Home » Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar

Tag: Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 24 Blog #156 – Single Cask Nation Bunnahabhain 28 Year Old

Happy Christmas Eve everyone. Just seems like yesterday that we started on this journey and now we only have one more night to go before it all comes to an end. Being a special day we always plant something fantastic behind the #24 door. This is the oldest whisky ever bottled by the dynamic duo of Joshua Hatton and Jason Johnstone-Yellin at Single Cask Nation. A privilege to be able to share it with you all.

Bunnahabhain

Founded in 1881 Bunnahabhain’s whisky style is known to be the softer side of Islay. Being the most Northern distillery on the island and with Dunnage warehouses right near the coast there is no doubting the influence of the sea on this spirit. It is owned by Burn Stewart Distillers who also own Tobermory and Deanston. Seen regularly now as a proprietary brand this distillery is not shy in parting with delicious casks of it’s whisky to independent bottlers like Single Cask Nation.

Single Cask Nation was initially based on a club model in the USA but have branched out with a fantastic retail line that will be available to anyone in Canada from a select few stores in Alberta. The Nation has only been available in Alberta for a few years and already they are building a bit of a cult following among discerning whisky drinkers. Their passion and love for whisky is very apparent in their cask selections.

Bunnahabhain 28 Year Old

Single Cask Nation 28 Year Old Bunnahabhain aged in a refill Sherry Hogshead # 7403 and bottled at the cask strength of 51.3% without any mucking about. Islay rocks.

Color:   Getting a little deeper here in color after all those years in refill but still pretty light for a 28 year old whisky.

Nose:    Tony wisps of smoke from smoldering coals, Heather infused waxy honeycomb, candied ginger and soft caramel fudge along with a background grassy edge that add’s some depth. Very fresh and inviting for an older whisky.

Palate:   Pretty soft on the palate initially for 51.3% but the tingle does build at the edges of the tongue. The smokiness is gone now but it was only a wisp anyway. Sugared lemon drops, cinnamon topped custard tart (Aussie specialty). Flavors come through in a delicate cascade and it takes some time to develop. This is not a whisky that you want to rush.

Finish:   Fresh cut grass, lemon tart, star anise and sunflower and flax sourdough (this is a thing and its delicious).

Complicated whisky this and I was loath to throw water in it but perhaps those braver than I can comment on their watering experiences.

Let’s head on over to Whiskylassie to share in her thrilling adventures today with this lovely old Bunnahabhain.

For those of you keen on this whisky the good news is that 24 bottles will be available in Canada and you can email to get the lowdown on those special retailers that are ambassadors for Single Cask Nation. jonathan@secretspirits.com

Tomorrow is Christmas day and I will be blogging from Down under after safely stashing my day 25 whisky in my suitcase snuggled in a huge amount of bubble wrap. So while many of you are enjoying the white Canadian Christmas I will be outside in shorts cranking up the BBQ and listening to magpies warbling and kookaburra’s getting their cheek on.

Until then have a fabulous Christmas eve with close friends and family. Cindy and I wish everyone a very special time together and thank you all so much for being part of our Calendar community this year.

One more sleep till Christmas Day

Ho Ho Ho

Jonathan – taster of secrets

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 23 Blog #158 – Samaroli Peaty 20 Year Old

Welcome to the night before Christmas Eve. Something warming this evening to help with the persistent chill that has settled over Alberta for the entire month of December. Coldest that I can remember for a while for this long without one of those lovely Chinook winds that keep us sane.

Today’s lovely blended malt from Samaroli consists of 17% 1995 Laphroaig, 28% 1995 Highland Park and 63% undisclosed Speyside Single Malt. We should be in for a treat here if past Samaroli blends are anything to go by.

Highland Park

Highland Park is a distillery that has some mystery surrounding it’s founding. As the gate says though they have hung their hat on 1798. Highland Park does it’s own malting and mixed heather into the peat before malting begins. They use 20 parts per million phenol which is a fairly heavy peat infusion. The distillery is on the island of Orkney and is at the moment the most Northern Whisky Distillery in operation (this will all change once Stuart Nickerson gets the Shetland Whisky still up and running). Owned by the Edrington Group Highland Park is seldom seen as an independent bottled whisky. No doubt this is one of the reasons why Samaroli are using this rare resource to add some interesting Island complexity to their Peaty expression.

