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Whisky Advent

Singlemalting # 187 – Day 21 – 4th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Old Malt Cask Glen Keith 20yo

As promised we are back to Hunter Laing and their Old Malt Cask series with a cask from the Glen Keith distillery. Glen Keith was the first distillery to open in Speyside after the great crash in 1898, opening its doors in 1958. Always owned by Chivas Bros it was mothballed in 1999 and then reopened in 2012. Almost all of its production goes into blends for export markets but a few casks escape that fate and wind up in the hands of independent bottlers like Hunter Laing.

Glen Keith Distillery

This is the first time we have seen an expression from this distillery in any edition so it is exciting to add another name to the ever growing list.

Old Malt Cask –

20 Year Old Single Malt – Bottled at 50% and aged in a refill sherry butt HL13359.

Colour:   Rich gold

Nose:   Rose petals and English Toffee. Turkish delight.

Palate:    Chewier than I thought it would be with robust flavors of bitter dark chocolate, pomegranate and quince.

Finish:    The fruit rolls on with a burst of dry sherry jumping in at the death. Its the pomegranate that seems to be the heavy lifter here for me all the way through.

A very interesting dram from Old Malt Cask. Loving the sherry refill after 20 years as I had to mull it over for sometime to get to the bottom of everything that was going on. Even now as I sit here there are some other flavors still trying to push their way to the top.

If you really like this dram it is available for Canadians (sorry Southern cousins). Just email me and we will get it sorted for you.

On day 21 in the 3rd edition we had the Wemyss Malts Marmalade Appeal Glenrothes 27 year old.

Please head over to Scotch Trooper as we head towards Christmas I have it on good authority that there will be some awesome climactic shots to look at.

Tomorrow we have another amazing Single Malt Combo from Samaroli. These 20+ year old Samaroli blended malts are always incredible so I am thinking this will be something special.

Looking forward to your company tomorrow

Until then dram safe and dram often

Cheers

Singlemalting

whisky advent calendar

Singlemalting # 171 – 4th edition SWAC Day 5 – Secret Spirits Caol Ila 8 Year Old

Only our 3rd ever bottling under the Secret Spirits label and I was excited to include something brooding and smoky from Islay. I managed to find this whisky after a long drive South in Scotland to a windswept warehouse on a lonely road far from the warm whisky bars of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Tasting through numerous barrel samples is no easy task. Especially when those samples are from Islay. It can all start to get very overpowering even for a palate that has been as abused as mine has. I actually ended up needing an additional sample sent to me in Canada to confirm that this was indeed exactly what I thought I had tasted many months before.

Caol Ila is the workhorse distillery on Islay and produces more whisky than the rest of Islay combined. With the recent announcement that Port Ellen will be reopened there could be a potential challenge down the road for that title.

Caol Ila Distillery

As a side note to the story I ended up encountering a rather challenging road closure that was going to send me an hour out of my way and cause me to be late for my appointment with my next round of drinking. Firm faith in the fact that my GPS said there was a road I took to a narrow and ultimately dodgy farmers track. Several gates and nervous sheep later not to mention steep water laden creek beds and rocky inclines I arrived at the farmers home. Bemused and nodding to his son as he heard my Aussie accent (bloody tourists) he motioned me to the connector that got me back on my way.

Secret Spirits Caol Ila 8 Year Old Single Malt – 59.8% ABV – Refill Bourbon cask. Cask Number SS007

Colour:   Pale horse of the Apocalypse pale. Barely a tinge of white gold.

Nose:   Smoldering Hickory

Palate:   Boom the 59.8% is awesome in its assault bringing plenty of those smoldering embers into play along with a spoonful of medicine that helps the whisky go down. Through it all there is a tingly ball of waxy honeycomb that ties it all together.

Finish:   Just dominates the palate with ABV coating goodness. The smoke just lingers on and on and makes me yearn for my next stint in the backyard poking at the fire pit. This is one big ballsy young Caol Ila and delivers in spades to all you Islay fans.

Every bit as awesome as I remember. There will be some full size bottles available of this dram so just email me at jonathan@secretspirits.com and I will let you know where you can get some.

In the 3rd edition on day 5 we had the A.D. Rattray Ledaig 9 Year Old. Seems that I always tend to insert our first dark side whisky around this time (to keep the peated faithful happy of course).

Check out Scotch Trooper who has no doubt incorporated some dark forces for his photo on this dram.

Tomorrow we are getting our Italian whisky geek on with a dram from those awesome guys at Samaroli.

Until then may your dark side dreams be everything you want and more.

Cheers

Singlemalting

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar

Singlemalting # 170 – 4th edition SWAC Day 4 – Lost Distillery Company Dalaruan Classic

Welcome back everyone to a day that brings a return to the archives. Dusty old books, newsprint and endless hours of pouring over any and all evidence that Glasgow University and the boys from Lost Distillery Company could glean brings us the Dalaruan Classic.

Dalaruan Distillery ran from 1825 to 1925 in Campbeltown and this recreation is worth all the effort the Lost Distillery Company put in. You can read a very long and interesting history on their website here.

Artists rendition of Dalaruan Distillery

Lost Distillery Company Dalaruan Classic Blended Malt – 43% ABV Non chill filtered and natural colour.

Colour:   Rusty Gold that hints at perhaps some sherry influence with a majority of american oak. Lost Distillery Co do not reveal the percentage of cask use (at least not to me and I have spent some time with them trying to pry it out over many drams).

Nose:    True to its Campbeltown roots this hits me with some briny coastal smoke and earth. Undercurrents of a BC Orchard complete with Peaches, Nectarines and Plums.

Palate:    The orchard continues with swirling notes of smoke and salt. Yummo is all I can say about this…. cant talk… drinking…..

Finish:  Belies it’s 43% with strong palate coating consistency. The stone fruit really continues to shine. I can almost taste the peach fuzz and imagine nibbling that last piece of flesh of the coarse and riveted pit.

This is an exceptional blended malt and one of the best that I have had in the Classic range from the Lost Distillery Co. I love the history and can imagine the hussle and bussle of a very vibrant Campbeltown whisky scene.

These guys (Brian and Scott) continue to impress me and it was such a treat to be able to include them in my list of sources for calendar whiskies last year. Looking forward to seeing what they have in store for me early next year.

Please head on over and catch Scotch Troopers take on our 4th edition. As our special guest this year he has what is sure to be the most interesting take on our calendar so far.

Tomorrow we head to the Dark Side for something from Secret Spirits so strap on your lightsaber and remember to use the force. Dram or Dram not… there is no try.

Cheers

Singlemalting.