Home » whisky review

Tag: whisky review

scotch whisky advent calendar, scotch, whisky advent, whisky advent calendar, advent whisky, whisky advent calendar 4th edition, scotch, whisky, secret spirits, #scotch #whiskyadvent #whiskyadventcalendar #whisky

Singlemalting #191 – Day 25 – 4th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – Samaroli 30 Year Old Invergordon

Welcome to day 25 and Merry Christmas.

So at last the quartet is complete. We have had in this order on Christmas day – 1st edition “Blended Malt 33yo”, 2nd edition “Single Malt 30yo”, 3rd edition “Blended Scotch 34yo” and now 4th edition “Single Grain 30yo”. All previous day 25 whiskies have been amazing expressions from Samaroli. Lets check out this old Invergordon from Samaroli as we relax by the fire. Snowing heavily in both Alberta and here in Ontario where I am spending Christmas with Cindy’s Family. A far cry from the gorgeous blue skies and warm weather I had last Christmas in Australia.

Invergordon is a Single Grain Distillery that was founded in 1960. It is located in the Northern Highlands much farther away from the other Single Grain distilleries that are found in and around the Lowlands of Scotland. Using Coffey stills Invergordon produces a staggering amount of Single Grain Scotch Whisky every year, somewhere in the vicinity of 40 million liters. Invergordon is owned by Whyte and Mackay as the backbone of their blends. Rarely seen under its own label it is independent bottlers that get this out to whisky geeks worldwide.

Barrels at Invergordon Distillery

Samaroli 30 year old Invergordon Single Grain Scotch Whisky – bottled at the abv of 45% aged in a Sherry Hogshead cask number 901551.

Colour:     As with most Samaroli bottlings this is very pale indeed for a sherry hogshead after 30 years and tells me this must have been a refill cask.

Nose:    Rich and heady on the nose like wandering through a Moroccan Spice Bazaar. Still a large alcohol presence at only 45% promising some lively flavors I’m hoping.

Palate:    Initially tropical with some coconut milk creaminess that immediately launches into sweet passionfruit pulp spooned over caramel flan.

Finish:    Just deliciously consistent with everything that has gone before. Love the rolling soft sweetness with a finishing dusting of spice.

Samaroli Invergordon 30 Year Old

One of the most interesting Single Grains I have tried and certainly to date by far the best Invergordon. Thanks Samaroli for doing it again. Can you guys back up next year to hold the 25 spot for 5 years in a row? We will have to see.

It has been amazing yet again to have all of you join us here at Secret Spirits for this 4th rendition of our journey through Scotland. We hope you have enjoyed the experience of exploration and found it rewarding and entertaining.

If you love our calendar it would be amazing if you could post some comments or join us at our various Social Medial pages. All the links can be found at www.secretspirits.com.

Please give a ton of comments and a big round of applause for the amazing work done by Scotch Trooper for this 4th (force) edition. His photos and tasting notes were fantastic. Thanks Scotch Trooper for being part of our journey.

On this day in the 3rd edition we had Samaroli give us the oldest whisky bottled in any edition with the 34 Year Old First Fill Sherry Blended Scotch.

May you have amazing love, friendship and family around you at this time of year and throughout your life.

I will be writing again shortly about a rare aquisition from a major brand (very unlike me to make such a purchase). Looking forward to doing it all again next year and bringing about our half decade milestone.

Thanks again

Jonathan and Cindy

Secret Spirits

scotch whisky advent calendar, scotch, whisky advent, whisky advent calendar, advent whisky, whisky advent calendar 4th edition, scotch, whisky, secret spirits, #scotch #whiskyadvent #whiskyadventcalendar #whisky

Singlemalting #190 – Day 24 – 4th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – A.D. Rattray Tamnavulin 29 Year Old

Welcome to Christmas Eve and a chance to welcome a new distillery to the Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar list. This cask from A.D. Rattray was just shy of 30 years old so could have qualified for the Christmas Day dram with a few more months. Settling for Christmas Eve however is no small feat.

