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

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 vote on your personal favorite top 3 whiskies. As a thank you for taking the time, we will enter you into our calender giveaway for a chance to WIN the 2nd edition in 2015.

So now with a delicious Christmas dinner done and all the presents opened it’s time to enjoy this Christmas Day dram.

Samaroli have been nothing short of amazing in this calendar and it is fitting that when choosing the special whisky for No. 25 that they got the nod with their 33 year old blended malt. They took the time to send me a cask strength version in a wee bottle so I kind of have an idea of what I might find. True to Samaroli convictions they have bottled the finished whisky at 43%. What were you doing in 1980? It was my first year of High School at Concordia College in Unley, Adelaide, South Australia. I can remember how nervous I was my first day. Some of my best childhood memories are of attending Concordia and the friends I made there. So without further ado I present:

Whisky: “The Samaroli” 1980 33 Year old blended malt

*Cask No. 34 – Bourbon Cask – 43% alcohol non-chill filtered*

The good guys at Samaroli told me that they had spent a long time thinking about the components of this whisky and worked to create something unique and special.

“The Samaroli” 33yo

Colour: Ancient Gold

Nose: A layered and cascading medley of ripe fruits. Passionfruit, pineapple, apricot, banana… the list goes on, opening into the depths of a chocolatier’s spice cupboard.

Palate: Fresh chocolate chip banana bread and a teaspoon of espresso crema. Fruits continue with the addition of citrus to the mix.

Finish: A penetrating slow warmth developing with some floral notes sneaking into the picture. Some perfume that lingers on the palate dancing around and then slowly fading away like the final lights and curtain fall on a Broadway show.

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

I have no idea which Single Malts Samaroli chose for this amazing expression. Greater than the sum of their parts? Each of you can decide for yourselves. For me this was the perfect finish to what has been a defining 25 days for myself and my wife.

We can’t thank you all enough for supporting us and coming along on this journey. We feel that you are all part of our extended whisky family and hope that we will see you again next year for the 2nd Edition.

Please continue to jump in on the blog site and talk about this years selection. Good luck to all of you that take the time to enter your top 3 into the calendar competition.

For those of you that can’t live life without a bottle of this amazing Samaroli 33 Year Old get out and grab one of the only 30 bottles available from the following retailers:

Calgary

Willow Park Wine and Spirits

Highlander Wine and Spirits

Lethbridge

Andrew Hilton Wine and Spirits

Saskatoon

Ingredients Artisan Market

As my wife and I begin work on next years calendar, we hope that you will get out and support our favorite retailers and take home a bottle of your best picks for this year. We worked hard to make sure that there are whiskies available to all budgets.

Cindy & Jonathan Cindy & Jonathan

I look forward to seeing you at the launch party December 2015!

Slainte and Merry Christmas Calendar community!

Your taster of secrets,

Samaroli Website

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

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 Whisky.

Mr Morrison closely guards his good barrels of Bowmore and it is like proverbially pulling teeth to get access to one these days. Bowmore is the oldest Licensed Distillery on Islay founded in 1779. Lot’s of rich history and legends surrounding this distillery. It is also very iconic with its expansive white washed walls and emblazoned “BOWMORE” beckoning out to Loch Indaal.

Whisky: A.D. Rattray 1999 Bowmore 14 year old single malt

*Cask # 2261 – Sherry – Cask Strength 58.3% alcohol – non-chill filtered*

Bowmore 14yo Bowmore 14yo

Colour: Another lightly coloured sherry casked whisky. Wedding band gold.

Nose: Medicinally sweet with just a touch of hickory smoke and BBQ’d salmon.

Palate: Can’t for the life of me believe that this is almost 60%. Instantly warming and palate coating this whisky penetrates right down to your very core. A touch of life instilling tingle almost like the tip of tinkerbell’s magic wand. Sweet salty peaty notes and such richness. This is one amazing whisky for only 14 years old.

