After the first few days of our advent calendar, Adam went on a little trip to visit a friend. Instead of hoarding all of the whisky for myself, I waited to continue tasting until he returned from his little vacation. This gave us the opportunity to taste of few whiskies together, which I actually prefer than tasting them singly. Tasting samples back to back really gives you the chance to compare flavors…and frankly, it’s more fun to do it this way. 🙂 Here is part 2 of our advent calendar adventure!
Day 7: Glen Scotia Double Cask
Single Malt Scotch (Campeltown) 46% ABV
Nose: Rich, red fruits and brown sugar.
Palate: Pleasant. Not overly complex. Sugary but not cloying. Tiny hint of herbs near the end.
Notes: Very drinkable!
Day 8: Balvenie Single Barrel Sherry Cask 15 Yr Old
Single Malt Scotch (Speyside) 47.8% ABV
Nose: Very alcohol-y smelling, but a sugary sweetness with it.
Palate: Fruity sweetness with winter spices. A bit of bitterness/tartness in among fruit and spices.
Notes: Considering the alcohol content, it’s quite smooth.
Day 9: Tullemore D.E.W. 12 Year Old Special Reserve
Blended (Ireland) 40% ABV
Nose: Sweet, vanilla, and smells creamy.
Palate: Tastes like it smells. Hint of nutmeg. Coconut on the finish??
Notes: Pleasant and easy drinker. Safe, nothing offensive here.
Day 10: Monkey Shoulder
Blended (Scotland) 40% ABV
Nose: Sweet cereals and vanilla. Lovely.
Palate: Balanced, vanilla, cereals, creamy with a hint of spices.
Notes: Very pleasant and drinkable. We ended up buying a bottle of this for the holiday visit with family. A safe (and affordable) option for folks not too familiar with good Scotch whisky!
Day 11: Arran – Batch 4 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
Single Malt Scotch (Island) 52% ABV
Nose: Alcohol sharpness up front (not shocking with the ABV). Light fruits, melon and peach. Brown sugar.
Palate: Lightly spicy. Some vanilla and light fruits, but nothing outstanding besides some of the spice. It’s definitely fiery and needs a bit of water to smooth it out.
Notes: Sunshine. With the accompanying heat. 😉
Day 12: Caol Ila 12 Year Old**
Single Malt Scotch (Islay) 43% ABV
Nose: Peaty, peppermint, campfire. Smells like a “man’s whisky.”
Palate: Smoke, briny, little sweetness comes out with some water.
Notes: Long finish. Not too fiery, and not overwhelming smoky. A nice change-up from “the usual” for me (sherry-finished Scotches).
**We happen to already own a bottle of this, so this was a chance to revisit our tasting notes.
Interestingly enough, in this part 2 of our Advent calendar exploration, we had no clear winners. We rated these drams within a few points of each other, with the exception of the Caol Ila. That one is really for someone who likes the peat. Otherwise, the rest were easy drinkers, but no real stand outs.