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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Jonathan – taster of secrets