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

Hello there Advent’urers. Hope you are all having a blast so far. Here we are at the end of our first full week and it’s time to get some serious sherry cask action going. Adelphi has made only one appearance before in our third edition with the only closed distillery bottling we have had to date. That Cambus 27 Year Old was truly something special and so we desperately wanted to have them back in another edition. This time around we have a blended malt featuring only Single Malts from the Speyside region and aged entirely in a Sherry butt. There were only 529 bottles produced and we used 150 of them alone just for our 5th edition calendars.

Adelphi is an independent bottler that also boasts distillery ownership. The Ardnamurchan distillery opened in 2014 and it is anyones guess when we will see the first whisky release. My meeting with Alex earlier this year did unlock the fact that it should be just around the corner. So even though this is presented as a blended malt I do have it on good authority that it is a teaspooned Sherry Butt of Glenfarclas. Teaspooning is as way for distilleries to sell casks to independents that cannot then be botted as a single malt or showing the distillery name. All they have to do is pour a teaspoon of another malt into the cask and boom blended malt. For all intents and purposes however one teaspoon makes no difference at all so the character of the cask remains untouched.

Breath of Speyside

Glenfarclas is a Speyside distillery that uses entirely sherry casks for all of their expressions. Planning well ahead they have had barrel programs in place with Spanish Bodega’s for a long time ensuring their uninterupted supply of sherry casks. Glenfarclas is said to have started production in 1791 but was first granted a license in 1836. In 1865 it was purchased by John Grant and is still owned by the Grant family remaining one of the oldest family owned distilleries operating in Scotland. It is located in the wee town of Ballindalloch in Speyside and has a fantastic visitors center and is a must for anyone doing a Speyside distillery crawl.

Glenfarclas Rainbow

Adelphi Breath of Speyside “Blended” (teaspooned) Malt Scotch Whisky 11 Year Old – Aged in a 1st fill Sherry Butt – 57.8% alcohol

Colour:                Some deep colour on this whisky for only 11 years. 1st fill sherry will do that and Glenfarclas has access to excellent casks.

Nose:                    Stone fruit medley, plums, peaches, nectarines all being lightly poached in an Amontillado sherry reduction.

Palate:                  Fantastic weight here with the 57.5% and boy do those luscious stone fruits come through big time. For me perhaps the plum comes out the most. My brother and I used to spend a lot of time at my grandfathers place in Adelaide and apart from the fabulous apricot trees he also had 2 plum trees. In my childhood memory they always seemed to be overflowing with delicious satsuma plums. The slightly dry and faintly bitter note is deliciously reminiscent of that thick satsuma skin. Once the initial bite passes the skin there is an explosion of juicy sweet deep red plum flesh that I can remember like it was yesterday. Sweet and Sour Sauce.

Finish:                  Nice dry tannic finish throwing that 1st fill sherry cask influence right at us. Plum roll please…………..Bud um Bom.

Make sure you dont forget about our friends at the Whisky Vault and Scotch Test Dummies.

On day 7 in the 4th edition we had the Ainneamh 12 year old sherried blended malt. Would have loved to try these side by side as the Ainneamh was a combination of single malts that included some Islay influence.

Tomorrow we are back to a Single Cask expression from our friends at Hunter Laing. Their Old Malt cask range has made an appearance before so lets see whats in store this time around.

Until then don’t drink your dram all at once…. or empty every last drop into your Aurora glass until theres nothing left but memories.




  1. Adam van Dijk says:

    The nose certainly brings with it the wine influence. Strong dark fruits come through, plums for certain. Very dry aftertaste which I find is very common for many glenfarclas products.

  2. Chris Demeule says:

    5th Edition Revisited: Sherry? Yes please.

    You can tell that this is a firt fill sherry cask from the colour, the nose, ant the palette. I loved it even if the fruits were fighting a little bit for dominance. Prunes on the finish – because prunes will win the war of fruits, apparently.

    My wife loves this one. It reminds her of a butterscotch dessert. She thinks that my prunes assessment is out to lunch. I dont taste any butterscotch. The good news is that if this comes down to a war – that I think I can take her. Maybe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *