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Singlemalting #242 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 17 – Watermelon Wedge North British 10 Year Old

Today we have the first Single Grain offering in this 6th edition from none other than Wemyss Malts. This particular cask of North British Distillery in Edinburgh is called Watermelon Wedge. At 10 years of age it is comfortable the youngest Single Grain we have botted in any edition. Before today each and every Single Grain has been North of 20 Years old. Will the Watermelon Wedge stand up to the challenge? The last time we saw North British in any edition was a 30 Year Old by A.D. Rattray as part of our 5th Edition.

North British Distillery

North British is a Highland distillery sitting right in the city of Edinburgh. Founded in 1885 it is now jointly owned by Diageo and Edrington under the Lothian Distillers umbrella. Utilizing mostly corn in the mashbill, North British is invariably on the sweeter side of the whisky tasting scale. Watermelon anyone? The bulk of the North British spirit goes into Johnnie Walker and Cutty Sark.

Wemyss Malts Watermelon Wedge North British – Single Grain – Highlands – 46% abv – Bourbon barrel # WVM264.

Colour:        After 10 years there is little colour imparted by this cask, leaning me towards a possible refill.

Nose:        My wife Cindy who always has excellent tasting notes says cinnamon dusted BBQ grilled Pineapple. I know where she is coming from on the pineapple note. I can also see where Wemyss thought of watermelon. Light sweetness for me with buttered corn and fresh grains. Honey glazed corn flakes. After letting it sit for a bit and allowing some of the alcohol to tame I definitely get strawberry sherbet ice cream. Took a bit for the fruity notes to jump out at me.

Palate:       Fruit cup, strawberry sherbet coming out even more now. Perhaps a suggestive hint of slightly over ripe watermelon but for me this is not the dominant flavor at all.

Finish:       Lingering zesty melon rind and buttered corn.

This is quite layered for a younger Single Grain, especially aged in a second or third fill bourbon barrel. This for me would be perfect on the deck in the Summer time or as a Sunday morning breakfast whisky (yep its a thing).

Lovely pick from Wemyss and nice to showcase how cool a younger Single Grain can be. Aging profiles are obviously vastly different but young Bourbon is the norm for American whiskies and yet a 10 year old mostly corn based whisky in Scotland is scoffed at by many as being too young to bottle. The whisky world can be harsh 🙂

On this day in the 5th edition we had the Secret Spirits 10 Year Old Glentauchers.

Today and everyday you need to check out our guest Youtubers to see how they fared at Single Malt Review in New Zealand. Whisky Whistle in Canada and Scotch Test Dummies in the US. Plus the bonus Food Quig reviews.

Tomorrow we have another offering from the boys at Claxtons as we head to Speyside for some more sherried goodness.

Closing in on our last week of drams. It has all flown by so quickly. Making these adventures is like spending hours and hours pouring over the stove and oven to prepare an epic Christmas dinner only to have everyone scarff it down in under an hour. Cindy and I literally spend our entire year preparing, creating and distributing these calendars and poof it’s over in a flash.

See you all tomorrow




Singlemalting #242 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 16 – Ardmore 9 Year Old

Hello whisky adventurers. Welcome to day 16 of this 6th edition calendar. Today we have done something very naughty. For those of you doing blind tasting, good luck. This is the first time we have ever had a Highland whisky disguised by aging it in a deep dark and dirty Islay barrel (Laphroaig). Ho ho ho…….. this edition has been so fun to put together I can barely stand it. I sure am looking forward to watching both Food Quig and the boys in New Zealand at Single Malt Review to see just how messed up their blind tastings are. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (insert maniacal laughter and evil pose here). Whoops Tim got it 100% right, darn my evil plan was thwarted by the good guys.

Ardmore Distillery

Ardmore Distillery was built in 1898 by William Teacher’s son Adam. The bulk of the spirit went to into the Teacher’s Highland Cream brand and still does today. Now owned by Beam Suntory, Ardmore has been uniquely using barrier filtration rather than chill filtration which I’m sure leaves a little more delicious goodness in every bottle. Located in Kennethmont Aberdeenshire it is seen as a classical Highland distillery that does use a touch of peat.

Not sure who had the plan to pop this lovely Highland Single Malt into a Laphroaig barrel but I sure was happy to have a chance to buy it after 9 years.