Tamnavulin is a distillery in Speyside that opened in 1966. A relative newcomer to the Scotch Whisky Landscape. It operated until 1995 was closed for over a decade reopening in 2007. Owned by Whyte and Mackay there is limited availability of Single Malt under the Tamnavulin label and so it is up to us independent bottlers to source these rare casks and give you a taste of what could be.

Tamnavulin Distillery

A.D. Rattray Tamnavulin 29 Year Old Single Malt aged in a Bourbon Hogshead # 10026 and bottled at the cask strength of 49.4%.

Colour:    Even after 29 years all it can muster is medium gold.

Nose:   Herbal tea infused with Chamomile, Apple, Pear and just a touch of grapefruit.

Palate:    Wow really palate coating and the ABV seems perfect as is. The pear really shows strongly and the pink grapefruit is there sitting right next store.

Finish:   Custard apple, fragrant, sweet and creamy.

This is a delicious older dram and I can hardly get over the mountain of fruity goodness after 29 years in cask. This is what I look for in an older dram and this is also my first time with a Tamnavulin in my glass. I will definitely be looking for more in the future.

On the 24th day of the 3rd edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar we had the Single Cask Nation 28 Year Old Bunnahabhain.

Please head on over and support our Star Wars loving blogger Scotch Trooper.

Tomorrow being Christmas day we head into the realm of 30 Year Old Scotch Whisky. We have covered pretty much every category of Scotch Whisky over the past 4 editions for our final dram except one. Read closely and you will be able to guess the style of tomorrow’s dram. As in all past years the boys at Samaroli continue to hold the coveted spot.

Hope that everyone has some family and friends surrounding them and can share in the love and fun that this time of year brings.

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow on Christmas Day.

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve and happy dramming.



scotch whisky advent calendar, scotch, whisky advent, whisky advent calendar, advent whisky, whisky advent calendar 4th edition, scotch, whisky, secret spirits, #scotch #whiskyadvent #whiskyadventcalendar #whisky

Singlemalting #189 – Day 23 – 4th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – Single Cask Nation – Tormore 21yo

Right down to the very end of our journey now with only 3 drams to go. Today we have the lone expression from our mates at Single Cask Nation. Love the casks that these two guys choose and was excited nonetheless to at least get one special dram from them for out 4th edition.

Today we visit a distillery that is seldom seen outside of independent bottling circles. Tormore is in Speyside as are much of Scotland’s distilleries. We have had some amazing expressions in the past including the magical Tormore from Samaroli way back in the 1st edition.

Tormore Distillery


Tormore sees much of it’s production included in Teacher’s Blended Scotch. There is a 12 year old expression under the Tormore distillery label but only in a few select markets. A relatively young distillery in Scottish terms Tormore has only been operating since 1960.

Single Cask Nation Tormore 21 Year Old Single Malt – Aged in a 2nd fill Bourbon cask number 14211G and bottled at the Cask Strength of 49% exactly.

Colour: Light gold as you would expect from a 2nd fill American Oak Cask.

Nose:    Could it be that the usually heavy hitting Single Cask Nation expressions are leaning towards the Samaroli model? This is a lovely delicate nose of peach blossom, oatmeal and honey.

Palate:   Ahhh here it is the Single Cask Nation signature oily palate coating dram. Wow much bigger and bursting with intense flavor than I thought after that delicate nose. Citrus infusion there for sure with a lightly peppered flourish. The porridge and honey is there with a curl or two of shaved lemon zest garnished on top.

Finish:   Lingers long for 49% and to me feels even weightier than that. All of the above seem to swirl around the tingly ongoing cask strength effect. Started out thinking this could be a small diversion from Single Cask Nations regular MO but it is right in their wheelhouse.

Fantastic dram and any time I have the opportunity to include a Tormore in an edition I will jump at it. Such a rarity to find and such a shame that so much of it just goes into big brand blends.

On day 23 in the 3rd edition we had the Samaroli Peaty 20 Year Old that was our first time having a mostly Highland Park included in the calendar.

Please head over and check out Scotch Troop if you have not already. It has been amazing having him follow along with us for this edition. Can’t wait to see what he has lined up for Christmas Day.

