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Singlemalting #247 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 24 – Invergordon 29 Year Old

Welcome to Christmas Eve everyone. Hopefully you are either heading somewhere to spend time with family and friends or having them over to your place.

Here in Ontario there is still snow on the ground so it looks like a white Christmas for us. So lets get into some dramming. Funnily enough I tasted this Wemyss Malsts Strawberry Fondant Icing last year when Cindy and I were in Scotland. They had just bottled this sherry butt and got over 500 bottles from it but we didnt have enough budget left to squeeze it into our 5th edition. I took a sample bottle back with me and tested it on a couple of mates in Calgary (you know who you are) and they were blown away. It was a joy to find out this year when we met with Jacqueline from Wemyss that they still had enough bottles for us to put it into the 6th edition. This is one of the blessings of only making 500 calendars.

We have featured Invergordon Single Grains a few times in past editions. The first was a 24 Year Old found in our second edition from A.D. Rattray. The second showing was again from Wemyss Malts in our 3rd edition with their fantastic Applewood Bake 26 Year Old. Then the only time we have had a Single Grain for day 25 was the epic Samaroli 30 Year Old in our 4th edition.

Invergordon Distillery

Today’s Invergordon is actually my favorite of all of those fantastic expressions. The Invergordon distillery is located in the Highlands North of Inverness and was founded in 1959. Another distillery, Ben Wyvis was contained within the complex but was closed in 1981. Invergordon has been owned by Whyte and MacKay since 1993 and the bulk of production of course is used for their popular blends and a number of other blended Scotch labels.

Wemyss Malts Strawberry Fondant Icing Invergordon Single Grain Scotch Whisky 29 Year Old – Highland – Sherry Butt # WVM286 – 46% abv

Colour:          24k gold – very light for 29 years and showing the 2nd or refill qualities of this sherry butt.

Nose:             Mayday blossoms, strawberry quick (came in a tin) powder, snow man sugar cookies just like the ones Cindy and I had visiting Stirling Avenue Church in Kitchener. After church everyone gathered downstairs for a Christmas cookie potluck and coffee. It is the church we were married in 30 years ago and we will be there again tomorrow on Christmas day. Memories always come flooding back to me when I sit upstairs in the loft looking down on where we both said I do so long ago. Those little sugar cookes were delicious and covered with the exact type of icing that I think Wemyss are pointing to on their label.

Palate:          The soft sweetness is amazing here. Shows the value in gentle casks over a very long time. 29 long years it took to tame the fiery young grain spirit and transform it into this gorgeous layered sweet tray. White Christmas cake with a thick layer of fondant. Getting some cherries bursting through as well and a hint of almond.

Finish:          lingering soft and sweet still. No doubt about it this is a delicate and delightful dessert dram if there every was one.

What a spectacularly light, fragrant and delicious example of an old Single Grain. This is exactly why older grain whiskies are becoming much more sought after.

On day 24 in the 5th edition we had the Secret Spirits Inchmurrin 21 Year Old.

If you have been to busy but are finally relaxing a little then head over to check out our guest Youtubers at Single Malt Review in New Zealand. Whisky Whistle in Canada and Scotch Test Dummies in the US. Plus the bonus Food Quig reviews. There has been some amazing content and a touch of controversy which makes for great viewing.

Christmas day dawns tomorrow and as expected we will be sitting with a whisky that is at least 30 years old. For the first time we will be needing to take a ferry from the mainland to get our whisky. Thats all the clues I can give.

Until then have a fabulous Christmas eve and enjoy the laughter, memories and special moments with family and friends.

Cheers

Jonathan

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Singlemalting #191 – Day 25 – 4th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – Samaroli 30 Year Old Invergordon

Welcome to day 25 and Merry Christmas.

So at last the quartet is complete. We have had in this order on Christmas day – 1st edition “Blended Malt 33yo”, 2nd edition “Single Malt 30yo”, 3rd edition “Blended Scotch 34yo” and now 4th edition “Single Grain 30yo”. All previous day 25 whiskies have been amazing expressions from Samaroli. Lets check out this old Invergordon from Samaroli as we relax by the fire. Snowing heavily in both Alberta and here in Ontario where I am spending Christmas with Cindy’s Family. A far cry from the gorgeous blue skies and warm weather I had last Christmas in Australia.

Invergordon is a Single Grain Distillery that was founded in 1960. It is located in the Northern Highlands much farther away from the other Single Grain distilleries that are found in and around the Lowlands of Scotland. Using Coffey stills Invergordon produces a staggering amount of Single Grain Scotch Whisky every year, somewhere in the vicinity of 40 million liters. Invergordon is owned by Whyte and Mackay as the backbone of their blends. Rarely seen under its own label it is independent bottlers that get this out to whisky geeks worldwide.