Samaroli Peaty

Samaroli Peaty Blended Malt aged together in a refill Sherry Butt # 54 for 20 Years. Islay (Laphroaig), Island (Highland Park) and Speyside (undisclosed). Bottled with no caramel or chill filtration at the Samaroli strength of 45%.

Color:  Even being a refill Butt there is a nice antiqued golden age to this after 20 years.

Nose:   Sweet and savory BBQ sauce on a side of Ribs. The fabulous part of this nose is that there is instant peat recognition but no smoky overtone. Heavily char grilled Cinnamon crusted Pineapple slabs. Earthy sweetness here reminding me of Manuka Honey.

Palate:  The earthy peaty notes carry the weight of this whisky that now throws in bitter citrus and roasted turnip. The sweetness was certainly more about the nose as there is oily coating brined beef jerky making a play and the sweetness is all but gone.

Finish:  The bitter citrus lingers, floating on a layer of slowly dwindling meaty flavor. Really full and palate filling for 45%. Even a touch of spark that numbs the sides of the mouth would make me think that this is more like cask strength.

This is a delicate slowly warming dram that gets larger as you get more into it. I would like to spend more time with a full bottle of this just to get to know it a lot better. I’m still tasting more on the finish…

The good news for the whisky hunters among us is that this will be available in very limited quantity and you can find out where from jonathan@secretspirits.com.

Lets see how Whiskylassie unraveled this Samaroli puzzle.

In the 2nd edition on this day we had the A.D. Rattray Bunnahabhain 27 Year Old.

Tomorrow we have the second installment in the 3rd edition from those awesome boys at Single Cask Nation. Make sure you get your Christmas Eve spirit going as we enjoy the excitement and family time and also say Happy Hannukah to Joshua and Jason at the Jewish Whisky Company.

Really looking forward to joining you tomorrow night

Cheers

Jonathan – taster of secrets

 

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 22 Blog #157 – Adelphi Cambus Single Grain 27 Year OId

Welcome to a very exciting addition to our Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar story. Firstly we have the pleasure of having Jason Johnstone-Yellin from Single Cask Nation sitting here with me tasting this dram and secondly we were able to secure our first ever closed distillery cask from Alex Bruce and the fabulous team at Adelphi.
Cambus Distillery
Cambus is a Lowlands Grain distillery that opened in 1836 and was unfortunately closed in 1993. Anything bottled from Cambus now is always going to be over the 20 year old mark which is a bit of a benchmark for us so far in adding Single Grain offerings to our calendar editions. During its time in operation it was considered by many to be the finest grain whisky in all of Scotland. Located near Stirling in what some called “the midlands” it was just below the Highland/Lowland dividing line. Owned by the Diageo group it was deemed to be surplus to requirements as is so often the major factor in a distilleries closure.
So lets get into the whisky
Cambus
Adelphi Independent Bottlers – Cambus 1988 – 27 year old Single Grain Scotch Whisky at the cask strength of 48% cask number 59353 and aged in a Bourbon Refill cask.
Colour:     Pale gold which is a definite result of the refill Bourbon cask not really imparting that much colour at all.
Nose:     Sweet Marzipan icing like wandering past the head table at a wedding after the cake has been sliced. Fresh farm cream like the kind that my nana used to serve over her famous apricot pie which was a staple in my youth complete with the apricot pie note. The marzipan almond piece really kicks in and some other nutty characters emerge including what I would call white chocolate covered macadamia’s. Wow lovely start to this whisky.
Palate:     Savory note here that takes a bit of a diversion from the nose by adding in some fresh rolling in the hay action (in the best way possible)
Finish:     Some earthy char coming into play here with a bit of a brand new tire note. Seriously like when you just pick up a brand new set of tires and that sweet clean rubber jumps out at you and lets you know that you have something bright and shiny in your possession.
Wow this kind of feels like I was just given a new car at my wedding and am driving away with that new rubber meets marzipan package all in one. This is an amazing experience and I have never had a Single Grain with this many layers before. Right at the death when everything is almost fading away the apricot comes back once more complete with that delicious pie crust.
Super cool stuff and thanks so much to Alex at Adelphi for agreeing to part with it just for us. There may be a few bottles that were filled once we had taken our share but not many and probably only to be found in Scotland so good luck hunting one down.
So here below are the extremely enlightened and expert tasting notes from Jason Johnstone-Yellin.
It’s Grrrreat!!
Nose:  Cereal notes lead the way with dehydrated pineapple and mango behind, there’s a heavy sweetness while the wood rests quietly behind (but still present) – after a bit of time a chili heat comes through.
Palate:  Woody with wet barley to the front of the palate with a pleasant oiliness, a flavor like sandalwood runs across the center of the palate before the dehydrated tropical fruit from the nose manifests itself towards the back of the palate.
Finish:  Good length with warming ginger and lingering hints of the tropical fruit.
Overall:  One of my favorite things about Cambus whisky is the weight of it. Combined with that it bypasses the vanilla notes of a grain distillery like Invergordon and instead embraces heavy fruit and mature oak notes. This is a really cracking cask.
So there you have it the first closed distillery done and dusted (literally). Head on over to Whiskylassie to see her take on this Cambus.
On this day in the 2nd edition we had a fantastic Island Tobermory (non peated) from Malt Whisky Company that you can catch up on again here.
Tomorrow as the big hitting week continues we head back to those crazy Italians for something old and peaty.
See you then whisky peeps
Slainte
Jonathan – taster of secrets