Tomorrow being Christmas Eve we always have something a little special and the folks at A.D. Rattray provided the cask. Let’s just say that with a touch more age it could have been Christmas Day instead.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Christmas Eve

Until then Merry Christmas




Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 22

Singlemalting #188 – Day 22 – 4th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – Samaroli Spey 1995 – Tormore and Alt a Bhainne

Saaaamarolllllliii.. (sung with stage worthy hand gestures and deep bass vocals). Got to love these Italians and their take on Scotch Whisky. Silvano was widely praised as having one of the best palates on earth and with some of their offerings being the best examples of Scotch Whisky I have ever had I would tend to agree.

Today we are getting into a combination of two distilleries.Tormore and Alt A Bhainne We have had Single Malt Expressions of both of these distilleries in previous editions that were both big time favorites with a lot of you. Lets see what happens when Samaroli puts them together. Keeping in mind of course that the Alt A Bhainne in the 3rd edition was only 8 years old and this expression is 21 years.

Samaroli Spey 1995 – 21 year old Blended Malt Scotch Whisky bottled at 45% and non-chill filtered with no added colour.

Colour:   Grassy Gold

Nose:    As per usual with Samaroli it takes time to get into everything that’s going on. Warm up that Spey glass and get your shnoz in there. Floral honeysuckle and lavender blossom with notes of sweet barley and vanilla cream wafers.

Palate:   Spine tingling and a touch tongue tingling as well. “After 8” dark chocolate mints complete with the creamy texture and sweetness. Some baking spices like the tiniest dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Finish:   Keeps evolving with the bed time pillow mint and dark chocolate thread whirling around the continuing spice.

This is a very nice dram especially for those that love a little mystery in their glass and love to spend time unraveling. I found that this one needed even a touch longer than the normal “Samaroli contemplation” which was cool. This is why the vast majority of you do not work through our calendar in just 25 days but prefer to take your time.

This will be available for those lucky few that want it. Just email me as usual and we can sort you out.

On Day 22 in the 3rd edition we had the incredible Adelphi Cambus closed distillery 27 year old Single Grain. Wish I could have had a bottle of that but alas there just wasn’t enough.

Remember to get your Star wars geek on today at Scotch Trooper.

So for tomorrow we are showcasing the single lonely dram in this 4th edition from those naughty boys at Single Cask Nation. They promised me this would be a dram to remember so I cant wait to get stuck in.

Thanks for taking the journey with us so far as we get closer to a special time for many. It is such a pleasure and privilege to be able to share my passion with you.

See you tomorrow





The Romance Continues | Blog #120

Continuing on with their themed festival bottling’s the guys at Jewish Whisky company collaborated with the Westland Distillery in Seattle (very fitting). These festival whiskies have now become very sought after and collectible and with only 150 bottles available of this expression I know it will go fast.

“This whisky was designed as a follow on from the New York Jewbilee Westland Single Malt which was a vatting of 4 casks using 100% Washington Barley, Peated barley and Westlands unique 5 barley mashbill.”

At the time of bottling  for New York Westland filled 100 liters of the vatting into a 1st fill Bourbon cask where it has been aging for a further 9 months bringing all the complexity together. One thing for sure the Jewish whisky company guys really think ahead.

Westland Single Malt – bottled at the cask strength of 58.1% and only 150 bottles available.

Colour:     Deep reddish hue

Nose:     Sweet smoked beef jerky and pipe tobacco, makes me long for a cigar on the deck by the BBQ. A big tray of sugared fruit jellies sits in the background.

Palate:     Soft earthy tones and rich dark chocolate swirl around layers of heavy fruit syrup – the kind you have left over after the jar of preserved peaches are gone. It coats the tongue in the same way and is unctuous and chewy.

Finish:     Lingering on with some glazed pineapple and a touch of ginger along with canned mandarin pieces and the continuous hint of underlying earth.

This is a fabulous dram and shows the Westland distillery as a major contender in the craft distilling stakes in the US.

