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Whisky Advent Calendar

I bought the Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar this year, and it’s amazing. Each day, I’ll update this post with the one I’ve tasted. Twenty-four drams of deliciousness.

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Here we go!

dsc_03891 Dec: The Lost Distilleries Blend Batch 8 from the Blended Whisky Company, blended scotch whisky, 53.1%

Maybe it’s the season, but the nose of this was caramel and eggnog to me. Deliciousness. It was a really nice fruity taste with an ideal peatiness (which, in my book, is not much). The taste that lingered was a little herbal , maybe sage. This was the first blended whisky I’ve deliberately tried, and it was quite pleasant. 8/10

 

dsc_03912 Dec: Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera, single malt scotch whisky, 40%

This smelled strongly of apple juice with hints of peach. The taste was cinnamon, with a finish of leather. It’s similar to the scotch I normally drink, so I didn’t think it was particularly special, but it was really nice. 5/10

 

dsc_03933 Dec: Kilchoman Machir Bay, single malt scotch whisky, 46%

Peaty scotches are just not my thing. I mean, that blended one from the 1st was really good with just a hint of peatiness, but this was a little too much. It had a nose of pineapple and campfire, and it tasted and finished like hot tar. It wasn’t terrible (I mean, hot tar isn’t an awful smell), just not my taste. 3/10

 

4 Dec: Wolfburn, single malt scotch whisky, 46%

This was a very nice scotch. Bright citrusy nose with a taste of cherry jolly rancher and something dark, maybe chocolate. Just a hint of peatiness, which was really delightful. 6/10

5 Dec: Mackmyra Svensk Ek, Swedish single malt whisky, 46.1%

Wow, I liked this one a lot. The nose was vanilla and lemon, and it tasted of bananas and graham crackers. Can you feel that warmth? It was like wrapping up in a down comforter on a cold night. 8/10

6 Dec: Rock Oyster, blended malt scotch whisky, 46.8%

Apparently, I need to drink more blended scotches. This one had a nose of mandarin orange and salt, and a taste of chipotle peppers and wood. A little smokier than my taste, but really nice all the same. 6/10

7 Dec: The Dalmore 12 Year Old, single malt scotch whisky, 40%

I was surprised at how strong the smell of this was in comparison to the taste. And a little disappointed, I guess. The dark color had me excited. The nose was burnt caramel, the taste was old book, and the finish was totally tobacco. I’m not quite sure what I think of this one. Probably not one I’ll seek out. 4/10

8 Dec: Lagavulin 16 Year Old, single malt scotch whisky, 43%

This one smells like being on a farm, with a hint of grass. The palate is coffee and dirt. The peat is really strong. And the finish isn’t very pleasant. I like sweeter scotches, ones that are less earthy and less smoky. 2/10

 

 

9 Dec: Old Perth Sherry Cask Blended Malt, blended malt scotch whisky, 43%

This was pretty pleasant. Nose of raisin and maple syrup, palate of fresh spinach and fruitcake, finish of raw silk (I do love the smell of silk). It was quite smooth, and I liked the boldness of the flavors. They meshed well and seemed pretty distinct. 5/10

10 Dec: Teeling Whiskey Single Malt, single malt Irish whiskey, 46%

An Irish whiskey this time! Nose of green apple and… chocolate? Palate is very floral, and the finish is almost like a berry, though I can’t pick it out. I consider myself a scotch girl, but this was quite delicious. 6/10

11 Dec: Evan Williams Bourbon Extra Aged, Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, 43%

Bourbons are a little rough around the edges. This one had a nose of wood (obviously), honey, and nail polish remover, and it tasted of vanilla and caramel. It tasted like… bourbon. This one might be better as a mixer, though it wasn’t unpleasant. 3/10

12 Dec: Tomatin 14 Year Old Port Wood Finish, single malt scotch whisky, 46%

Maybe because my first favorite scotch was a ruby cask one, this tastes to me just how scotch should taste, but there is nothing distinctive or outstanding about it for the same reason. It’s just how scotch should taste, right? Nose of honey and dark cherry, palate of vanilla and cinnamon, finish of fermented berries. It’s kind of like an unembellished ideal for me. 7/10

I’m halfway through now. It’s been a fun experiment, though I’m not sure I’ll need to do it again. I thought I was a scotch girl, and I enjoy it, even drinking it every day, but I find that I’m running out of words to describe the scents and flavors. I don’t know what that says about me as a scotch aficionado. I’ve been surprised that I liked the blended scotches as much as I did, though it makes sense if I think about it: if there is a person who is skilled at blending the flavors, the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. I’m excited for the second half of this calendar. It’s been great!