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 21 Blog #156 – Wemyss Malts Marmalade Appeal Glenrothes 27 Year Old

G’day everyone and welcome to another comparison tasting. As you know we like to do one or more comparison casks from the same distillery so that you can appreciate both age and cask differences. Today we try a Glenrothes that is 19 years older than the Malt Whisky Company expression we tried earlier on day 8. Wemyss also tend to bottle all their casks at 46% which no doubt will make a big difference as well.

I’m sure that the whisky is not why they have so many permanent residents.

No need to rehash distillery details as you can just re-read the previous blog. I will say that Wemyss have provided some really sensational older casks of Glenrothes in the past few years. We even converted Joshua Hatton who is not normally a Glenrothes fan to concede that the Aromatic Orange Tobacco was “drop dead gorgeous”.

Wemyss Malts Marmalade Appeal Glenrothes 27 Year Old aged in a Sherry Butt cask # 5376 and bottled at 46% with no caramel or chill filtration.

Glenrothes 27

Color:   Light for such an old Sherry aged whisky but no doubt being a butt and potentially 2nd or refill (3 or more fills) we only get a shadow of what we might have if it was a first fill. I actually really like refill for older sherried expressions as a sherry cask can very quickly overwhelm especially delicate malt.

Nose:   Orange oil furniture polish, clove and Terry’s dark chocolate orange.

Palate:   Orange sponge cake and there is that slight bitterness that could be marmalade semi sweet icing that tops and forms a layer right in the middle.

Finish:  A slight burnt character leading me to flamed orange rind topping a rye based Manhattan or maybe just pouring Grand Marnier over the top and lighting it all while you stand back and bask in the stunning beauty of it all.

Yummo again Wemyss. Certainly the cache of delicious Glenrothes casks you managed to acquire have been good to you and also thankfully for me. We have increased with age each edition and now sit at 27 Years Old. Does this mean we may yet have a 30+ year old at some point?

For those that love this delicious old Glenrothes the good news is that there is some available and if you email me at jonathan@secretspirits.com I will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

In the 2nd edition we had the truly epic A.D. Rattray Glentauchers 22 Year Old that you can re-visit here.

Let’s see is Whiskylassie loves old Glenrothes as much as Joshua and I do over at her blog here.

Now that we are rolling with the old stuff lets see what tomorrow brings from a fantastic independent bottler that is gracing our cubby holes for the first time. The fantastic Alex Bruce from Adelphi is to thank for tomorrow’s whisky and thank him you will.

So all I can tell you is that tomorrow we head South to the Lowland’s.

Until then have a fantastic evening. Only 3 more sleeps till Christmas.

Cheers

Jonathan – taster of secrets

 

 

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 20 Blog #155 – Secret Spirits 26 Year Old Speyside Single Malt

Welcome to the second ever cask for Secret Spirits and of course with yours truly being in full control (I use that term extremely loosely) of what gets chosen and where everything ends up on our 25 day countdown I just had to have a whisky that could make it into the final week.

26 years old from an undisclosed distillery in Speyside. I can tell you that is an old distillery that was founded in the mid 1800’s and that it has been known for innovations through the years. There you go can’t say more than that you will have to do the rest of the detective work.

Speyside 26 Year Old

Secret Spirits Speyside 26 Year Old aged in a refill Bourbon cask # 5575 and bottled with no caramel or chill filtration at the cask strength of 55.9%

Color:   Rich Gold

Nose:   Bread and Butter pudding complete with warming spices and raisins topped with cream.

Palate:   Richer on the palate than the nose lets on. Reminds me of going into World of Spice in Seattle, seems like a multitude of different spices all vying for attention at once. Sweet and savory, naughty and nice. Just a great rich flavor.

Finish:  Stewed citrus medley with a brown sugar infusion.

This is one multi layered whisky and looking back at my tasting notes from January when I had this sample in front of me I can see why we eagerly grabbed this cask.

Even though we have started off with two “Secret” whiskies I do promise that in the future we will have something with a distillery name on the label. Both these whiskies were too good to pass up and we thought it fitting to have both of them Secret this time around.

On this day in the 2nd edition we had the absolutely stunning 25 Year Old Aromatic Orange Tobacco Glenrothes from Wemyss Malts (I still have a bottle). It was such a shame that we only got 6 bottles in Canada.

For those of you that loved our Speyside 26 Year Old Single Malt please email me at jonathan@secretspirits.com and I can direct you to a retailer that will fulfill your needs.

Lets see how Whiskylassie is doing over there in the East with today’s dram here.

I have to say that being in a position to add Secret Spirits name to the high quality independent bottlers that we are sourcing whisky from is an absolute privilege. I have to continually pinch myself make sure that I’m not dreaming as this wonderful spirit called whisky has taken Cindy and I to places and people that we would never have had the pleasure of making part of our lives.

Thank you so much for supporting us in this endeavor and for your kind comments and feedback over the years. I am looking forward to adding another couple of Secret Spirits whiskies to the mix in 2017 and promise to search high and low for some exceptional casks.

Tomorrow we are in for a treat as we hit hump day and start the downhill run to Christmas. A final offering from the folks at Wemyss lies in your little day 21 cubby hole. No peeking.

See you on the morrow

Cheers

Jonathan – taster of secrets

 

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 15 Blog #150 – Malt Whisky Company MacDuff 16 Year Old

Back in the drivers seat today is Stuart Nickerson from Malt Whisky Company with a bit of a favorite distillery for me. I have had some really good MacDuff whisky over the years and one single cask in particular from A.D. Rattray always stands out for me. Knowing how good Stuart is at picking great casks I have been anticipating this for quite a while.

MacDuff is a Highland Distillery that was originally known as Glen Deveron. You can still find whisky bottled under this name but mostly older casks as even independent bottlers have embraced MacDuff. It was founded in 1962 and is now owned by Bacardi who used the bulk of its Single Malt Whisky for their blends like Dewar’s.

MacDuff Distillery

It seems to me that a lot of the independent bottler’s that I work with are finding the merits of using good quality refill casks to allow all of the delicious distillery character to shine through. Today’s whisky is no exception with Stuart choosing a refill cask for this 16 year old MacDuff.

Malt Whisky Company MacDuff 16 Year Old aged in a Refill American Oak Hogshead # 500720 and bottled at the cask strength of 54.9%. No shenanigans involved like caramel coloring or chill filtration here.

 

MacDuff 16

Color:   Another extremely light whisky which is the norm for refill casks especially American oak. After 16 years however it is a touch darker than the other refill casks we have seen so far. A nice light wedding ring gold.

Nose:    Hot buttered rum tropical notes. Pineapple and papaya over vanilla bean sorbet.

Palate:   Crunchy fresh breakfast waffle with hints of chunky pineapple and strong Seville orange marmalade sauce dusted with white chocolate flakes. This should be a thing…

Finish:  The orange marmalade comes through more strongly than the hint of tropical once we get to the finish. Very fresh and mouth watering. 54.7% is warming and long with just the right amount of bitter orange rind to bring the marmalade note to a delicious conclusion.

Yummo Stuart I know that you guys in the UK love your marmalade but sprinkling in some tropics as well is just crazy. Enough of this frilly Highland nonsense I hear some of you peat inclined saying. Well just because I love you too we will be heading to Islay tomorrow for a dram from those beloved Italians Samaroli.

We can see just how much Johanne loves this MacDuff at whiskylassie.

For those of you that enjoyed this MacDuff, I have good news. We will be getting a very small amount and it will be available for those that act quickly. Please email me at jonathan@secretspirits.com for details. (Late breaking news as I was just informed that inexplicably the cask in question was empty when they went to fill the remnant – authorities are looking into this heinous crime).

On this day in the second edition we had the A.D. Rattray Invergordon Single Grain that you can read about here.

I hope you have enjoyed the variety so far as we head into the last 10 days of the calendar which as some of you know is perhaps the best part of the whole experience counting down to Christmas day and hopefully getting more and more family time and fun in along the way.