As those of you know that read my blog regularly I love unique whisky/ey and this is a great example of a small distillery making something with care and attention to detail. A big departure from the Chicago bottling which was really crazy but good this Westland harkens back to a somewhat more traditional single malt composition albeit with a unique combination of different barley.

“If the Jewish whisky company continues to nail these fun festival whiskey’s I will be lining up to get my bottle.”

Next festival is the New York original now in it’s 5th year on the 15th June. If you have the chance make sure you get your tickets early as it is always sold out.

With the Single Cask Nation launching into Canada some insider information from a reliable source mentioned that the new new Jewbilee festival could be held in Alberta in 2018. Stay tuned for more.

Next week we will have a taste of something new to Alberta.

Have a great week!


Timboon Too | Blog # 117

To say that I just had two exciting weeks would be a massive understatement as Cindy and I travelled Scotland, Ireland and Italy to pick whisky and something secret for a new launch this year. Next week, I will let you know all about it, but today I am tasting a whisky that was given to me by a massive whisky fan in Edmonton John Vogrinetz (thanks heaps for the dram). John stumbled into the Timboon distillery on a visit to my homeland and loved the whisky. So ironic that a sample dram comes to me so that I can write about it here in Canada. I will have to make a point of visiting the distillery when I am back in Oz visiting my parents in Victoria.

“The Tim Boon Railway Shed Distillery is located in the small town of Timboon in Victoria Australia. Initially the site of an Ice Cream company called Timboon Fine Ice Cream before the owners diversified into trying their hand at making Single Malt Whisky.”

They have a copper pot 600 litre still that was hand crafted for them by a company in Hobart Tasmania. The Timboon Railway Shed Distillery really brings back some of the history of whisky making in the area as an illicit still ran by Tom Delaney in the 1890’s supplied the locals with “Mountain Dew” before his unfortunate arrest.

Aged in small ex-port casks the Timboon Single Malt has a deep rich colour that belies its younger age.  Bottled at 46% so my guess is that the Timboon Single Malt is not chill filtered. Distilled on the 19 of September 2009 it was bottled on the 28th of September 2015 making it just over 5 years old aged in the considerably warmer climate of Victoria.

Timboon Australian Single Malt Whisky Timboon Australian Single Malt Whisky

Tasted in my trusty Samaroli Whisky glass as I feel that this might be a reasonably delicate dram.

Colour:     A beautiful deep reddish amber and I’m thinking the port cask had extra influence here.

Nose:     Orange blossom with an undercurrent hint of sweet balsamic reduction, dried figs and a deeper blood orange note. Sparkling freshness here and very inviting.

Palate:    Very soft and appealing entrance with orange bitters and a warming tawny note that adds both sweetness and a dark raisin edge. I don’t know what type of Port cask this was aged in but the influence is undeniable.

“The nose is my favorite part of this whisky and it is obviously really well put together in small batches by good people that really care about and love what they do.”

Finish:     Loads going on as that lovely bitterness carries on with swirling grilled orange, apricot and a fading sweetness. The finish is a touch short which could be partly due to me having the sample sitting on the shelf for several months and the fact that it came from a half bottle that had been open for a year.

I will definitely end up with a bottle of this on my back bar as soon as I can get back downunder.

Thanks John for the whisky it is very much appreciated.

Next week we talk a little about our epic whisky hunt this year…


Day 25 Christmas Day – Samaroli Linkwood 1984 | Blog #114

Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for coming along this year for the 2nd edition of our Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar. It’s been a really fun time for Cindy and I, and we hope that you have found new experiences and diversified your palate for this wonderful drink.

As mentioned a few times we (insert I) overspent a little on the whiskies for this edition and one main contributor to that is todays dram from Samaroli. Having been aged for it’s entire life in lightly toasted new American Oak it will be a unique experience for almost all of you.

This is probably the oldest expression available in the market today that has been aged in this way. I am really looking forward to seeing how much vibrant but complex fruit we will find

Linkwood Distillery Linkwood Distillery

Linkwood is a well known distillery owned by whisky giant Diageo. It was founded in 1891 (Linkwood A) and a second distillery was built in 1971 (Linkwood B). Linkwood was closed briefly during the second World War and was again mothballed by Diageo between 1985 and 1990. Today’s whisky comes just before that period and was distilled at Linkwood A. Again like a lot of diageo owned distilleries most of the Linkwood production is used for Johnnie Walker and White Horse along with many other blends that buy it on contract. Apart from the 12 year old in the Fauna and Flora series there are also other releases available under the proprietary Diageo label.

