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Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar

Singlemalting #177 – Day 11 – 4th edition SWAC – Samaroli Islay 2017 edition

“Islay TIME”….. I can hear the pitter, patter of all of those big time Islay fans running to open today’s number 11 door and grab themselves a comfy spot in the living room. Islay whiskies are normally brash and full on but somehow Samaroli still manages to find the nuance and bring it to life in their expressions.

Islay is a small island off the West coast of the Scottish mainland that is really responsible for the Peat Geek club of eager drinkers around the world. Seen by many as the hardest flavor profile to get your head and taste buds around it is also incredibly complex and the world of whisky would not be the same without it.


Islay on a sunny day

Samaroli devote at least one of their releases to showcase this amazing piece of the Scottish Whisky landscape and this years effort is no doubt going to be as delicious as its predecessors.

Samaroli Islay – Over an Islay Rainbow 2017 edition Blended Malt Scotch Whisky – American Oak Hogshead bottled at 43% non chill filtered and no caramel.

Colour:  Samaroli do a lot of re casking into new American Oak that is very lightly toasted. These casks make for little to no colour transference and result in some of the lightest whiskies I have seen.

Nose:   Deck the halls with garlands of medicine bottles wrapped in salty torched orange rind peelings.

Palate:   Fresher that I thought it would be with the citrus coming through nicely, shadowed by the underworld figure of Wet Flinty Peat. Good name for a fictional whisky villain.

Finish:   The freshness actually pushes through more here and I find that burnt orange dominating with dabs of alcohol swabs cleaning the wounds at regular intervals.

Lots to delve into here and I will be coming back to my left over half bottle later for some more time alone together.

Love a good day on Islay and this was quite reminiscent of our whisky from day 11 in the 3rd edition calendar. Wemyss Malts Kiln Embers was also mostly Islay born. This must just be about that time each year when my taste buds yearn for some dark side goodness.

Speaking of the Dark Side time to go check out Scotch Trooper today.

Tomorrow we are taking the ferry back to the mainland to check out a very special dram bottled by Secret Spirits. Only our third ever cask so stay tuned for day 12.



Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar

Singlemalting # 172 – 4th edition SWAC – Day 6 Samaroli Glenallachie 8 YO

Day 6 dawns as we are almost a week into the 4th edition already. Time for us to taste something from one of my favorite independent bottlers on earth Samaroli. I have to at this stage share my sympathies for the Samaroli family at the passing of Silvano earlier this year. Silvano was a living legend in the Scotch Whisky industry and was widely regarded as having one of the best whisky palates in the world. I wish that I had the opportunity to meet Silvano and talk whisky with him as I know we would have been kindred spirits. The Samaroli legacy is in great hands with the Bleve family and Antonio who has been the passion behind keeping the Samaroli quality and name burning bright.

The distillery in question today is Glenallachie. Founded in 1967, closed in 1985 and reopened in 1989 it was sold in 2017 and is now owned by Glenallachie Distillers Company Limited. One of the new owners is Billy Walker formally owner of Benriach and Glenglassaugh distilleries. Glenallachie is in Speyside at the foot of Ben Nevis (Scotland’s highest peak).

Glenallachie Distillery

Samaroli Glenallachie 8 Year Old – 43% ABV non chill filtered, natural colour and distilled in 2009. Cask number 900331 American oak hogshead.

Colour:   Another light looking whisky that could easily be mistaken for Pinot Gris.

Nose:     Pear Blossoms, Cotton Candy and a touch of marzipan.

Palate:   Poached pear dusted with just a hint of chili and vanilla bean.

Finish:   Delicate as is Samaroli’s way but lingering persistent ripe pear and vanilla.

This is a sensationally delicate dram from Samaroli for only 8 years old. Samaroli upon buying this cask re-racked it into new American Oak and the result is delicious. It can take a while for your palate to come full circle and really appreciate the delicate side of Scotch Whisky but believe me its worth it and Samaroli can help you get there. May Silvano’s legacy live on for generations to come.

On Day 6 in the third edition we had the Ainneamh 18 Year Old Speyside Single Malt.

Please head over to Scotch Trooper to see what those little guys are up to.

Tomorrow we are tasting something unique from the Ainneamh independent bottler (pronounced Any oov). If you like sherry casks then you will be a happy camper as you pop open your day 7 door.

As always if you are interested in any of these full sized bottles please email me and we will get you on the list for anything that is available.

Until tomorrow stay warm and drink hearty.