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Secret Spirits Scotland Tour – Blog # 158

G’day everyone and welcome back to the Singlemalting Blog. After my whirlwind blogging marathon leading up to Christmas I spent some down time back in the home country. Anyone who read the last blog knows that I had my day 25 calendar whisky on Christmas day in Australia a full day before you all got to have yours.

My journeys since then have taken me all over the place including my annual February trip to Scotland to choose the new edition whiskies and on the January Whisky festival train that is a highlight of every new year touching down in Red Deer, Edmonton, Calgary and Victoria. You can read about some of my adventures in these blogs.

Oh yeah whisky barrels that’s what I’m talking about

Having been pestered by many over the past few years to think about potentially organizing a Secret Spirits tour to Scotland I have relented and started putting something together. For those of you that think traipsing around the Scottish Countryside with yours truly and experiencing what it’s like to live in my world for a week of tasting, brokering, bottling, drinking and dining then maybe this might be just what you have been waiting for.

A Secret Spirits tour of Scotland would be a peek behind the curtain of how we put together our list of whiskies and where we go to source them. A stint at the bottling plant and distillery visits would all be a must. A touch of sightseeing and the odd castle or two along the way would also be on the docket. This would be no ordinary tour and plenty of inside industry treats and privilege.

Dumfries House

Some highlights would include a special exclusive hand blown piece of whisky glassware made by master glass blower Tom Young from Angels Share Glass in Bridge of Allen. Being part of selecting a Secret Spirits Barrel and guaranteeing your case of 6 bottles. Seeing the Edinburgh Military Tattoo as part of a whisky dinner extravaganza. A high brow dinner and history lesson at Dumfries House. Staying in top class accommodation and having all meals included, there would even be a day for either a round of Golf or a day at the Spa to soak up some Scottish relaxation. A trip up to Speyside and down South to Ayr means you will get to see a lot of the fabulous Scottish Scenery along the way. All you have to do is get to Glasgow and we take it from there.

Turnberry

We are trying to make it work for late August this year. There are only a maximum of 10 spots available so if you are interested to get all the details please email me at jonathan@secretspirits.com as soon as you can.

Thanks to John (you know who you are) for poking me many times about putting something like this together.

For a detailed itinerary and pricing just get onto the email address above and I’ll get right back to you.

I promise in the coming weeks that I will be back to normal programming as I have a lot of delicious whiskies and other assorted goodies to go through.

Cheers and here’s to an amazing year of fabulous whisky.

Jonathan

 

 

 

 

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Christmas Day Blog #157 – Samaroli 34 Year Old Blended Scotch

Merry Christmas everyone and welcome to the last day of this years whisky discovery journey.

I awoke at 6:00am this Christmas morning to the cacophony of bird calls outside my window. Warbling Magpies, Galah’s, Sulfur Crested Cockatoos, Rosella’s and more all letting the world know that they were up and ready for the new day. I quickly rolled out of bed and headed outside for a stroll. One of the aspects of life in Australia that I miss the most are the amazing birds. I found myself wandering around the small Victorian town of Wedderburn for over an hour and after circling the local reservoir and chatting to a friendly magpie I was heckled by some feisty Galah’s and sent on my way. Morning time is the best for a long walk in December as we hit a high of 39 degrees Celsius yesterday with more of the same for today. Definitely not your typical Calgary Christmas Day.

I am sitting outside in my parents back garden which is a mini bird sanctuary. So many birds it’s almost impossible to hear mum call from the house to let me know that my Nana is on the phone. So nice to be able to catch up with all my Australian relatives and another bottle of delicious wine made it’s way in front of the fireplace (dormant of course) courtesy of my uncle Billy who popped in just to wish us all a Merry Christmas.

Christmas Dram 3rd Edition

Well I am so glad that I managed to bring the Christmas Day whisky down under with me. Virgin Australia did lose my bags for a short while but worked extra hard to find them and had my precious cargo safely by my side within 24 hours. That would have been awkward needing to write this with no whisky.

As those that have been through one of our Scotch Whisky Advent Calendars can attest to, we always strive to showcase the entirety of what the Scotch Whisky world has to offer. This includes of course Blended Scotch which is the vast majority of Scotch Whisky sales worldwide. Not all blends are created equal and much like Single Malt blended Scotch can be absolutely stunning or mediocre at best. In the third edition we have saved our lone expression of this category for the final dram.

Samaroli are adept at creating amazing blended malts however this was the first time that I had been exposed to a Blended Scotch from them. This is to date the oldest whisky we have showcased in any edition coming in at the ripe old age of 34 Years. Interestingly this particular blend from Samaroli spent it’s entire life already blended and in a single cask. I do not know the exact percentages of malt to grain but I do know that it is mid 90% ish malt with just a small amount of grain.

Samaroli 1980 Blend in front of Oak Tree Cottage, Note the stunning blue sky

The Unique Samaroli Blended Scotch 1980 aged for 34 years in a sherry Butt cask number 18. Bottled with no chill filtration or coloring at 40% ABV.

Color:   The darkest whisky of the calendar looking like well worn mahogany.

Nose:   Just a hint of doused matchstick with a library of old leather bound books, plum and dark berry compote. The weathered brow of an ancient leather Akubra.

Palate:  Double espresso with a black strap licorice stir stick. A memory of a tamarind ball dessert that I had in Barbados. It was my first taste of that exotic fruit and took me right back there.

Finish:  Sticky date pudding with a blood orange glaze. Lovely citrus bitterness that lingers for a long time.

I could spend quite a while on this whisky and in fact I think I will seeing as it’s Christmas an all. I plan on lighting up a Rocky Patel Cigar later to accompany the rest of this dram and am really looking forward to kicking back and basking in the glow of being in Australia.

Thankfully there are a few bottles to be had. Just email me at jonathan@secretspirits.com and I’ll point you in the right direction.

Lets see how Whiskylassie has fared coming to the end of her 3rd edition journey.

Samaroli always so far have managed to get the last word in and with stunning older whiskies like the examples they keep putting in front of me who knows when they might be topped. In the 2nd edition we had the 30 Year Old Samaroli Linkwood.

It has indeed been an honor and a privilege to bring you this third edition. Cindy and I again wish everyone fun, friendship and family. We hope to see you all again through the coming year as we seek out new delicious drams together.

Cheers

Jonathan – taster of secrets

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 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 16 Blog #151 – Samaroli Islay 8 Year Old

It’s been pretty cold here in Alberta of late to say the least so it is well overdue for another return visit to Islay the land or warming peat and smoke. Samaroli have done an amazing job with their blending of Single Malts over the years and I like to showcase how well this can be done by popping one or two of their new expressions each edition.

Today we are looking at a blended malt that is a combination of over 99% malt from one distillery. This cask comes under the definition of tea-spooning. This practice is a touch controversial in Scotland circles as some believe that there is no spoon….ing.

There is no spoon

When a distillery releases a cask but does not want it interfering with their own sales they can prohibit mention of the distillery and even prevent it from being released as a Single Malt. They do this by allegedly throwing in a teaspoon of another malt into the barrel thereby transforming it into a blended malt. There is a considerable number that theorize the fact that the teaspoon never happens and that only on paper is it considered a blended malt. Of course it is impossible to tell either way as the tiniest dash of single malt from another distillery thrown into an entire barrel will have absolutely no impact whatsoever.

So unlike the Samaroli blended malts where various amounts from a number of distilleries are involved really in this case we are looking at an undisclosed Islay Single Malt for all intents and purposes. Lets see if we can figure out which distillery.

Samaroli Islay teaspoon-ed blended malt. Aged for 8 years in a new American oak Hogshead and then bottled at the Samaroli chosen strength of 43% with no chill filtration or caramel added. A bit of an indicator here is the cask number 1883 which tells us that it is just one cask.

Samaroli Islay

Color:   Golden lager

Nose:     Team trainer bag, salt shaker and jerky.

Palate:   Distinctive bowl of burnt rubber and iodine leaking some organic citrus toothpaste (for the mouth feel).

Finish:  Bitter lemon rind among the consistent notes of tanned leather, rubber gloves and medicine cabinet.

The medicinal character even goes so far as to give my palate a bit of a numbing effect and at only 43%. This is a very big whisky and again belies the light color. So you be the judge… spoon or no spoon? Distillery options anyone?

This should satiate even the hardcore Islay fan for at least a few days.

In the second edition on this day we had the Samaroli Benriach 1996 Single Malt which you can revisit here.

Lets see what the Lassie has to say about this Samaroli Islay.

For those of you looking for a bottle of this delicious Islay you can email me here at jonathan@secretspirits.com and I will point you in the right direction.

Tomorrow we are grabbing a ferry away from Islay and heading to the mainland for another visit to the Highlands to discover yet another style of whisky that we love to add in each edition but is largely unknown for lovers of Single Cask Scotch. This will be presented to us by the fabulous team at Wemyss Malts.

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow

Slainte

Jonathan – taster of secrets

Rum’s Revenge Polly want a cracker – Blog #149 – West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants Central American Guatemala Rum

What say ye? I’ve seen yer lurkin about all prissy like with yer fancy whisky calendar an all. Let it be known that The Rum’s Revenge hereby be hijackin this ere blog for the good of all Pirate kind. Thar be piratin to do, swillin of Rum and the like that no stuck up dress wearin Scot should be party to.

If ye did not heed me warnin about gettin yerself a Rum’s Revenge chest then be off with ye. Go an sniff out yer fancy whiskies and the like.

With only true pirate’s now attending grab yer map and let’s set sail for Central America climes to make port in Guatemala. To locate yer rum sail yer Rum’s Revenge South East till ye find the friend of many a pirate. With Polly the Parrot labelled rum bottle in hand go grab the ancient skull and lets get drinkin.

Destination Polly

Lookin:  Argh there be gold in this ere bottle I’m sure of it.

Sniffin:  Sweet pork on a fork that we only get when in a fancy port with some rootin veg.

Tastin:  Some tar n feathered enemy pushed off the plank. A bowl of fresh papaya scarfed in the glee of it all.

Thinkin:  This ere be savory an sweet all in the same bottle. I be lovin this so much that it be below deck faster than the crew in a storm.

Guatemala be a good place fer rum and this ere find, even being a treasure and all is just not enough fer a thirsty pirate. Yer can send off one of them newfangled e letters to jonathan@secretspirits.com an yer be finding out where ye can steal a bigger bottle ot two.

Central America XO

This ere be just way too much fun for a pirate an we have a lot of sailin to do on the horizon. Yer never know when I be takin over this poshy whisky blog with good Pirate, Rum swillin tales so keep a weather eye out.

Now tuck yer Pirate chest somewhere safe fer there be those lurkin about lookin for treasure such as you have in yer possession.

Before ye go be lookin at this ere to inspire yer deep Pirate Passions.

Until next time be vigilant and hearty, rest just fer a second an ye may miss the chance fer true pirate treasure.

Captain Flintlock Bray – Master of the Rum’s Revenge

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 13 Blog #147 – A.D. Rattray Auchroisk 25 Year Old

Welcome to lucky day 13 of the 3rd edition. As a treat for being so lucky we have the oldest whisky so far in the lineup waiting to be poured into your NEAT glass.

Auchroisk Distillery

Auchroisk (pronounced Ah-thrusk) is a Speyside distillery that started production in 1974. Owned by the Diageo group, the brand that is most recognizable to consumers is Singleton as it was called starting in 1986 to make it easier for those outside of Scotland to pronounce. It was released as a Flora and Fauna series by Diageo in 2001 as Auchroisk but then changed back to Singleton of Auchroisk in 2008. Now that we are even more confused than ever but thankful that A.D. Rattray managed to get this rare older expression of a unique distillery, lets get on with some tasting. Auchroisk is a big distillery in the Diageo stable and produces 3.1 million liters of pure alcohol per year and is mostly used for the juggernaut Blended Scotch brand J&B.

Auchroisk 25yr
Auchroisk 25yr

A.D. Rattray Auchroisk 1991 – Aged for 25 years in an American Oak ex Bourbon barrel # 7531 without chill filtration or caramel color and at the cask strength of 53%.

Color:   14 Carat Gold

Nose:   Fresh sweet spiced apples ready to bake into a pie. If I were to pick the apple I would say Granny Smith.

Palate:   Freshness and sweet zesty tangy apples and pears with a hint of star anise, clove and vanilla.

Finish:   53% is there but not overpowering and the apple pie that started on the nose is still there for me but this time the baking is done and some biscuit crumble base underlines the fruit.

This is a great example of a fresh older whisky. I absolutely love this style of single malt. Zesty freshness meets barrel aging complexity. A rare find for A.D. Rattray and one that I was really happy to scoop up for the 3rd edition. Alas there are absolutely no bottles available to purchase which is such a shame and unfortunately the reality of single cask whiskies.

Lets see what the fun and famed whiskylassie thinks of this rarer older treat here.

On this day in the 2nd edition we had the pleasure of introducing Single Cask Nation for their debut in our calendars. Their Undisclosed Islay 2008 was also the first whisky ever to have zero full bottles available after we took whisky for the Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar mini’s. It is fitting I guess that today’s dram suffers the same fate (booo).

It was indeed fantastic to have a 20 something whisky today to showcase what good older whisky can bring to the table but also underline how good some of the younger whisky has been so far. Remember that age is only an indicator of expense not quality.

Tomorrow we are tasting another single cask from the guys at Ainneamh. This time from a different region.

Until tomorrow you had better savor your Auchroisk 25 year old because there is no more unless you seek out a second calendar.

Slainte

Jonathan – taster of secrets

 

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 12 Blog #146 – Lost Distillery Co. Gerston

Welcome to the start of another great whisky week as we welcome back the boys at the Lost Distillery Company. I was really intrigued when I looked into what these guys were doing.  They break everything down to these 10 elements that I have borrowed from their website for you:

  1. ERA – The date of the last distillation is critically important. As with most manufacturing businesses, fashions and processes change. Mechanization brought increased consistency to the process, while expansion of the railways sponsored the construction of much bigger distilleries.
  2. LOCALITY – Neighboring distilleries may have used similar sources of water, barley and yeast. They may have shared expertise that still survives today in working distilleries.
  3. WATER – A core ingredient used to make the spirit and also to dilute the product to bottling strength. Was the water soft or hard? What was the mineral content?
  4. BARLEY – The most important aspect of the barley is the phenolic content. Where was the barley grown? Was it local? Which strains of barley were used? How consistent was the yield?
  5. YEAST – Why is some sourdough bread better than others? Why do some bakers retain a starter dough for decades? Yeast matters in the process and ultimately has an impact on the final product.
  6. PEAT – Was the malted barley peated or unpeated? How much peat was used and was it sourced locally? How did this translate to the phenol content of the finished product?
  7. MASH TUN – What material was it constructed from? Was it open or closed, and how was the temperature controlled? Volatile temperatures would inhibit yeast activity.
  8. WASH BACK – These would have been made almost exclusively from Douglas Fir; chosen for its straight grain and lack of knots. While some distilleries still use these, most have converted to stainless steel versions that impart no character to the product.
  9. STILL – The shape and size of the still deeply influence the overall character of the spirit. For example, a smaller dumpy still will typically allow more contact between the copper and the spirit meaning that it produces a heavier, more viscous spirit.
  10. WOOD – After production, what type of wood was used to store or transport the whisky to its destination? Did this have an impact on the final flavor? What did the barrel have in it before it was used for whisky? This would have had a significant effect on the whisky’s taste.
Gerston 2 artists impression
Gerston 2 artists impression

Their archive team led by professor Michael Moss of the Glasgow University pours through every bit of information they can glean before they recreate each distilleries style.

Gerston one was a popular distillery that operated between 1796 and 1882. Small scale with pristine water and briny peat Gerston one was a much sought after whisky in it’s day. Two tales tell of the disaster that ended the distilleries life. One a farmer dredging too close to the well and causing it to dry up and the other a planned expansion to the distillery causing the flow of the nearby spring to divert away. Either of these events meant the end for Gerston 1. Gerston 2 was built in 1886 and lasted until 1914. Much more industrial in scale Gerston 2 did not source the same quality of ingredients as its smaller brother and the spirit never achieved the same level of popularity.

Gerston
Gerston

Lost Distillery Company Gerston Blended Malt – 46% non chill filtered with no caramel coloring. Aged in American ex bourbon casks.

Color:   Freshly cut golden hay bails.

Nose:    Malty ripe raisins and a touch of sea salted caramel with wisp of smoke.

Palate:   Salty, earthy and sweet all at the same time. Sprinkled mesquite ashes and a medicinal quality that only just sneaks in with softer honey comb making up the sweet base.

Finish:  Long and persistently smoky but soft and round with a chocolate note.

This is delicious whisky and hats off to Brian and Scott for really working long and hard on an exceptionally well put together project. This brings us back to another time of whisky making and the world of whisky is richer for the story. For those that loved this Gerston please email me and I can definitely let you know where you will find it. jonathan@secretspirits.com

Lets all head over and see what Whiskylassie thought of this excellent Gerston.

On this day in the second edition we had another recreation of sorts with the fantastically valued A.D. Rattray Bank Note. As the lone Blended Scotch expression in the second edition the Bank Note has proven to be really popular as a delicious every day drinker at an affordable price.

Tomorrow we head to Speyside for another fine cask from the good people at A.D. Rattray.

Happy Monday everyone.

Slainte

Jonathan – taster of secrets

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 3rd Edition Day 11 Blog #145 – Wemyss Malts Kiln Embers Limited Edition

Back to the land of smoke and peat today with a fabulous limited edition blended malt from Wemyss. Their Velvet Fig was one of the hits of the 2nd edition and I am always interested to see what they have coming up when I visit Scotland in January. This year it is something brooding and dark. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Kiln Embers.

Kiln Embers
Kiln Embers

So a word of warning for those of you that have a hard time with peated whiskies. Kiln Embers has double the amount of peated single malt involved over it’s cousin Peat Chimney which you may remember from the 1st edition way back when and you can read my thoughts here. It will be interesting to compare these two blended malts.

Wemyss Malts Kiln Embers limited edition blended malt – No age statement and bottled at 46% with no chill filtration or coloring.

Kiln Embers Limited Edition

Color:   A nice rolled gold here that adds a richness to the look of the bottle

Nose:   Ahh yeah there it is all smoky up front like an old school Casino. The miasma of smoke does disperse however and allow us to peek through at a bushel of fresh oranges and a cluster of vanilla bean pods.

Palate:   Lovely balance here and really deep notes of burnt caramel over fresh licorice. A touch of Staedler Mars Eraser that always seemed to get rid of your smudgy lead pencil marks when other erasers failed. 46% seems bang on here and even with a tiny tingle I’m super happy with it as is.

Finish:   Flamed toffee and molasses cookies with a twist of burnt orange rind.

Lovely dram for those with a peaty addiction. I’m glad to say that we were able to secure a decent amount of the limited production for Canada so if you love this then please email me at jonathan@secretspirits.com and Ill point you in the right direction.

Whiskylassie is like me an equal opportunity drinker but I really don’t know how far her peat meter goes. Lets find out here.

In the second edition on this day we had the amazing Wemyss Malts Kumquat Cluster Glenrothes 21 Year Old and you can read all about it here.

A great dram for us to sit and relax on a cold Sunday afternoon by the fire. I’ll be enjoying this one for a while as the finish is still rolling on and has moved into the realms of good cigar tobacco now which is awesome.

Tomorrow we head back to the awesome team at the Lost Distillery Company for another take on a really remote distillery that has one of the most unusual stories I have ever heard that brought about it’s demise.

Looking forward to see you for a fresh start to the week and another exciting dramming adventure.

Have a wonderful evening

Slainte

Jonathan – taster of secrets