After a brief running interlude on the blog, it’s back to the Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar! We had a tasting with our whisky friends mentioned in the first entry, and it again, was really fun. (If you missed it, here are the notes for Days 1-5, and 6-8.) These five drams really contrasted with the three from days 6-8, and now we finally got some Islay peat involvement. Without further ado, our tasting notes…
Day 9: Kilchoman 5 Year Old 2010 (Cask 566/2010) Single Octave Release
Single Malt Scotch (Islay) 58% ABV
Nose: Peaty, mossy, earthy. Not sharp like you’d expect from this high of ABV.
Palate: It is young, and it needs some water to smooth out the punch. Still smoky, and drying in the mouth. No fruit or sweetness.
Notes: I loved the Kilchoman distillery when we visited there, but this isn’t my favorite expression of theirs. Interesting, though, and I always look forward to sampling their drams!
Day 10: MacDuff 12 Year Old 2002 (Cask 900258)
Single Malt Scotch (Speyside) 59.7% ABV
Nose: Very sweet apple cider and caramel. Smells like fall!
Palate: Spicy! A little water smoothed it out. Cinnamon, fruit following, jam-like.
Notes: I’ve never had a MacDuff before, but this was a good introduction. This one was matured in a sherry cask.
Day 11: Girvan 21 Year Old 1994 (cask 11003)
Single Grain (Lowland) 51.5% ABV
Nose: Initial nose was sharp – citrus? Then turned sweet, and a bit spicy.
Palate: Very sweet! Caramel, vanilla, honey, and light baking spices.
Notes: I remember a Girvan Single Grain from last year’s advent calendar that caught our attention. This was also a good dram, and it’s convinced me that I need to try some more of their expressions.
Day 12: Bunnahabhain 7 Year Old 2008 (cask 604)
Single Malt Scotch (Islay) 54.1% ABV
Nose: Nutty, almost chocolatey. Non-fruity sweetness.
Palate: Nutty, with vanilla and hints of caramel. Bit of shortbread as well.
Notes: Very drinkable for the ABV. Always nice to try an unpeated Islay whisky!
Day 13: Darkness! Glenrothes 26 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish
Single Malt Scotch (Speyside) 52% ABV
Nose: Bright! Citrus zest, peppermint, honey, roasted nuts. (The official tasting notes mention “monkey nuts”… which I’ll admit that at this point in the tasting, we got rather giggly over. Don’t judge, we’re 5 drams in. Annnnnd monkey nuts are actually just peanuts. <sigh>)
Palate: Very dynamic – lots of flavor. More bright fruits, baking spices, and roasted flavor – almost chocolate-like.
Notes: 26 years in an ex-bourbon cask with a finish in an Oloroso cask. Always fun to try a very mature whisky, and this was a very tasty example!
This time, we all agreed that the Glenrothes 26 year old was our favorite of the bunch!
Also, as a sidenote: I always love looking at the “official” tasting notes from Drinks by the Dram, and this time was a bit more entertaining as we had to Google a few more terms than we normally do… like “Walnut Whip” and “monkey nuts.” Really, one could say that this experience is giving us an opportunity to expand our vocabulary and become more familiar with British terms/culture… right? 😉