whisky has also been “Tasting” along with the calendar. Check out his notes HERE.

These following retailers grabbed the initial 60 bottles of Hive to hit Alberta so go and seek them out if this has to be part of your whisky cupboard:

Liquor Connect

Back into the work week tomorrow and another Monday filled with possibilities. Lets hope we find something super delicious for everyone to get their week going.

See you then …


Wemyss Malts Website