Sunday, February 3, 2019

Whisky in Switzerland

I've been living in Zürich for over a year now. I have by now found a number of very good places to buy whisky, and there is even an amazing whisky that I have discovered that is made in Switzerland: Säntis Malt. Säntis is also the name of a mountain in the Appenzell Alps.

I love this particular expression that is readily available in Zürich: Dreifaltigkeit -- it is slightly smoky and very smooth. Plus, it is an award-winning whisky and it is not at all expensive.

Here is what you are looking for:

The next time you are in Switzerland, make sure to pick up a bottle in any local liquor store.

Friday, December 25, 2015

20, 19, 18, 17 and 16: A Mixed Bag of #WhiskyAdvent

Well, I have to say that my drink-a-day plan went off the rails but whisky has an excellent shelf life. :-)

16-Dec: Balvenie 12-year-old Doublewood

A perennial favorite. One of my go-to single-malts. I really like this and it's got a great mix of wood notes (sherry, to be specific) and caramels and sweetness. A really well-balanced whisky. Love it!

17-Dec through 20-Dec:

  • Mackmyra Brukswhisky (The Swedish Whisky): I had really been looking forward to trying this but (and I don't say this very often) I honestly disliked this. Ouch. Tasted like turpentine. YMMV.

  • The Girvan (grain whisky distillery) Patent Still Proof Strength: Another miss. It's possible I had a mild cold but I just got nothing out of this whisky. Most grain whisky is light in flavor and intended to be the backbone of a blended Scotch -- not for its flavor but because it's an inexpensive way to get the alcohol and flavor is added by single-malt whisk(ies) in the blend.

  • The Lost Distilleries Blend (Batch 7): Again, I'll chalk this up to a mild cold, but I didn't really care for this whisky. The name sounds compelling and apparently if my nose and palate could have appreciated it, I would have enjoyed it:

  • Isle of Jura Elixir 12-year-old: This is not my favorite expression from Jura. That honor goes to Jura 10. This is not bad at all, but I'd describe it as "thin." It just doesn't have much in the way of structure.

Now I don't want to drink the rest of the whisky until I have a clear nose and mouth. I might be able to start them tonight. I really want to be able to enjoy them because the ones I haven't had yet are ones I really think I'll enjoy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

14-Dec: Isle of Jura - Superstition

Almost there. 2 whiskies a night is my limit, so it's not a goal to catch up until later this week. #behind #catchingup #whisky #WhiskyAdvent

I love the smell of Superstition. This whisky has a beautiful nose. It's very well balanced, with wood notes and sweet malty goodness. It's a very straightforward Scotch, which is not meant to be damning with faint praise. I really like it! There are sherry notes but not overwhelming - like dried fruits or maybe fruitcake. Again, this is all very balanced. This is one of my favorites so far. Like yesterday's whisky, it's also 43% ABV.

Here are the usual pictures (I remembered to take them!):

13-Dec: GlenDronach 12-year-old

Now we're into the second half of the #WhiskyAdvent calendar. I'm really enjoying it. Still #behind, but also still #catchingup.

This GlenDronach is very nice indeed. I got some smokey notes that evolved as I drank this. At first I thought it was something peaty underneath, but I used to start fires in my parents' fireplace and the closest I can think to describe this smell is that of the first smoke off of newspaper when you use it to light a after you scrunch it under the grate that holds the logs. This whisky is smooth and a bit sweet but not overly so.

It's 43% ABV, which is a fairly common bottle strength for many mainstream whiskies. This is a complex whisky and has a lot to offer to a patient drinker. I got more and more from it as I finished my (small) sample. I'm going to have to find a bottle someday. Here is a picture of the empty bottle.

Monday, December 14, 2015

12-Dec: Caol Ila 12-year-old

Caol Ila (pronounced "cull-EEla" is an Islay distillery and as such does tend to produce the peaty/smokey type of Scotch.

#behind is as #behind does...catching up, though. Hey, we've managed to reach the halfway point of the #WhiskyAdvent calendar. Personally, I am really looking forward to Christmas break, not because I'll be off of work for 2 weeks (I won't) but because there is a chance to change gears and get ready for the new year.

As for this dram, we have a oily peaty sweet masterpiece. The tasting notes on Master of Malt have lots of things I don't get, but this 43% strength whisky is very very smooth. Upon further review, I do get citrus notes, to me they are akin to lemon-scented floor cleaner. Not sure I'd want to drink *that* but it is a nice smell, especially in the context of the rest of the flavors and aromas. And, boy, does this have an amazing, smokey finish. Hoo-rah!

I only took one picture of this one:

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

Ok, still #behind but no longer #waybehind. :-)

In case you don't know where the island of Arran is, it's here, due East of the Kintyre peninsula which is where Campbeltown lies (you'll remember that Glen Scotia is from Campbeltown):

I've had a number of expressions from Arran but this one is a very nice dram. I get fresh pineapples, and huge amounts of spicy maltiness (baking spices but I can't tell which ones). This is a strong dram, coming in at 52% ABV. But it's very smooth and not at all as "hot" as you might expect. I very much enjoyed this one.

There was another possibility for day 11 of the #WhiskyAdvent calendar: Auchentoshan Three Wood, a lowland malt from a distillery that I very much enjoy. The Three Wood expression is one I've enjoyed before. I might have to seek some out.

Here are the usual pix of the Arran:

Sunday, December 13, 2015

01-Dec: Glenfarclas 25

This is a recovered post that I had accidentally deleted.


This is day 1 of the Whisky Advent Calendar adventure.

What a brilliant start to the month! This whisky made an immediate impression of honey and it's incredibly smooth. What a delightful dram.

I'll look for this in the store (I've always liked Glenfarclas' products, especially the "105...") but I fear that this one will be too rich for my wallet. Maybe some friends and I can split the cost of a bottle -- it's really wonderful.

I'm writing this brief blog post on my Nexus 6 phone and when I spelled "dram" above it autocorrected to "dream" -- which is pretty accurate!