Samaroli Linkwood 1984 – 30 Years Old aged in a new American oak barrel cask number 5297 and bottled at 45% ABV. There is a little confusion over if this is a 31 Year Old whisky. We erred on the side of caution and claimed it as 30.

Day 25 Day 25

Colour:     The lightest 30 year old whisky I have ever seen. Even knowing the background behind the aging process I was still shocked when I first laid eye’s on it. If I was in the bottling hall with knowledge I would be thinking that a mistake was made and a much younger whisky was bottled in it’s place. A mix of 14k and white gold with a bright sparkle.

Nose:     Some subtle smoke, honey glazed pear, a whiff of fresh earthy peat in the background. A zesty quality of organic lemon tart with a dusting of icing sugar. Quince jelly like nana used to make. So much going on here I could just sit here for ages.

Palate:     Underpinned by the softest of peat smoke there is heather which is a floral note of  a most famous Scottish flower over used a lot for Scotch whisky descriptions. One that I seldom write about unless I can truly pick it up which I can here in lovely waves. The wildflower honey and poached pear intertwine with the soft lazy smoke and oh so subtle peat.

Finish:     An underlining of fresh vanilla bean finally gives evidence of the new American oak. The oak treatment is so understated after 30/31 years it still seems so young and fresh. The stamp of aging proof is the depth of layering and complexity. 45% is just right for this whisky sending a blanket of warmth down to the heart. The pear and touch of lemon come back in bursts while the light honey note holds everything together.

Such a delightful whisky and my personal favorite this year. I could just sit and play with this for hours.

Not a dram to be thrown back or consumed after something bold and heavy. If you are lucky enough to get one of only 18 bottles available this is one to keep and savour. My suggestion would be to employ the marble technique (blog #60) to keep this precious bottle for years to come (if you can stand not to drink it faster).

A few bottles went to Denmark and are selling there for about $ 860 CAD. You will find this Samaroli Linkwood for around $ 730.00 here which is a bargain.

Here are the only retailers that have this amazing dram available:


Zyn The Wine Market


Wine and Beyond

Last year on Christmas Day Samaroli again had the throne with their 33 Year Old Blended Malt that was by far the favorite whisky as voted by owners of the 1st edition calendar. You can read all about it here… Blog #57

Joshua Hatton has done an amazing job keeping up with all the blogging for this years edition and Cindy and I want to extend our sincere appreciation for all his hard work (it’s a tough job and someone has to do it and Joshua did it extremely well). You can read his last blog on this years edition HERE

Along with your wax dipped custom bottle of Linkwood you will all have found a wee little Christmas card. Please jump in and vote for your favorite 3 whiskies for a chance to win a 3rd edition calendar.

Last year in the 1st Edition every single whisky in the calendar was voted as somebody’s favourite. I cannot receive any more thanks than that knowing that there was a taste for everyone.

Thank you all so much for supporting our tiny little company, Secret Spirits. Cindy and I are already planning for the 3rd edition and will be in Scotland early February working through the arduous task of tasting the potential line up.

It has been an honor and pleasure bringing this experience to you again this year. Cindy and I both wish you and your family the very best this Christmas season and into what we hope will be an amazing 2016 for everyone.

As we did at the launch party, we raise our glasses and toast Christmas day and the journey’s end of the 2nd edition.


Jonathan and Cindy

Day 24 – Wemyss Malts Old Spiced Balm Dailuaine 1983 | BLOG #113

Welcome to Christmas Eve. The most exciting day of the year when I was young (still is).