Barrels at Invergordon Distillery

Samaroli 30 year old Invergordon Single Grain Scotch Whisky – bottled at the abv of 45% aged in a Sherry Hogshead cask number 901551.

Colour:     As with most Samaroli bottlings this is very pale indeed for a sherry hogshead after 30 years and tells me this must have been a refill cask.

Nose:    Rich and heady on the nose like wandering through a Moroccan Spice Bazaar. Still a large alcohol presence at only 45% promising some lively flavors I’m hoping.

Palate:    Initially tropical with some coconut milk creaminess that immediately launches into sweet passionfruit pulp spooned over caramel flan.

Finish:    Just deliciously consistent with everything that has gone before. Love the rolling soft sweetness with a finishing dusting of spice.

Samaroli Invergordon 30 Year Old

One of the most interesting Single Grains I have tried and certainly to date by far the best Invergordon. Thanks Samaroli for doing it again. Can you guys back up next year to hold the 25 spot for 5 years in a row? We will have to see.

It has been amazing yet again to have all of you join us here at Secret Spirits for this 4th rendition of our journey through Scotland. We hope you have enjoyed the experience of exploration and found it rewarding and entertaining.

If you love our calendar it would be amazing if you could post some comments or join us at our various Social Medial pages. All the links can be found at www.secretspirits.com.

Please give a ton of comments and a big round of applause for the amazing work done by Scotch Trooper for this 4th (force) edition. His photos and tasting notes were fantastic. Thanks Scotch Trooper for being part of our journey.

On this day in the 3rd edition we had Samaroli give us the oldest whisky bottled in any edition with the 34 Year Old First Fill Sherry Blended Scotch.

May you have amazing love, friendship and family around you at this time of year and throughout your life.

I will be writing again shortly about a rare aquisition from a major brand (very unlike me to make such a purchase). Looking forward to doing it all again next year and bringing about our half decade milestone.

Thanks again

Jonathan and Cindy

Secret Spirits

Day 15 – A.D. Rattray Invergordon 1991 Single Grain | Blog #104

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 is not in the Lowlands of Scotland. It is owned presently by Whyte & Mackay. Utilizing several Coffey Still’s Invergordon gets it water from Loch Glass and interestingly is not a member of the Scotch Whisky Association.

Invergordon Distillery Archives Invergordon Distillery Archives

For those unaware Single Malt is distilled in Copper Pot Stills whereas the Single Grain Coffey still that was invented by Aeneas Coffey in the mid 19th Century. Distilling continuously as opposed to single batches, Single Grain is made up of small amounts of malted barley with wheat, maize and potentially any other grains that the distiller can get their hands on.

A.D. Rattray invergordon 1991 24 Year Old Single Grain Scotch Whisky – Bottled at 59.9% ABV and aged in an ex-bourbon hogshead barrel # 39033

Colour:       Dull Copper

Nose:     Vanilla icing atop tropical rum fruitcake.

Palate:     Coconut cream and ripe tropical guava and jack fruit slices topped with vanilla bean seeds.

Finish:     59.9% is certainly there and leaves a lovely tingle all the way down but I don’t feel the need to add water (but will just because). Plush creamy meringue and continuing tropics laden fruitiness drive this Single Grain all the way to the Bahama’s.

Older Single Grain always impresses me. It’s a pity that only the odd barrel seems to be released. I have however, seen a slow but sure resurgence in popularity for Single Grain. Hopefully that will mean more of these lovely expressions on shelves in the coming years.

Water:     Just to see what happens here I added 2 drops of water and was rewarded with even more fruit opening up and candied bitter orange marmalade making a showing on the finish.

Yummo (official Singlemalting tasting note of the highest order).

You can see Joshua Hatton’s take on our lone Single Grain offering in this edition HERE

Last year on this day we tasted the Samaroli 2009 MacDuff 5 Year Old in Blog #47

For those that love this Single Grain you can get one of only 60 bottles available from the following retailers:

Calgary

Coop Wine, Spirits & Beer

Willow Park Wines and Spirits

Point McKay Wines and Spirits

Zyn The Wine Market

Edmonton

Chateau Louis Liquor

Wine and Beyond

Vines at Riverbend

Tomorrow back to Single Malt Land with a very fresh older whisky from Samaroli

Look forward to seeing you then.

Cheers!