Whisky Advent: part 2

December 5th: Blue Hanger, 8th Release

This Blue Hanger is the only blend on the calendar, but this is an unusual blend so I am making an exception. This 8th release is a 21 year old blend, bottled by Berry Bros. & Rudd. It is named after William Hanger, the 3rd Lord Coleraine, a loyal customer of Berry Bros. & Rudd during the late 18th century. He was renowned for the striking blue clothes he wore and gained the soubriquet, "Blue Hanger".

It is bottled at 45.6% ABV, with natural colouring and it is not chill filtered. It is exclusive to The Whisky Shop.

Tasting notes: Orange peel, vanilla, caramel. With a little bit of salt and smoke.

December 6th: Springbank 12 Green

As this month's whisky of the month, I went to my favourite whisky shop in London, Cadenhead's. They are best known for their single cask whiskies, and indeed many of the whiskies on this advent calendar come from them.

This Springbank 12 Green whisky is not a single cask whisky. But it is a very new whisky. So new, that I couldn't find it through Google yet. The label on the bottle says it's one out of 9000 bottles. It is called "Green" because it is distilled from organic barley.

It is matured entirely in bourbon casks and bottled at 46% ABV. The result is creamy and sweet with classic Springbank peatiness giving depth and a hint of coastal air.

Tasting notes: Very pale. Sweet fruits and a little bit peaty. The whisky lingers quite long with peat and a hint of sherry.

December 7th: Single Cask Ardmore 16

Tonight's dram is 16 years old, distilled in 1996 by Ardmore and bottled in

2012. It is one of 315 bottles from a refill Hogshead, selected by Douglas Laing. It forms part of Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range, and is now sold out.

Tasting notes: As an Ardmore it is quite peaty, with barley and all spice flavours. Spices, smoke and peppers are its overtones. There are hints of wood in the aftertaste.

December 8th: anCnoc 22

A typical winter warmer from anCnoc. It is 22 years old, and as usual in a natural colour and non-chill filtered. It is a standard whisky, made from many different casks - but aged in both ex-bourbon casks and ex-sherry butts.

Tasting notes: Honey, sweet and a few hints of all spice. A bit like Christmas cake. There is also a hint of smoke, and the whisky is general full of flavours. The finish is spicy.

December 9th: Glenburgie 1994

This 17 year old whisky is distilled by Glenburgie, and bottled by Gordon & MacPhail in 2012. It is specifically bottled for La Maison du Whisky in Paris, not far from Métro station Madeleine. It is in Paris that I bought this whisky when I was there for Forum PHP last year. La Maison du Whisky is in my opinion the best whisky shop outside of Scotland, and Cadenhead's in London.

As is common to many of my whiskies, this is again a non-chill filtered natural colour single cask whisky—cask 10055 in case you care. It is 45% ABV and matured in 1st fill sherry butts.

Tasting notes: The colour is slight red, and it is slightly oily on the tongue. Hints of caramel and honey, but more stronger spices such as cardamom and cloves. The after taste is a little bit zesty, and has hints of oak.

December 10th: Tomintoul 16

I spoke at Glasgow PHP this evening, which meant that I couldn't do my regular bottle and a glass approach. I had to do with a miniature of a Tomintoul 16 that I had brought along. The organisers were so kind to gift me a bottle of Auchentoshan American Oak though, but I am saving that for an upcoming night.

Tasting notes: Overall quite bland, and I didn't pick out too many flavours. It's a bit fruity sweet, but the flavour doesn't linger and in a few seconds I had forgotten about it at all.

December 11th: Mannochmore 12

This latest whisky comes from the Mannochmore distillery, which produces for twelve months and then has a break of twelve months alternating with the nearby Glenlossie distillery, with which it shares the employees. A rather unusual arrangement if you ask me.

In one of the years, they did manage to distill the spirits that now end up as the Mannochmore 12, which I am enjoying tonight. It is part of Diageo's Flora and Fauna range.

Tasting notes: Honey and a hint of pepper? There is quite a lot of flavours coming into play after a while. And even a hint of ginger in the long lingering finish.

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