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Whisky Advent: part 3

December 12th: Auchentoshan American Oak

Tonight's dram is an Auchentoshan American Oak. It's from a bottle that I received as a gift for speaking at Glasgow PHP. Thanks! This Auchentoshan does not have an age statement, giving the bottlers a bit more freedom in which ages of barrels they use to blend with. It is possible that whiskies as young as three years are part of this "blend". This specific whisky is aged in first-fill Bourbon casks. Unlike many other whiskies on this calendar, it is both chill filtered and coloured.

Tasting notes: Over ripe fruits, oak, and a sour grapefruit finish. It's a little bland, and it has a short finish. It's still quite enjoyable.

Morag says: Slightly sharp nose, a little bit like vanilla. Not the smoothest with a hint of roughness. Short finish. Tastes like cardboard (or woody). Does not compare well to the Three Wood.

December 13th: Cadenhead's Glen Moray 21 year old

Another dram from Cadenhead's. It is a 21 year old whisky, distilled in 1992. It is part of their Wine Cask range and as usual, it is non-chill filtered and no colouring has been added. The 1992 CA is bottled at 55.4% ABV cask strength. A little curious is that the distillery on the label is Glen Moray-Glenlivet — the "Glenlivet" addition is not often seen anymore. There were only 216, and I'm afraid they are all sold out.

Tasting notes: It does need a drop of water to bring out some flavours—at 55.4% it is just a little bit too strong. Hints of sweeter wine, and cake. Perhaps a hint of aniseed and a finish of medicinal herbs. I'm not quite sure what to make of it really.

December 14th: Single Cask Aberlour 22 years old

I recently found the Whiskybase online, and noticed its extensive list of available whiskies. However, the whisky I had tonight was not known to them yet. I have since then added it.

The whisky is a 22 year old, single cask, cask strength whisky bottled by Speciality Drinks . This casks rendered 250 bottles and at 54.1% ABV it is a bit on the stronger side, and needs a little bit of water. I bought it at the Whisky Exchange as the bottle of the month1 for July. Interestingly the label on my bottle is different than what they have on their site.

Tasting notes: It is a very clear whisky. I taste hints of apple and cream. And with more than a hint of toffee. It lingers quite long with a hint of more toffee.

December 15th: Mortlach Càrn Mòr Strictly Limited

Tonight's dram is a whisky from the Mortlach distillery. Another whisky that the Whiskybase did not have! Or rather, I thought so. The search engine insisted that I spelled it "Mortlach Càrn Mòr" and wouldn't find it if I used "Carn Mor" :-/

This whisky is not from a single cask, but rather from two casks yielding 652 bottles. The whisky is non-chill filtered and has no colouring added. It is bottled at 46% ABV by Morrison and MacKay for their Strictly Limited range. The "two" whiskies are at least 16 years old and aged in Hogshead casks.

Tasting notes: Smooth and creamy honey on the tongue. Light summer fruits and caramel after taste. Could do with a few drops of water to make the flavours come out more.

December 16th: Millstone 1999 from Milroy's

The first non Scottish whisky in this calendar. Tonight we have a Dutch whisky, distilled in 1999 by Zuidam Distillery, and bottled by Milroy's of Soho in 2013. This Millstone 1999 is one of 271 bottles of a 14 year old single cask whisky matured in Sherry Casks. It is 46% ABV and again, non-chill filtered and it does not have colouring added. The whisky itself is quite dark of colour, rather like a sherry.

Tasting notes: Raisins, cinnamon, and a sweet sherry. The medium to longer finish is a bit oily and has a hint of oak and cherries.

December 17th: Yamazaki 18

This Yamazaki 18 from Suntory distillery is another non-Scottish whisky. As the name might hint at, this is Japanese. Some people might frown upon that, but "annoyingly", the Japanese actually make very good whiskies. This one, the Yamazaki is one of my favourites, but it does not come cheap. Luckily, it was given to me as a gift for my work on Xdebug. Since this Yamazaki 18, I've had another whisky, the Hakushu Distiller's Reserve that I actually like better. But that's empty.

Tasting notes: Very dark of colour. A little oily on the palette. Bubblegum, apricot and sweet fruits, a few herbs and spices. Fruits and woody flavours in the aftertaste that lingers quite a bit.

December 18th: Imperial 1994

This Imperial 1994 is bottled by Gordon & MacPhail as part of their Distillery Labels range. It is a first fill sherry butt and refill American hogshead. As the name suggests, it was distilled in 1994. The Imperial distillery is now closed though. This whisky was bottled in 2012 making it 18 years old. It is 43% ABV.

Tasting notes: Smells sweet, fruity and nutty. Smooth on the palette and vanilla, pepper and some tropical fruits in the aftertaste.


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  • 1

    The "bottle of the month" is a longer running project. I will blog about that at some point later.

  • 2

    The "bottle of the month" is a longer running project. I will blog about that at some point later.