Welcome again to another rollicking 25 days of whisky whisky whisky. What a ride it has been this year to get to this day. Unfortunately with the best intentions we inadvertantly killed our launch parties. We had some challenges with calendars on display being “played” with a little too much by some customers resulting in holes being punched out and whisky dropped on the floor and tears flowing. Having applied the awesome shrink wrap to deal with that we now find that no one has unwrapped it to find the launch party invitation. Just can’t win on this one. Anyway today is an awesome snowy day in Calgary and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the first dram.
It is a real treat for us this year to be able to offer up the first ever whisky selected and bottled by Secret Spirits. We are not looking to turn ourselves into a full time independent bottler but rather just throw our hat into the ring a little as we go on this journey. I feel extremely humbled that we are amongst great companies like A.D. Rattray, Wemyss, Malt Whisky Co. Samaroli and Single Cask Nation that have all been a part of making it all happen in previous editions. This time around we are even adding a few more amazing companies that we will get to meet in the coming weeks.
So without further ado lets look at Whisky No. 1 for the 3rd edition SWAC. Our first stop is the Speyside region which as you are probably aware accounts for the vast majority of Scottish distilleries and as such normally makes up a good portion of the SWAC offerings every edition.
Secret Spirits Speyside 18 Year Old undisclosed Single Malt Whisky – 58.1% cask strength. No coloring, no chill filtration, refill Bourbon cask # 3299 – Region Speyside
Coming from or near the town of Rothes there are a few distilleries that could be potential candidates for this one lets check out the nose and the taste and you can make up your own minds because I have been sworn to secrecy. A quick look online will reveal the small number of distilleries to choose from so get googling.
Time to grab that NEAT glass and get stuck into the fun part. We decided to go with this unusual glass to further the cool collection of unique whisky glasses that we have started and because I was really impressed with how open this glass is and yet how much the nosing is enhanced without being overpowering. This will be going into my next series of whisky glass comparison blogs coming in 2017.
Colour: Firstly it is light in color more like a rich Chardonnay than an 18 year old whisky. This is no doubt definitely due to this being a refill cask that is probably on its third time around the block aging delicious whisky just for you.
Nose: Peaches and Cream on a pavlova base. No wonder I liked this whisky. Flavors from my childhood. Cindy got Creme Brulee which is her absolute favorite dessert so when we looked up from the wee sample bottle on a wild and wet day in Scotland and gazed deeply into each others eyes we knew straight away that this was going to be our first Secret Spirits whisky.
Palate: Very slightly sweet and creamy palate here bursting out all over with notes of honeysuckle and French vanilla.
Finish: 58.1 leaves a little lingering tingle to let you know its up there but does not take away from the whisky. The finish takes on an earthier note with a hint of aromatic bitters that I like a lot and actually has me craving another sip to load up the sweetness again. Dying hints of watermelon salad with just a touch of mint.
This is one unique whisky with a lot of interesting layers. So fun to find this our first time out looking to bottle our own selection. I didn’t play with water but I’m sure it would be interesting to give it a little splash.
Anyone like to take a guess at the distillery in question here? We of course could have and will in the future bottle whiskies with the distillery name on the label but those that have read some of my blogs in the past will know that sourcing an “undisclosed” cask can be really fun and invariably less expensive than it would otherwise be. Besides Secret Spirits just had to release a Secret Whisky its first time out right.
So thank you for joining in either on your first journey through our Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar or for coming along again. For those that want to reminisce over the Day 1 whisky last year you can look at my blog here and think about that lovely sherried Tomintoul from A.D. Rattray here. Please head on over to Whiskylassie to read Johanne’s take on our Speyside 18 along with all the whiskies from the 3rd edition over the next 24 days.
If you like this whisky and want a full bottle you can email me for a list of retailers that will be carrying it at email@example.com.
Tomorrow we will be tasting something from those fun people at Wemyss Malts that love to tell you all about the whisky in the title.
Heres to the next 24 days and by the way my calendar is number 736 what’s yours?
Jonathan – taster of secrets