Finish: Don’t stop the ride I want to go around for another turn… Long and lingering the warmth now has taken over and gone right down deep into my chest and still the flavours persist. Drying at the end the slightly sweet iodine continues and rolls into peppered, candied smoked salmon with a maple glaze. Also brings to mind my lovely Cavendish blend smoked in my Cherry Wood Lorenzetti pipe.

Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. 

Water: Brings out more of the sweet hickory smoky nose and then delivers balanced softer tones. Some creamy heather honey flitters in at the end. It ends like a 1998 Macanudo vintage cigar (my favorite). This is just for me personally everything I want from an Islay whisky – High fives all round Woot Woot.

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

Thanks Tim and the A.D. Rattray team for allowing us to dip into the precious Bowmore single cask stock.

This is a really fantastic expression and harkens back to the first cask of sherried Bowmore we released as a 15 year old expression so many years ago when launching A.D. Rattray into the Canadian market.

I hope you are enjoying this lovely dram by the fire and basking in the warmth and glow of this special time of year. In our busy lives made all the more fast paced with unending technology and “smart” phones never allowing us to unplug, it’s life’s little treasures like these whiskies that force us to relax and give us a reason to pause and contemplate our blessings.

For those of you that have yet to embrace why Islay can be so incredible, I hope this Bowmore expression helps to fill in the blanks as to why the diversity of whisky is the reason its so amazing.

Tomorrow is Christmas Day. I hope and pray for all of you enjoying the 1st Edition Scotch Whisky Calendar this year that you are able to spend it with family and friends and to make it as special as possible.

I think I hear Christmas bells ringing…..better get to bed to give Santa time to get some goodies under the tree….

Slainte!

A. D. Rattray Website

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

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: Wemyss “Ginger Spice” 1988 Glenrothes 24 year old single malt

*Cask # 4249 – Sherry Butt – 46% non-chill filtered*

“Ginger Spice” Glenrothes 24yo

Colour: Tarnished Gold – light for a 24 year old sherry cask (perhaps second fill?)

Nose: Ginger lemon cookies coated in sugar crystals and infused with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Palate: Sweet poached apple/mandarin wrapped in a soft gingerbread layer.

Finish: Evolving citrus character and sweet clove lingering on.

Water: Brings out a lasting slightly zesty sweet citrus finish.

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

This is a really lovely sherried whisky. The cask has not been allowed to overpower the spirit at all and could be for a 24 year old one of the most delicate sherried whiskies I have ever had.

Just delicious and a great way to continue to celebrate Advent and the last few days before Christmas.

This amazing whisky is available only from the following retailers in the very limited quantity of 60 bottles:

Calgary

Silver Springs Liquor

Highlander Wine and Spirits

Crowfoot Wine and Spirits

Aspen Wine and Spirits

Edmonton

Sherbrooke Liquor Store

Spruce Grove

Liquor on McLeod

Lethbridge

Andrew Hilton Wine and Spirits

Saskatoon

Ingredients Artisan Market

Well, I hope you have been enjoying this last little buildup to Christmas.

Tomorrow we head off shore to visit a very rare independent bottling from A.D. Rattray for our Christmas Eve dram.

So finish your shopping early, make sure the kids are in bed and the fire is roaring. Grab your Spiegelau whisky tumbler and join me on the couch for a real treat.

See you on Christmas Eve …

 

Slainte!

Wemyss Malts Website

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

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 small region of Campbeltown. Licensed in 1835 it is thought that Glen Scotia operated as an illicit still long before that. Campbeltown was once a thriving whisky mecca with 21 licensed distilleries and is the only town that is also a region.

Whisky: “Samaroli Sherry” 1992 Glen Scotia 22 year old single malt

*Cask # 4 – Sherry butt – 40% non-chill filtered*

“Samaroli Sherry” Glen Scotia 22yo

Colour: Still not really dark after 22 years it has a lovely rich reddish hue and polished bronze look about it.