Gathering around the tree and taking in the beautifully wrapped presents and spending time with the family. Growing up in Australia I experienced a very different Christmas from most of you. Playing cricket in the back yard and testing out the new bat with my brother. Heading down to the beach on a new bike. Off to Nana’s place for Christmas dinner with her famous pudding and home made custard. When we stayed home for Christmas dinner Mum’s pudding (learned from nana) was something really special. Made the year before it hung in the dark pantry the whole year waiting for Christmas day. My brother and I couldn’t wait and always had seconds with lashings of custard. I can remember barely being able to move after Christmas dinner was done.

Christmas is a special time of year as long as we keep sight of what is most important in life.

Whisky (one definite important part) is what we are looking for behind door number 24. Dailuaine is a Speyside Distillery that was founded in 1852 and changed hands numerous times even going through a 3 year closure due to the pagoda roof catching fire. In 1987 it was purchased by United Distillers (Diageo).

Dailuaine Distillery Dailuaine Distillery

In 2005 only 2% of the production at Dailuaine was kept for Single Malt bottling. Certainly very rare to find this is the first cask I have ever even seen available in over 10 years of working with independent bottlers. The bulk of the Dailuaine production goes to Johnnie Walker.

Wemyss Old Spiced Balm Dailuaine 1983 – 29 Year Old Single Malt bottled at an ABV of 46% and aged in a Bourbon Hogshead cask # 4339.

Wemyss Malts Old Spiced Balm Whisky Wemyss Malts Old Spiced Balm Whisky

Colour:     Polished gold

Nose:     Should we be engaging in any number of back to back manly activities as we sniff this? I can picture the Old Spice guy complete with ripped 6 pack holding a glass of this aloft. More so than usual I have been all over the descriptive names Wemyss have come up with in this edition. Spicy, perfumey, balmy. Walking into a spice shop with open racks of exotic spices. Candle Wax and wood polish. Hints of dried tropical fruits like banana and papaya.

Palate:     Spice cupboard medley with mouth coating fullness. Only age does this to a whisky. This is my first Dailuaine and I like where this is going. There is a little citrus wood polish element to it after it has been soaked into old hardwood. A background note of eucalypt makes me miss being home on Christmas Eve.

Finish:     A really nice 46% tingle that hits the roof of my mouth especially. Long and developing into clove and linseed Oil (I use it to oil my cricket bats).

Delicious old whisky that is extremely rare. It’s a pity Diageo only release a bottling about every 10 years. I would be interested to try more from this distillery. I wonder what a younger Dailuaine would bring to the table.

Joshua gives us his insights HERE

Last year on Christmas Eve in the 1st edition we enjoyed a heavily sherried A.D. Rattray Bowmore 1999 14 Year Old Blog #56

If you would like one of the only 24 bottles available then hurry out to these retailers:


Coop Wine Spirits Beer

Zyn The Wine Market


Wine & Beyond

Well tomorrow Christmas is finally here and the last day of our whisky journey. We have saved something really special from our friends at Samaroli for tomorrow. I promise you a treat you will not soon forget.

I hope tomorrow brings warm feelings of love and appreciation for those you care most about.

Merry Christmas!

Day 22 – Malt Whisky Company Tobermory 1994 | Blog #111

Welcome to the 5th whisky in our 8 day 20 year old + countdown to Christmas.

Tobermory Distillery Tobermory Distillery

Off to the Islands today with a whisky from the Tobermory Distillery on the Isle of Mull. Formally all whisky produced by this Distillery was called Ledaig (le-cheg). Now only the small amount of peated whisky released by Tobermory is given the Ledaig label. It was founded in 1798 and changed hands many times over the years including during the decline in whisky sales in the 80’s having all the warehousing sold off to be developed into apartments. Whisky is no longer aged at the distillery. Now owned by the Distell group of South Africa it remains the only distillery on Mull.

The Malt Whisky Company owned by Stuart Nickerson was originally only going to release whiskies that were 20 years and over. We snuck in a few under that for this edition and now get to taste something that Stuart had planned all along.

Malt Whisky Company Tobermory 1994 21 Year Old – Aged in a Bourbon Hogshead then transferred to and finished in an Oloroso Sherry Hogshead. Cask # 13 (which would have been the sherry). Bottled at a cask strength of 57.3% ABV.