13 Dec: Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old, single malt scotch whisky, 40%

Perfectly pleasant. Nose of yeast and grapes and cake, palate of wood, vanilla, and chocolate, and a finish of yeast again. Very nice scotch, though not outstanding. 5/10

14 Dec: That Boutique-y Whisky Company Invergordon 25 Year Old – Batch 9, single grain scotch whisky, 49.8%

I liked this one, but it didn’t seem “old”. The nose was of raspberry and coffee, and the palate was banana (maybe) and gingerbread. The herbs lasted into the finish. I’m not sure I know what age is supposed to do anymore – smooth it out? This didn’t seem much smoother than yesterday’s. 5/10

15 Dec: Glengoyne 12 Year Old, single malt scotch whisky, 43%

This one was a lot sweeter than I expected. It had a nose of apple and creme brulee, a palate of pound cake, and a finish of toffee. 5/10

16 Dec: Glenfarclas 21 Year Old, single malt scotch whisky, 43%

This was very very smooth. Nose of lemon and rose hips, palate had hints of fruit, and the finish was tobacco. This was quite pleasant. I do enjoy the fruity, floral ones. 7/10

17 Dec: KaVaLan Concertmaster Port Cask Finish, single malt whisky, 40%

A Taiwanese whisky this time! I quite enjoyed this one. The nose was of blackberry and maple syrup, the palate of jam, brown sugar, and vanilla, and the finish of tobacco again. This seems like a great scotch to drink while smoking a cigar. 7/10

18 Dec: Oban Little Bay, single malt scotch whisky, 43%

Not very smooth, but quite nice anyway. Nose of cherry and vanilla, palate of coffee and salt (just a little), finish of orange. Not getting to the Oban distillery was a disappointment on our trip. 6/10

19 Dec: English Whisky Co. 5 Year Old – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company), single malt English whisky, 49.5%

This was pretty raw and rough, though maybe it’s the higher alcohol content. Citrus nose, palate of ginger and chili, hints of smokiness. Adding water to this didn’t really smooth anything out. It was just… okay. 3/10

20 Dec: Fettercairn Fasque, single malt scotch whisky, 42%

Great name for a scotch. 🙂 Nose of dried cranberries and grass, palate of chocolate and coffee, and finish of vanilla and cinnamon. Pretty good! 5/10

21 Dec: Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask, single malt scotch whisky, 40%

This was a really nice scotch. It had a nose of apricot or some other stone fruit, a palate of honey and vanilla, and the finish was very woody. Quite pleasant. 6/10

22 Dec: Buffalo Trace, Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, 40%

Bourbons are fun but a little raw. This one had a nose of lemon and caramel, a palate of charred wood, vanilla, and cinnamon, and a finish of spices. This was a nice bourbon, one I may actually want to keep around. 6/10

23 Dec: Highland Park 12 Year Old, single malt scotch whisky, 40%

This one smells like fruitcake. Fitting, for the season. Hint of smokiness in the palate, with a lot more depth than I expected, tastes of vanilla and… forest. Finish of wood. Decent scotch, not my favorite of the month. 5/10

24 Dec: The Blended Whisky Company Half-Century Blend Batch 1 Aged over 50 years, blended scotch whisky, 45.5%

Last one! This one seemed really rich. A very nice nose of dried cherries, walnuts, and chocolate, palate of vanilla and toffee, finish of spices and stone fruits. Really nice, but honestly, I can’t tell much difference between a 50-year and an 18-year. 8/10

In summation, I’m glad I got to do this, but I don’t think I need to do it again. It wasn’t quite worth the cost of shipping it all the way from the UK just to try a bunch of different whiskies. I’m thinking Twelve Days of Christmas Wine next year. 🙂

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