Nose: Big for 40% and reminds me of getting into a brand new luxury car with full leather interior and mahogany wood trim. In the back seat is a bowl of dried fruit potpourri.

Palate: Creamy fruit driven double espresso with a marzipan and bitter orange biscotti.

Finish: Soft and long yet dry with some subtle tangy English marmalade.

This is a very complex dram and one that I could take a long time over to fully dig to the heart of everything that makes it tick.

Water: Didn’t do it as it is already at 40%. Please let me know if you had the courage to splash a drop or two.

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

This is a great late night by the fire dram. Something that you want time and quiet for so you can contemplate what the heck is going on as different flavors intertwine and evolve.

The dry finish is typical of older Sherry casks but I love that it is still soft.

Fantastic whisky Samaroli good work guys.

This deep and complex Glen Scotia has only 60 bottles available from the following retailers:

Calgary

Britannia Wine Merchants

Coop Wine and Spirits

Willow Park Wine & Spirits

Kensington Wine Market

Saskatchewan

Ingredients Artisan Market

Tomorrow we stay on the Sherry theme (very Christmassy) with another Wemyss Single Malt that will be sure to warm your hearts.

Tomorrow is the day before Christmas Eve and the excitement is building. Presents are safely tucked under the tree and if you have kids it’s probably already difficult to get them off to sleep.

The only sad part about tomorrow being day number 23 is that this years 1st Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar will soon be coming to an end.

See you tomorrow …

Slainte!

Samaroli Website

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

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 was also from the Cragganmore distillery.

Whisky: Wemyss “Evergreen Forrest” 1989 Cragganmore 23 year old single malt

*Cask # 2853 – Bourbon Hogshead – 46% non-chill filtered*

Evergreen ForrestColour: Another extremely light whisky for 23 years of age. I am really anticipating some lovely delicate flavors here, goody goody. You can almost see some very light greenish highlights with the right lighting.

Nose: Damp moss and wild field berries. Some wet slate and white flowers. Like taking a walk through Kananaskis after heavy Rain.

Palate: Super smooooooth at 46% wow this is gentle on the tongue and releases it’s flavors in a very velvety delivery. A touch of candied pistachio and soft sweet caramel.

Finish: Very fresh almost like 8 O’Clock mint’s, sweet white mint filling with a touch of dark chocolate. That fresh creamy mint also ties in with the stroll through Kananaskis and the fresh mountain air.

Water: Develops a little more into a touch of black cat hair…..no wait what has Shadow been doing with my glass noooooooo ………..

Shadow -on the iPad keyboard on the computer keyboard ... cats! Shadow -on the iPad keyboard on the computer keyboard … cats!

…ahem….. after a bit of a reset and clean of the old faithful Spiegelau tumbler I get a touch of savory crusty fresh bread.

Don’t know if I’m tainted now after the close encounter with a particularly long cat hair but this was delicious whisky indeed.

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

This yum in a bottle whisky is available from the following awesome retailers in the quantity of 60 units only:

Calgary

Coop Wine and Spirits

Willow Park Wine & Spirits

Cochrane

Vinestone Wine Co

Lethbridge

Andrew Hilton Wines and Spirits

Uncorked

Saskatoon

Ingredients Artisan Market

Completely different from Day 3. With the comparisons of 3 Glentauchers and now 2 Cragganmore’s I hope that you can see how unique each single cask can be. While vatting together 100’s of barrels certainly has it’s merits for creating an ongoing flavor there is a lot to be said for finding those amazing barrels and saving them from becoming just one of the pack.

Independent bottling’s are super special for this very reason. If you take nothing away from this calendar journey except that trying single cask whiskies is cool then my work here is done.

See you tomorrow for the short countdown to Christmas Day. We head to an as yet untouched region of Scotland that only has a small number of distilleries so is pretty rare to see outside of their own labels.

 

Slainte!

Wemyss Malts Website

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

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 17 Year Old Single Malt

*Cask#’s 4232 and 4233 – Speyside 45% alcohol non-chill filtered*

Take a quick refresh from day’s 13 and 17 with the Wemyss 20 Year Old and A.D. Rattray 18 Year Old Glentauchers.

Glentauchers 17yo Glentauchers 17yo

Colour: Scottish Shortbread

Nose: Bananana coupled with some mango and pineapple. A real tropical fruit salad.

Palate: Banana continues on the palate along with the rest of the tropical fruit. This is again a whisky that leads from nose straight into taste hand in hand like a honeymooning couple.

Finish: Not harsh in any way the 45% fits the flavor with just a light tingle. The tropical theme continues on like a hot night in Barbados.

Water: I did add just a splash to this and was rewarded with some additional green tea ice cream character on the finish.

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

Well, could 3 whiskies from the same distillery be any different?

I hope that this little journey within a journey has opened your eyes to how complex and different each unique barrel is. Rather than throwing hundreds of barrels together and meshing all qualities into a consistent flavor, independent bottlers really do try to pick out only the most amazing expressions. Quite often they are looking for a particularly interesting and different take on the distilleries usual flavor profile.

This delicious take on Glentauchers is available from the following retailers in the limited amount of 30 700ml bottles:

Calgary

Crowfoot Wine and Spirits

Aspen Wine and Spirits

Willow Park Wine and Spirits

Saskatchewan

Ingredients Artisan Market

Send in some comments as to which cask of Glentauchers you like best.

Tomorrow is time for a nice relaxing dram by the fire to help warm up the winter chills.

For some of you, heading out to see a Christmas play or musical might be an annual tradition. I know that my wife and I have seen a Christmas Carol in many formats including a zombie version at Loose Moose theater which was hilarious.

Slainte!

Samaroli Website

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

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 King” Blended Malt 12 Year Old 40%

Colour: Rich Amber
Nose: Mulling spices and wine heating over an open fire.
Palate: Christmas spices like Cinnamon, ginger, clove, anise and nutmeg boiled into a light Christmas fruit pudding topped with a smoky dram and set alight. I have done this before and it tasted just like this 🙂
Finish: Nice soft finish continuing with lingering spice and smoke.

Water: Nope at 40% this is good to go for me.

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

I must say for the price I am very pleased with the Wemyss line of Blended malts. Very nicely balanced and just delicious to drink. All three of them have been well in keeping with the portraying flavor profile on the label.

The initial 60 bottles will be available by checking this link at Liquor Connect:

And also in …

Saskatchewan

Ingredients Artisan Market

Day 20 we hit the weekend proper with only 6 more sleeps till Christmas day. I can promise that over the next 6 days that we have a star studded line up of whisky hiding behind those little cardboard numbers.

Tomorrow we start with the third installment of a little theme within this years calendar that will be sure to get your attention.

Enjoy your Weekend. Get out and see some Christmas lights and maybe do some sledding with the kids or have fun with some last weekend Christmas shopping.

This is a magical time of year and too often we are so busy that we miss the fun little things. So slow down and spend some time appreciating all the amazing blessings you have in your life.

See you tomorrow …

Slainte!

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

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 King” Blended Malt 12 Year Old 40%

“Spice King” 12yo

Colour: Rich Amber

Nose: Mulling spices and wine heating over an open fire.

Palate: Christmas spices like Cinnamon, ginger, clove, anise and nutmeg boiled into a light Christmas fruit pudding topped with a smoky dram and set alight. I have done this before and it tasted just like this 🙂

Finish: Nice soft finish continuing with lingering spice and smoke.

Water: Nope at 40% this is good to go for me.

I must say for the price I am very pleased with the Wemyss line of Blended malts. Very nicely balanced and just delicious to drink. All three of them have been well in keeping with the portraying flavor profile on the label.

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

The initial 60 bottles will be available by checking this link at Liquor Connect:

and also in …

Saskatchewan

Ingredients Artisan Market

We’re hitting the weekend proper with only 6 more sleeps till Christmas day. I can promise that over the next 6 days that we have a star studded line up of whisky hiding behind those little cardboard numbers.

