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Whisky Advent Day 24: 50 Year Old Douglas Laing Grain

by Master of Malt     24. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

Well, here we are. Here we stand, on the very brink of Christmas 2015 - Christmas Eve itself - and the final day of #WhiskyAdvent. Behind window 24 of every Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar is a grain whisky that's at least 50 years old(!), bottled by the fine folk from Douglas Laing for their excellent Xtra Old Particular range.

Whether you have an exclusive 50 year old Invergordon*, a 50 year old blended grain, a 50 year old Girvan (image below) or, as we've received here at MoM Towers, a 53 year old North British (tasting note below), you'll be able to enjoy some extraordinarily well-aged grain courtesy of Douglas Laing. Many of you let us know how much you enjoyed your Girvan grains on Day 18, so this second grain should cause a fair bit of excitement. These are whiskies that matured for over half a century for goodness sake! Enjoy, and have an absolutely fantastic Christmas one and all!

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Whisky Advent Day 23: Glenfiddich 18 Year Old

by Master of Malt     23. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

Just one day to go before Christmas Eve, which means:

You still have until 9pm tonight to get your UK Mainland Christmas orders in!

Meanwhile, in The Whisky Advent Calendar from Drinks by the Dram today is a whisky from one of the best selling single malt Scotch distilleries in the world (until recently, the best selling)...

The Glenfiddich name and stag (reendowed with his 12-pointed antlers last year) have become synonymous with single malt, with Glenfiddich having been the first whisky marketed as such back in 1963. It was a gamble that paid off handsomely, and the rest, as they say, is history! It's well worth revisiting their range, with this 18 year old having been matured in a mix of Oloroso Sherry and bourbon casks.

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Whisky Advent Day 20: Jura Elixir 12 Year Old

by Master of Malt     20. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

After all the excitement of yesterday, you may be in need of a pick-me-up. Some kind of elixir, perhaps? Well, Jura believe they have just the thing with their second contribution to The Whisky Advent Calendar, this time carrying an age statement (the youngest whisky used is at least 12 year old).

Elixir seems an appropriate name for a whisky, a word that comes from 'uisge beatha' or 'water of life'. There's even a gravestone on Jura that suggest that one local man lived to see 180 Christmases! Local folklore credits the island's water, which was blessed by St. Columba nearly 1,500 years ago, for helping the inhabitants live long and healthy lives. Then again, perhaps it was just a 'typo'... (Engrave-o? Monumental masonro?)

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Whisky Advent Day 18: Girvan Patent Still Proof Strength

by Master of Malt     18. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

Into the final week of #WhiskyAdvent we go and today it's time for our first grain whisky from The Whisky Advent Calendar...

Now, most of you will have William Grant & Sons' Girvan Patent Still Proof Strength. As mentioned on Day 2 though, these advent calendars have been extraordinarily popular this year, with sales surpassing all forecasts! This means that on a small number of days not everybody could have the exact same dram. Everyone does have a Girvan today, but some of you may be enjoying a Girvan 20 Year Old 1993 from Douglas Laing's Clan Denny range, or indeed a Girvan 21 Year Old 1994 from their Old Particular range (both excellent independent bottlings).

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Whisky Advent Day 16: Balvenie 12 Year Old DoubleWood

by Master of Malt     16. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

December 16th? My goodness, fewer than ten days left until the main event! This is when excitement or panic sets in, in earnest, depending on how much shopping you have left to do! Try not to worry just yet though, we've got you covered.

So, to The Whisky Advent Calendar, faithfully counting down those days to Christmas in delicious style. Today's dram is another Balvenie! We tasted the delights of Sherry cask matured Balvenie on Day 8, now it's time to see what American oak brings to the table alongside Sherry with surely one of the most satisfying and accessible whiskies available today.