I look forward to our Islay encounter tomorrow

Slainte

Jonathan – taster of secrets

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 14 Blog #148 – Ainneamh Speyside 18 Year Old

Whisky Wednesday today, also known as hump day for a lot of people as you climb that hill and then speed toward the weekend. Well no need to be afraid of not having fun every day of the week as we get to dip into the 3rd edition for yet another enticing dram.

Ainneamh bottle

A second expression from the boys at Ainneamh (remember its pronounced an-yoov). We are certainly getting a great pendulum swing from delicate to peaty so far in this edition. Are you keeping up with this roller coaster ride?

So another mystery dram from Ainneamh. I do love these fun whiskies where you get to decipher clues and see if you can figure out the originating distillery.

Ainneamh Speyside 18 Year Old Single Malt, Cask number 14432 refill American Oak Hogshead. Banffshire bottled at the cask strength of 54.7% with no caramel or chill filtration.

Ainneamh Speyside 18

Color:  Yep another light whisky in a refill cask. Makes you really think about the massive amounts of artificial color added to whisky in the industry. Why does a whisky have to be dark to be perceived as quality? Only because that’s the line that has traditionally been pushed on you all these years. As we know even a gorgeous 30 year old single malt can be very light and massive on flavor.

Nose:   Flora in spades on this one with oats and honey like top quality steel cut oatmeal freshly drizzled with honey and topped with cream.

Palate:   Candy apple toffee, the red sort (not caramel apples). Crunchy apple acidity like Jonathan apples (yep my namesake fruit). A zesty creaminess like cream stirred with sherbet.

Finish:   Tingly and long, coating and fresh. This is a fantastic aperitif whisky as a palate freshener before dinner. Perhaps between courses instead of the high end ball of shaved lemon ice. I could see a serving of this kind of whisky really taking off in some white table restaurants. I know I would be making my reservation.

If you were in doubt that there is a whisky for every occasion then doubt no more. Fantastic little Speyside here Ainneamh team and amazing freshness for an 18 year old. I do love quality refill casks for this reason. Almost emulates what Samaroli do with their lightly toasted new oak casks.

On this day in the second edition we had the Samaroli Blended Malt comprising of Glenallachie, Glentauchers and MacDuff. You can re-read all about it here.

Whiskylassie is having quite the journey and you can continue to follow her in-depth experiences by visiting here.

If you love this whisky then I unfortunately have bad news for you. Nothing left for us after filling our calendar bottles. We had an unusually high amount of whiskies that ended up being done and dusted once the mini’s were filled this edition. We will try hard to make sure that there is more of each delicious whisky next time around.

Tomorrow we are heading back to my mate Stuart at the Malt Whisky Company for another one of his amazing casks. Highlands here we come.

Slainte

Jonathan – taster of secrets

 

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 9 Blog #142 – Single Cask Nation Loch Lomond (Croftengea) 10 Year Old

Here we are on day 9 of our little jaunt through the glens and moors of Scotland. Today we welcome back Single Cask Nation to the lineup. You may remember a particularly delicious Undisclosed Islay from the 2nd Editon that was their debut. Thanks to Joshua and Jason for spending time rooting through warehouses in Scotland to find us today’s dram.

“It’s a Highland Jim but not as we know it”. Loch Lomond is a distillery in the Highlands that was originally founded in 1814 and there are no actual records of exactly when it closed. The Loch Lomond distillery as it stands today was founded in 1964 by the then owners of the famed but closed Littlemill distillery.

Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond

Certainly industrial by Scottish standards Loch Lomond is a work horse of a distillery. Unique among distilleries Loch Lomond opened a Grain distillery in 1994 and was at the time the only distillery in Scotland able to produce both Grain and Malt whisky.

Croftengea is the proprietary name for their peated range of Single Malts that to my knowledge is not seen here outside of the odd independently bottled cask.

Loch Lomond Croftengea
Loch Lomond Croftengea

Single Cask Nation Loch Lomond Croftengea Peated Highland Single Malt bottled at a cask strength of 55.6% with no chill filtration or colour. Aged in a refill Bourbon Hogshead cask number 486. 10 Years Old.

We have had a few refill Hogsheads so far and for good reason. Using a refill cask can work well in leaving vibrant fruit characteristics that would otherwise be drowned out by a first fill barrel.

Color:   Light again as you would expect but as we have come to learn so far light in color does not mean light in taste. This might be our lightest whisky so far in the 3rd edition and is saved from being almost clear by the tiniest fleck of gold.

