Monday, December 24, 2012


Sigrid bought me an unusual Advent calendar - a whisky Advent calendar from Scotland. Twenty-four bottles, each holding 30 ml of a different whisky.

December 1: Springbank 10 year old. I've had it before, but it's more peaty than I remember.

December 2: Auchentoshan Classic. Clean and simple - a good introduction to the world of single malts.

December 3: Caol Ila 12. An old favorite. First tried this as a less expensive replacement for Lagavulin.

December 4: Highland Park 18. Another favorite - peaty but not overpowering, with some sweetness.

December 5: Johnny Walker Blue. A great blend.

December 6: Balvenie Single Barrel 15 year old. Sweet, and a bit strong. Doesn't have the wood-notes from the Balvenie releases I'm used to.

December 7: Glengoyne 12 year old. Classic Highland, done very well.

December 8: Aultmore 5 year old Single Cask. 130 proof!

December 9: Glenrothes Select Reserve. To the right is the bottle of Glenrothes Select Reserve from our bar.

December 10: Black Bull Special Reserve No 1. 50/50 malted/grain whisky, which is more malt than in a typical blend.

December 11: Longmorn 16. A lovely Speyside whisky.

December 12: Macallan 21. Sweet memories - some Google colleagues bought me a bottle of this when I left.

December 13: Connemara Peated Cask Strength. Irish!

December 14: Jameson 18 Limited Reserve. Another Irish.

December 15: Bunnahabhain 12. An Islay whisky, but strangely unpeaty.

December 16: Aberlour 18. Speyside.

December 17: Tobermory 10. Isle of Mull.

December 18: Glenisla 34-year 1977 (Signatory cask strength). Now closed, Glenisla used to be owned by Chivas, and largely was used for Chivas blends. They occasionally turned out a special single malt, typically in a peatier style, and this is from such a cask, distilled in 1977 and bottled last year after 34 years of aging. Peaty but sensible rather than overpowering, with some floral notes and some vanilla. Pretty interesting stuff. You can buy a bottle... for about $250-$300.

December 19: Isle of Skye 8. A blend.

December 20: Ledaig 10 year old. You could argue this is a repeat of the 17th (Tobermory 10), because Ledaig is another name for the Tobermory distillery. But it tastes totally different! Reminds me of Lephroaig 12.

December 21: Pikesville Straight Rye. A rye! From Maryland! If I had more, I'd have made a Manhattan.

December 22: Laphroaig Cairdeas Origin. Cairdeas is Gaelic for friendship. If you like Laphroaig, you'll like this.

December 23: Glendronach 15 Revival. Sherried Speyside. Sweet, nutty.

December 24: North British 50 (1962 Director's Cut, Douglas Laing). A grain whisky. Powerful (that's the 114 proof talking), sweet start with a bit of almond and maybe some dried orange peel, with a woodsy/pine finish. North British is in Edinburgh. The more I sit with it, the more the wood comes through. Runs around $500 (!) for a full bottle.

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