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Whisky Advent Day 15: Fettercairn Fior

by Master of Malt     15. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

In your best Stevie voice: "Yesterday Superstition, today Fettercairn Fior." That's right, there's another wonderful dram from White & MacKay behind window 15 of Drinks by the Dram's Whisky Advent Calendar!

Fior, like Superstition, has no age statement, but is made up primarily of 14-15 year old whiskies, which are blended with some 5 year old peated malt (and age statement of 5 years old would therefore be somewhat misleading). Fettercairn, meaning 'foot of the mountain', is named after the town in which the distillery is located and carries the emblem of a unicorn! If you didn't know, despite being supernatural (like Whisky Santa), the unicorn is in fact the national animal of Scotland too! They're said to be have legendary magical qualities that people have long sought to use for personal gain. People (and wizards) have been known to try and acquire unicorn hair, blood, or even tears. That's why Firebox spend so much time getting unicorns to cry, the fiends! They say Chuck Norris'* tears have special qualities too. Apparently they can cure all known diseases! Too bad he never cries.

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Whisky Advent Day 14: Isle Of Jura Superstition

by Master of Malt     14. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

Are you a superstitious sort of person? Would it concern you if you received a 13 year old whisky made with 13% heavily peated malt on day... 14? It seems Drinks by the Dram didn't want to push their luck - who knows what would have happened if they'd placed this dram a day earlier in their Whisky Advent Calendar?! (Well, Whisky Santa and the Flying Spaghetti Monster probably know, but that was essentially a rhetorical question.)

Yes, it's Jura Superstition today, a single malt made up of whiskies aged between 13 and 21 years from the small and "extremely unget-at-able" Isle of Jura. It's an island that's populated by many more red deer than humans (Jura or 'Diùra' literally meaning 'deer island'), outnumbering the human population 30:1! Perhaps that's why they are indeed a superstitious lot, the Duirach, only cutting peat before May and always building their haystacks in a clockwise direction - heaven forbid if the deer turned on them! For added good luck an Ankh cross features on the Superstition label. If you fancy getting hold of one yourself after tasting your dram, it's recommended that you hold the bottle with the Ankh in the palm of your hand so some off the good fortune comes your way too.

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Whisky Advent Day 13: The GlenDronach 12 Year Old

by Master of Malt     13. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

Away from Islay peat and back into the warm embrace of some truly top notch Sherry now, as we open window 13 of Drinks by the Dram's Whisky Advent Calendar...

A change of theme, perhaps, but another 12 year old expression today, this time from Glendronach! Interesting, up until 2005 (with this whisky having been distilled before that date) Glendronach were operating direct-fired stills, a tradition some distilleries in Scotland have maintained to this day (Glenfarclas, for example). Glendronach, however, were still using coal and were in fact the final distillery in Scotland to do so. The uneven heating provided by direct-firing creates hotspots in the stills and is thought to lead to different notes in the spirit produced and in the finished whisky, some of which you'll be able to taste in today's dram.

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Whisky Advent Day 12: Caol Ila 12 Year Old

by Master of Malt     12. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

We're half way, can you believe it?! There's still the same amount of delicious drams left after today as we've enjoyed from The Whisky Advent Calendar so far! (We've decided to adopt some festive calendar-half-full thinking - there are still plenty more treats to look forward to!) It also means that Christmas is drawing ever nearer so time's running out to sort out all those pressies, made easier we hope by our Free Shipping offers and the like. On to the window at hand though, appropriately revealing a 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky for Day 12.

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Whisky Advent Day 11: Arran - Batch 4 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

by Master of Malt     11. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

So, what do we have behind window number 11 of The Whisky Advent Calendar from Drinks by the Dram? Why it's the fourth batch of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Arran single malt!*

Each of the Arrans in this series features illustrator Emily Chappell and a friend stranded on a desert island after an ill-fated kayaking trip. As you may know, there are often subtle differences between the labels of Boutique-y batches, however, and if you look carefully on the right hand side of Batch 4... you'll see that she's actually put up her Christmas tree!

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