Nose:    Pan fried Lamb chops and roasted root vegetables that get all crusty and almost burnt. Pumpkin, Potato, Broccoli and Carrots. This is like Sunday dinner in a glass.

Palate:   Wow thick and unctuous with smoldering rubber and a lovely bitterness that only adds more depth. completely fills the palate with an oily mouth feel that reaches out to every crevice. Some creamier aspects flow along adding just a soft sweet ride to it all.

Finish:   Finally there is some fruit that peeks through all the vegetables and for me it is burnt citrus and specifically thick skinned blood orange cut in half and grilled. The finish rolls on and down warming right to the heart.

Fantastic peated Highland that will fulfill all those peat lovers dreams and maybe take some Highland loving folk along for the ride as well.

Lets see what whiskylassie has to say about this here.

In the third edition on day 9 we had the monster Glen Moray from A.D. Rattray that I mentioned yesterday in comparison to our behemoth Glenrothes from Malt Whisky Company. You can read all about it here.

There will be bottles available of this dram so please email me and I will point you in the right direction. jonathan@secretspirits.com

Well onward and upward as they say.

Tomorrow we head back to Speyside for another single cask from the folk at A.D. Rattray.

See you then

Slainte

Jonathan – Taster of Secrets

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 4 Blog #137 – Lost Distillery Company Jericho

It’s a perfect snowy Sunday afternoon here in Calgary to take some time out for today’s dram. I must add a big welcome to The Lost Distillery company on their debut with their take on Jericho. A unique and enthralling story unravels as we delve into the ghostly past of a long dead distillery.

Jericho began production as a distillery in 1822 and was renamed Benachie in 1884. Unfortunately even with a certain degree of success the distillery was closed in 1913. Brian Woods and Scott Watson founded The Lost Distillery company as a means to turn their passion for the history of closed distilleries into a rebirth of forgotten drams.

Jericho Distillery
Jericho Distillery

To quote Scott Watson, co-founder of Crucial Drinks and The Lost Distillery Company “We’re obsessive about craft and uncompromising when it comes to whisky quality. Each resurrected brand is the subject of an in-depth research project to establish the original character of the long lost distilleries”.

They have an absolutely amazing in depth history of the distillery that you can read here.

As a secret bonus that we did not include on the label today’s dram is actually the Christmas Pudding edition of Jericho that was a limited release in 2015. Thanks guys for allowing us to take the last of it.

Lost Distilleries Company Jericho Christmas Pudding Blended Malt – Sherry Finish 46% ABV no chill filtration and natural color.

Jericho
Jericho

Color:   Not overly dark for a sherry finished whisky but certainly some tinges of red among the amber hues.

Nose:  Does certainly take me in a Christmas direction with cinnamon and rich glazed sultanas and orange peel.

Palate:  Much richer on the palate than the nose implies with a lovely Christmas Cake (the dark fruit laden kind) edge including the ever present marzipan icing. Rolls into some dark blackberry notes like an accompanying berry coulis. Softly sweet throughout over a base of heavier almost savory notes that only come through in sporadic bursts.

Finish:  Mouth watering with some drying citrus that immediately asks for more. I could happily drink this pre or post Christmas dinner or anytime for that matter.

The wonderful world of whisky is so much fun and to delve so deeply into the past and recreate as closely as possible the style of long departed distilleries is awesome. Thanks for all your attention to detail guys The Lost Distillery Company is a really cool edition to our Scotch Whisky Calendar landscape.

For those of you looking for your own bottle of Jericho please email me at jonathan@secretspirits.com and I’ll point you in the right direction.

On this day in the 2nd edition we had the excellent Velvet Fig from Wemyss Malts.

Please head on over to Whisky Lassie for her take on today’s dram here.

Blended malts as anyone that has read my past blogs knows are the decidedly delicious and mostly ignored category of Scotch that offers up so much for more often much less than you would pay for an equivalent Single Malt. Remember that Blended malts are made up of a combination of Single Malts the very same ingredient that is seen as the pinnacle of Scotch Whisky.

Tomorrow we head to the Highlands for an a-typical Highland dram that will make a lot of you very happy.

Slainte

Jonathan – Taster of Secrets

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd edition Day 1 Blog # 134 – Secret Spirits 18 Year Old Speyside

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
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.
3rd Edition NEAT Glass

 

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 jonathan@secretspirits.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?
Cheers
Jonathan – taster of secrets