Secret Spirits Ardmore 9 Year Old – Highland – Ex Laphroaig Cask # 709328 – 61.3% abv

Colour:         Pale gold. I’m thinking that this ex Laphroaig cask is a refill Bourbon barrel.

Nose:            OK so this initially on the nose talks a lot about the spoon full of sugar that makes the medecine go down. Manuka honey, the good stuff you buy at Planet Organic and pay $ 30 for a small jar. Manuka honey is made from bees using the pollen from Tee Trees and has huge earthy notes (btw Manuka honey makes the best hot toddies ever).

Palate:         Wow yeah that 61.3% abv is awesome and imparts all that lovely peat, earth, honey and what now……. ok I am getting caramelized rose petals…. have I gone crazy….nope wow there is definitely a rose petal floral note in here with caramelized sugars and all the while the manuka honey and earthy notes continue to unfold.

Finish:       long, delicious and calling to me to just keep drinking more and more of this friggin delicious dram. Seriously this is a pretty amazing dram and marries together some very iconic Scottish whisky styles. Love, Love, Love it.

So much scope to play with this whisky at 61.3% and the marriage of Highland honey and medicinal Laphroaig peat is awesome. Wish that more fun experimentations like this happened in Scotland. Certainly companies like Kavalan and Amrut have released many different types of cross barrel aged whiskies. Of course their maturation is so fast they can figure out what works really quickly. Scotland on the other hand is the land of slow. Every year that passes softly nudges the whisky in the direction that the cask wants to take it.

On this day in our 5th edition we had the extremely popular Wemyss Malts Nectar Grove blended malt.

Especially today you need 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.

Tomorrow we have something very special from our friends at Wemyss Malts. Can’t tell you much more or I will give it all away. Suffice to say that tomorrow will be a surprise for everyone.

Closing in on our last full week of whiskies for the 6th edition. I hope you have enjoyed the eclectic selection so far. Even though this has been the most challenging edition Cindy and I have ever made and distributed it has also in many ways been the most fun.

Looking forward to having your company tomorrow.



Singlemalting #241 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 15 – Lossit Archivist

G’day whisky pilgrims and welcome to another glorious day to discover new and delicious whisky flavors.

Today we ante up a little on the Lost Distillery company with one from their Archivist range that typically include whiskies that are pushing into and beyond the 20 year old range.

Artists rendition of Lossit Distillery

The Lossit distillery was operating on Islay between 1817 and 1867. You can get a thorough grounding in the history and story of Lossit at the Lost Distillery Website (note that their website is being rehashed right now so you may need to come back and read all the detail of this distillery). We had the Lossit Classic as part of our 4th edition calendar so lets see how much more complex this much older version is.

Lost Distillery Company Lossit Archivist – Islay – 46%abv – no colour and no chill filtration.

Colour:    Very pale gold and makes me lean towards only American oak influence on this one.

Nose:         True to it’s Islay roots there is certainly some brine, earth and damp wood with a touch of fireplace soot. Some fruit here as well, poached Fuji apples.

Palate:        Salt and Vinegar Mrs Vickies chips but with a whole lot more going on. The sooty element is there and is a bit like sitting in an old car and flipping open one of those metal ash trays for passengers in the back seat. A combination of old panelling, ash and carpet but in a good way. Reminds me a bit of driving in my grandfathers car. The Fuji apple peeks through but for me the palate seems more about the darker side of Islay than the fruity side.

Finish:       The 46% holds its own and helps deliver a nice long finish. Touch of zesty acid quality that takes me back to the apple and malt vinegar. Still salty but not overpowering. Would love to sit down and watch a movie while sipping this dram. If I was around when Lossit was distilling I think a nice quiet corner in an Islay pub with a tipple of their Single Malt would have been heavenly.

On this day in our 5th edition we had the Secret Spirits Caol Ila 8 Year Old that came to be known as Smoldering Secrets on our 700ml bottles. There are still just a few of them available.

Don’t forget about 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.

Tomorrow we are heading to the Highlands for another Secret Spirits cask. This one is a real humdinger. Good luck Single Malt Review.

Only 10 days to go now until the Christmas day dram. As always it will be 30 years or older and from a region that we have never had in this coveted spot.

Can hardly wait…