Colour:     A little deeper tarnished gold look to it. The Sherry cask did not really impact with a ton of colour. I’m not sure how long it spent “finishing” in the Oloroso.

Nose:     Sherry influence here, warm forest berry compote and dried prunes. A waft of sea salt and white pepper.

Palate:     Full and complex right off the bat, some rich sherry flourishes of dried red fruit potpourri underpinned by creamy dark/milk chocolate blend. A little like the Swiss Milka brand of chocolate so creamy and melt in your mouth that once you opened a bar it was history. Not really get much in the way of that saltiness anymore.

Finish:     Drier than I would have expected from an Oloroso cask finish but very long and warming at cask strength. The fruit and creamy chocolate stay and run to the finish line.

Water:     Just a few drops and soft oh so softly she goes. The berry fruits sweeten up a touch and seem more like slightly over ripe rather than dried. The creaminess is there even more and the mouth melting chocolate note is more milk chocolate now than dark. The finish still lingers long with that peppery touch coming in right at the end. For me this one is perfect with the addition of water.


Good work again Stuart on a delicious cask from the Islands.

** Joshua Hatton give us his thoughts HERE

You can find one of the 60 bottles of this sherry infused Tobermory at the following retailers:


Coop Wine Spirits Beer

Zyn The Wine Market


Wine & Beyond

Vines of Riverbend

Bin 104

Interesting that on this day last year in the first edition we also visited the Islands with the 1992 Samaroli Sherry Glen Scotia in this blog #54

Tomorrow we are off to our last stop on another island that has it’s own region. I am really looking forward to it.

See you then…


Day 20 – Wemyss Malts Aromatic Orange Tobacco Glenrothes 1988 | Blog #109

Here we are with our second comparison tasting of the calendar. You will remember back to day 11 and blog # 100 where we tasted the Glenrothes Kumquat Cluster. Well today we have an older Single Cask Glenrothes (sherry butt).

Given how rare Glenrothes is as an independent bottled expression I did not think when looking for 2 distilleries that we could use for double up comparison that this would be on the cards. Let alone both over 20 years old. Don’t know if you have any left or if you took notes on the Kumquat Cluster but it will be interesting to compare the two.

I already delved into the background of the distillery in blog 100 so lets just get stuck into the whisky. I must say given the name this was a whisky that I was really excited about (love a nice cigar).

Wemyss Malts Aromatic Orange Tobacco Glenrothes 1988 – 25 Years Old aged in a sherry butt cask # 420. Bottled at 46% ABV.

Colour:     Rich amber

Nose:     Aromatic…check, Orange….check, Tobacco…check. OK now that we have established that I agree wholeheartedly with the Wemyss team lets see if I can delve a little deeper. Reminds me of a Cognac barrel aged cigar I had last year. The Cognac residue really infused the cigar with hints of burnt caramelized orange. It was a medium bodied cigar and smelt inviting and amazing just like this whisky. An old wood crate full of mandarins. The old wood crate could be the sherry note chiming in but it is very subtle. I would think second fill cask used here. Good descriptive would be an old humidor.

Palate:     Viscous mouth feel like orange infused olive oil, plenty of rich citrus here and all deep, dark and condensed like reduction sauce. Some light peppery notes and very soft delivery. Feels like 40% not 46%.

Finish:     Continuing softly with lingering grilled rind with barely a touch of zest left. The easy tobacco is there as more of an earthy note.

Great after dinner dram. I would like to try this with a light bodied aged cigar. Delicate here was achieved by age and a sherry cask that did not overpower. Could definitely chill by the fire and coax an hour or two of enjoyment out of this one.

Joshua Hatton give us his thoughts HERE

Last year on this day in the 1st edition we tasted the Samaroli Glentauchers 1996 in blog #52

If you want a bottle of this then you had better hurry as only 6 came to Canada.

**They can be found only at the Wine and Beyond stores in Edmonton. (Sorry Calgary)

Well that was a treat and the oldest whisky so far. Tomorrow we head back to A.D. Rattray for a single cask of what was the most popular distillery in the 1st edition.

Until then, hope your Christmas plans are coming together.