Tomorrow we start with the third installment of a little theme within this years calendar that will be sure to get your attention. 

Enjoy your Weekend. Get out and see some Christmas lights and maybe do some sledding with the kids or have fun with some last minute Christmas shopping.

This is a magical time of year and too often we are so busy that we miss the fun little things. So slow down and spend some time appreciating all the amazing blessings you have in your life.

See you tomorrow …

Slainte!

Wemyss Malts Website

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

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 the Chivas Regal blends.

Only seen through independent bottlings this distillery has never had it’s own Single Malt label.

Whisky: Samaroli 1994 Braes o’ Glenlivet 19 Year Old
*Cask # 165658 American Oak – 45% Speyside non-chill filtered*

Colour: Toohey’s New (light amber) – make sure to blast me in the comments for all these obscure Aussie references.
Nose: Honey nut granola splashed with fresh creamy milk topped with some fresh peach slices.
Palate: This is almost a bouquet to palate mirror. Lots of honey nut cereal notes with fresh bursts of fruit intertwined with soft cream.
Finish: Lovely balanced whisky that lingers so nicely on the tongue. This is delicate and delicious whisky at its best.

Water: Go easy as this was already really balanced. A tiny drop seemed to just heighten slightly the cereal note.

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

Braes o’ Glenlivet is like a lot of Speyside distilleries that produce only for blends. Gorgeous light complex flavor that should be available as a Single Malt on a regular basis.

I can see a pattern with the Samaroli whiskies so far in American Oak. They want the lighter whiskies to be treated gently and to also be bottled at reduced strength to balance their easy complexity. For those that love the nuance and character of these extremely fine and elegant Single Malts Samaroli is the bottler to look for.

Only 24 bottles of this whisky are available unfortunately. Grab them from the following retailers:

Calgary

J. Webb Wine Merchants
Crowfoot Wine and Spirits
Aspen Wine and Spirits
Willow Park Wine and Spirits

Saskatchewan

Ingredients Artisan Market

I still have this delicious whisky lingering on – yummo!

So onto another Friday and a chance to cut loose for the last weekend before Christmas. Speaking of Christmas tomorrow’s dram will fit the bill nicely.

See you then …

Slainte!

Jonathan

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

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 hogshead and at 46% which should give it vastly different character than the A.D. Rattray cask that we are about to try.

Whisky: A.D. Rattray 1996 Glentauchers 18 yo single malt
*Cask # 1177 – Sherry 56.1% alcohol cask strength non-chill filtered*

Glentauchers 18yo Glentauchers 18yo

Colour: Deep amber
Nose: Big at cask strength so go carefully into the fray. Sticky date pudding (sticky toffee pudding is the Canadian version), miles apart from the Wemyss Glentauchers.
Palate: Zingy on the tongue at cask strength but not overwhelming. Rich caramel sauce and bread and butter pudding.
Finish: Long and evolving this finish is delicious. elements of spiced citrus make a play.

Water: The nose develops a ginger snap character and the palate gets a soft chocolate wrapping and just a touch of anise.

This is a really delicious example of Glentauchers and couldn’t be more different in contrast to the 20 Year Old Wemyss cask. It’s exciting to see how different the same distillery can be given varying cask types. These two casks are only 2 years apart in age but vastly wide apart in flavor.

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

This is why whisky is just so much fun.

To remind yourself a little of Glentauchers history just zip back to day 13 to refresh your memory.

This sherried version of Glentauchers is available from the following whisky mad retailers – only 60 bottles:

Calgary

Britannia Wine Merchant

Cochrane

Vinestone Wine Co.

Edmonton

Sherbrooke Liquor

Lethbridge

Andrew Hilton Wine and Spirits

Tomorrow we are off to a Distillery that had to change it’s name to avoid consumer confusion.

See you on the morrow …

Slainte!

 

A. D. Rattray Website