Sunday, December 13, 2015

10-Dec: Monkey Shoulder (Blended Malt Scotch)

Back to Scotland. This is a whisky that I already have (I think I mentioned I was a fan of Balvenie and other products from Wm. Grant & Sons). This whisky is a blended malt, one of the 5 currently defined types of Scotch whisky. Here they are:
  • Single-Malt
    • Malted barley whisky from a *single* distillery
  • Blended Malt
    • Malt whisky combined from multiple distilleries
  • Single-Grain
    • Grain whisky from a *single* distillery
  • Blended Grain
    • Grain whisky combined from multiple distilleries
  • Blended
    • Whisky combined from malt and grain, from multiple distilleries
The one common thread on all of the above categories is that they all have to be produced, aged and bottled in Scotland, and aged for at least 3 years in oak. There are more requirements (like on cask sizes...) and they aren't just a good idea, they're the law -- European Union Law, in fact.

This whisky has lots of malty notes, and I get berries on the nose. Given that this is a blended malt, the presence of malt notes is no surprise. It's very smooth and easy to drink. I have to say that I don't know of many blended malt Scotch whiskies (Johnnie Walker Green Label used to be one, before it was discontinued) but this is a really smooth whisky that's easy to drink, and easy to like.

09-Dec: Tullamore D.E.W. 12 year old (Special Reserve)

More #WhiskyAdvent action. This time, we visit Ireland. Some people assert that whisky originated in Ireland, others insist that it was invented by the Scots. I don't think we'll ever know, but we can all agree that Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey are both fine products (though they disagree on the spelling).

Let's get right down to this. The color is lovely: A nice creamy golden hue. The nose is very bright and floral, like citrus blossoms. The mouth feel is smooth and honestly I don't find it to be very interesting. There is no alcohol burn at all. That's because it's the legal minimum alcohol concentration to be called whisk(e)y. It's 40% ABV. So it looks good but in my opinion it's not very flavorful or complex.

There's a long way to go in December and variety, as "they" say, is the spice of life. I'm glad I tried this. (Note: I had really spicy Burmese food for dinner - it might have thrown off my taste buds.)


Trivia: The plural of whisky is whiskies. The plural of whiskey is whiskeys. Truth!

08-Dec: Balvenie Single Barrel Sherry Cask (15 year old)

It's ridiculously hard to catch up. I wish I hadn't fallen behind. :-( I will do 2 tonight. I will do 2 tonight.

The Balvenie is one of my favorite distilleries, family-owned by William Grant & Sons. I have had most of their range but not this one. It's close to what I'd expect from them...hazelnuts, dark fruit, caramel and lovely oak notes (vanilla, leather). I was so excited to try this that I totally didn't take a picture. Trust me, I drank it. :-)

Saturday, December 12, 2015

07-Dec: Glen Scotia - Double Cask

This is me catching up on my drinking. It's a job, but someone has to do it.

Reminds me of one of my favorite lines from the movie 'Arthur:' "Well, I race cars, play tennis, and fondle women, BUT! I have weekends off, and I AM my own boss."

Speaking of jobs, last week was so busy that I couldn't even drink tiny whisky samples. Well, I don't want to drink them without taking the time to write about them. So it's my problem. Anyway...back to the #WhiskyAdvent calendar.

I've never had Glen Scotia whisky, except perhaps as a sample at a WhiskyFest or some event like that. I'm not very familiar with this Campbeltown distillery. The whisky is very potent. I got a hint of green apples on the nose but what I got after I took a sip was black cherries, licorice or anise and some mouthwatering hint of saltwater. It's not my favorite but it's very interesting and I'm glad I tried it.

By the way, I found a bottle of the Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014 locally and while it's getting tough to find it's still in some stores. You should be able to get one for between $50 and $70.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

06-Dec: Kilchoman Machir Bay (2014)

This is day 6 of the Whisky Advent Calendar adventure. #WhiskyAdvent December is rolling along. And when getting up early it's still quite dark.

Ok this is a single-malt Scotch with a kick -- even at "only" 46% ABV, but trust me on this: don't inhale. It's peaty but not the peatiest whisky out there. The smoke is layered over a lovely sweet base that has a looong finish. It's got vanilla and green apples, too. Honestly - it's true!

This distillery is putting out some fine liquid. Tomorrow: Day 7 and 8, then I'll be almost caught up.

05-Dec: Dalmore 15-year-old (Single-Malt Scotch)

Well, yesterday was a wash. Getting up at 05:00 stinks. Boy is it dark then.

. . . . . . . . .

This is day 5 of the Whisky Advent Calendar adventure. #WhiskyAdvent

Today is another single-malt Scotch whisky. I am a huge fan of the Dalmore. I've been extremely fortunate in that on March 25th, 2011 I was able to meet the Master Distiller of the Dalmore, Richard Paterson. See picture below. The other picture was from my Nexus 9 tablet when I was watching my Golden State Warriors in Toronto last weekend.

The Dalmore 15-year-old whisky is fabulous. There is a wonderful citrus-y nose with hints of dark fruit and chocolate on the palate and a lovely caramel and butterscotch finish. I'm going to keep this short so I can drink the 6-Dec whisky. If I do 2 a day, I can catch up. :-)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Never fear - WhiskyAdvent continues tonight

I had a Christmas event Saturday night and I did manage to drink my "Day 5" dram but not to write about it. Then I was behind on my writing on Sunday, though I did keep up to date on my drinking. I'll catch up with the notes tonight.

Also: GOOD NEWS: I recovered "episode 1" and will re-post it tonight.