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Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar

Singlemalting # 179 – Day 13 – 4th edition SWAC – Shetland Reel Batch 3

Some of you will remember the Batch # 1 Shetland Reel from the 3rd edition calendar. It was a superbly put together blended malt by industry legend Stuart Nickerson. I just had to check out this years limited edition batch and see what he had in store for us.

Saxa Vord Distillery Unst

Carefully chosen from distilleries all over the mainland the casks are shipped up to Unst in the northernmost island in the Shetland chain. There Stuart creates a unique combination of Single Malts and ages them together for another year before release. Stuart tells me that this batch has single malt from Islay, Speyside and the Highlands.

Shetland Reel Blended Malt Scotch Whisky – ABV 46% no caramel colouring or chill filtration

Colour:   Pale Straw

Nose:    Salty and sweet like salted caramel squares.

Palate:    The salty caramel continues on with smoky undertones and hints of earthy rubber.

Finish:   The peat base slowly asserts itself and my guess would be that Stuart included a fair amount of Islay in this combo. The sweetness of the salted caramel is more of a memory now but the briny hints remain. Feels bigger than 46% and really packs a punch. This is the boldest Shetland Reel batch yet.

Absolutely love good blended malt and would highly recommend that everyone try as many as they can get their lips on.

On day 13 in the 3rd edition we had the A.D. Rattray Auchroisk 25 Year Old.

Lets check out what Scotch Trooper is up to today. I hope you checked out his Christmas Tree yesterday. I personally think he is having way too much fun.

Tomorrow we are getting our older whisky geek going with an offering from A.D. Rattray with another distillery making it’s debut in any edition.

I look forward to your company tomorrow until then enjoy family and friends and all the amazing opportunities and blessings that you have.



40 Year Old ‘Spring Water’ Lands on my Doorstep | Blog #26

One of the absolutely fabulous things about being in this line of work is getting little parcels on the front doorstep and occasionally finding a very rare package in the mail that ran the Canada Post gauntlet and survived.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive one such parcel with a wee bottle of something extremely special inside.

Before we get onto the whisky a little background is in order.

What do you do when you have successfully taken a distillery that was closed for over two decades and rebuilt it, made it profitable then sold it off all within the space of 5 years? The answer is take a well deserved break and plan your next whisky empire. Stuart Nickerson was the man at the helm of the Glenglassaugh revival and is now starting several new ventures that whisky lovers should well pay attention to.

The first venture and the company behind the wee bottle of whisky that will be reviewed shortly is the Malt Whisky Company. A new independent bottler, The Malt Whisky Company will be releasing a very limited number of single casks each year.

Launching this Christmas their first cask is naturally Glenglassaugh which is near and dear to Stuart’s heart. At 40 years of age and hanging on at the cask strength volume of 41.5% this cask was specifically chosen by Stuart to showcase his new company.

Glenglassaugh 40 year old Highland Single Malt – Cask Number 37606 – 298 Bottles. Distilled in December 1973 and bottled last month. This whisky was originally aged in a refill sherry hogshead until 3 years ago when it was re-racked into a first fill sherry.

Tasted in a Willow Park Reidel Whisky Glass.

Nose:     Ttttttttttttropical Fruit basket…. hmm let me see what’s in there, guava, passionfruit, papaya and just a hint of coconut. This is a very inviting nose and I have to say that given this is a 40 year old Glenglassaugh personally chosen by Stuart my expectations are pretty high.

Taste:     Soft enveloping palate with floral notes like a Hawaiian Lei with a rich vein of candied papaya, this evolves into a sweet and spicy vanilla cinnamon creaminess. The finish lingers on and continues some delicate twists and turns leaving a lovely afterglow. This is one nice whisky and the 41.5% does not need even the tiniest drop of water. So balanced, this is an awesome dram.

I have in the past talked about older whiskies and the fact that they are invariably always expensive but not always worth it.

What I look for in an older whisky is some of that youthful fruit balanced with the complexity that only age and great barrels can bring.

This definitely has it all in spades. A ton of fruit for such an old whisky and the softness and balance is exquisite.

Good work Stuart this is a great start to The Malt Whisky Company library.

So leading on from this is another interesting twist in the History of whisky in Scotland. Stuart is heading up the opening of a new distillery. The Shetland Distillery Company is the Northernmost Distillery in Scotland in the remote town of Haroldswick on the northern tip of Unst. Initially releasing Shetland Reel Gin Stuart estimates Whisky production to begin sometime within the next 12 months when the Whisky still arrives.

Given the cold and storm lashed coast in this part of the world, the whisky be will tortured by the elements before finding its way to Canadian retail shelves.

I look forward to visiting the Shetland Islands at some point and hanging out at the one available bar on Unst for a celebratory pint with Stuart.

Well done mate!