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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 14: Balvenie 12 YO Single Barrel

by Whisky Santa     14. December 2014 00:00

Balvenie 12 Year Old Single Barrel First Fill

Day 14 is upon us, which means two things...

1) We're 10 days away from Christmas. This could either instil joy or fear into your heart, dependent on whether you've figured out what gifts you're going to get everyone. (By the way, do you think the reindeer will mind getting a hamper full of carrots for the 18th year running?)

2) Behind the window of your Whisky Advent Calendars today, you'll be finding a delicious dram of IWSC Trophy-winning Balvenie 12 Year Old Single Barrel - First Fill! A superb single malt from the spectacular Speyside distillery, matured in first fill bourbon casks, with each bottle being one of no more than 300 drawn from a single cask. Top quality mince pie accompaniment, this is.

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 13: Paul John Edited

by Whisky Santa     13. December 2014 00:00

Paul John Edited

Indian single malt, eh? Something you may or may not have tried before, but as a man of the world I can assure you that top quality whisky is now being produced across the globe! The Paul John you'll find in the Whisky Advent Calendar today is produced in Goa, India by John Distilleries and their master distiller, Michael John (amusingly, no relation).

Their Edited expression is made using whiskies produced from both Indian 6-row barley from the Himalayan foothills and peated barley from Scotland, with the final single malt containing 15% of the peated spirit. It's matured in bourbon casks for probably around 3-5 years but, as with fellow Indian whisky Amrut, the tropical climate causes greater evaporation (around 12-13% a year compared to 'only' 2% or so in Scotland). This in turn means they effectively mature faster and even if there's no real substitute for time, the results are darned impressive!

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 12: Monkey Shoulder

by Whisky Santa     12. December 2014 00:00

Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

On the Twelfth Night ye shalt discover a fabulous, unpretentious blended malt in your Whisky Advent Calendar. Why it's Monkey Shoulder, of course: "Better a witty fool than a foolish wit"!

Why is it called Monkey Shoulder, you ask? Well, back in what you refer to as 'the old days', maltmen turned the barley by hand - a very labour-intensive job. With the strenuous work and long hours these chaps undertook, they ended up with a bit of a hunch, known as 'Monkey Shoulder'. I end up with something similar on Boxing Day after carrying around my heavy sa... my heavy bag of presents all night. Luckily I get a year to rest up afterwards!

Made exclusively with malt whiskies from William Grant's three Speyside distilleries (Glenfiddich, Balvenie & Kininvie), Monkey Shoulder's matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks and married for three-to-six months. It's a lovely treat served neat, with ice or indeed in cocktails.

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 11: Glenfiddich 18 Year Old

by Whisky Santa     11. December 2014 00:00

Glenfiddich 18 Year Old

Behind the eleventh window of your Whisky Advent Calendars you'll find a very famous name: Glenfiddich. It's famous because it's the world's best-selling single malt and the one that basically created the modern single malt category back in 1963! Some whisky drinkers tend to overlook whiskies from the top-selling distilleries, although it's often fun to see the same whisky drinkers try a couple of them! (All the better if they do so blind!)

Today, we have the pleasure of Glenfiddich 18 Year Old, the full bottle of which has received some fancy new packaging recently. Could be the perfect time to pick up a bottle (with some added treats below...) or else try and win yourself one...

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 10: Glen Garioch Founder's Reserve

by Whisky Santa     10. December 2014 00:00

Glen Garioch 1797 Founder's Reserve

"Behind window 10 you'll find Glen Garioch, a dram that's sure to make you cheery." Now, if that rhymed then well done, you're pronouncing Glen Garioch correctly and David Mitchell won't have to shoot you.

It should come as no surprise that I'm rather more jovial and benevolent than Mitchell & Webb's Grammar Nazi character when it comes to the sometimes tricky names that pop up in the whisky world though. I'm all about education rather than snobbery, so yes: simply say "Glen Geery" and you've got it. The taste is much more important than the name anyway, and this is a traditional highland single malt treat bottled at 48% without chill-filtration.

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 9: Auchentoshan Three Wood

by Whisky Santa     9. December 2014 00:00

Auchentoshan Three Wood

They say that when things come in threes, they're all the more pleasing for it. That's the rule of three. If today's anything to go by then 'they' may well be on to something, as the 3cl dram in our Whisky Advent Calendars is a delicious Lowland single malt which is distilled three times and matured in three different types of cask (ex-Pedro Ximénez, bourbon and Oloroso)!

So I trust you'll enjoy your Auchentoshan Three Wood, and why not also make the most of my treats below for Day 9 (that's three threes, by the way).

Ho ho ho! (<-See, pleasing.)

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 8: Dalmore 15 Year Old

by Whisky Santa     8. December 2014 00:00

Dalmore 15 Year Old

Back in the twelfth century I inspired the giving of tangerines in Christmas stockings you know, something that's remained popular right through to this day. More recently, chocolate oranges been given too - nom nom nom! As I'm also rather partial to a bit of Christmas cake over the festive season, you can probably tell where all this has been heading. That's right: Day 8 of Whisky Advent 2014, and the delicious dram of Scotch that lies behind the eighth window of our Whisky Advent Calendars!

Highland single malt matured in Matusalem, Apostoles and Amoroso Sherry casks, 'tis the season for The Dalmore 15 Year Old.

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Categories : Competitions | Drinks by the Dram | Tasting Notes | Whisky


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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 7: Glenfarclas 10 Year Old

by Whisky Santa     7. December 2014 00:00

Glenfarclas 10 Year Old

Excited to peek behind the seventh window of the Whisky Advent Calendar? Well now's the time, as it's Day 7! Behind that little window lies a classic Sherried expression from a family-owned independent Scottish distillery - it's a dram of Glenfarclas 10 Year Old!

Six generations of the Grant family have helped run the distillery, and next year marks the 150th anniversary of John Grant buying Glenfarclas back in 1865. #WhiskySanta Towers has been family-owned for many decades too you know, but the Grant family have managed it all without omniscience and flying reindeer. Bloody impressive! Not to say I'm a slouch mind, just watch me move on the 24th!

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 6: Spirit of Hven Single Malt

by Whisky Santa     6. December 2014 00:00

Spirit of Hven Single Malt

It's Day 6 already! How time flies when you're having fun! That said, time is irrelevant to omniscient supernatural beings such as myself. I've seen the fall of empires and the birth of new stars in the sky...

Speaking of stars, behind the sixth window of your Whisky Advent Calendars, you'll find a dram of Swedish single malt from the Spirit of Hven distillery, named after Merak, a star in the Ursa Major constellation. It's the second release in their spectacular 'Seven Stars' series of whiskies. It's just the ticket if you're keen for a winter warmer, which you may be looking for if you visit the tiny craft distillery on the island of Hven in the Öresund strait at this time of year!

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 5: Bowmore 12 Year Old

by Whisky Santa     5. December 2014 00:00

Bowmore 12 Year Old

Four delicious days down, and on 5th December the Whisky Advent Calendar giveth single malt from Bogh Mòr! Bowmore distillery's 12 year old single malt to be precise.

They say that the devil last visited Bowmore in 1837, and that the people of the town of Bowmore scared him off. I'm generally more bothered by the Grinch though personally. If you happen to see him about, make sure you tell him to do one too, won't you? He'll take a hint one of these days. Other than that, I simply encourage you to sit back and enjoy your dram of delicious peated Scotch from Islay.

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