It seems like the days of December are flying by! Time for another tasting of our Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar from Drinks by the Dram. (Here are the tasting notes for days 1-5, 6-8, and 9-13.) We had some very different drams this time around from bright and fresh (Glen Grant) to smoky and salty (Caol Ila.)
Day 14: Glen Grant 12 Yr Old 2004 (Bartles Whisky)
Single Malt Scotch (Speyside) 56.6% ABV
Nose: Pear and apple (almost unripe), tangy, honey
Palate: Needs water. Very bright and fresh without being citrusy or very sweet. Reminds me of a bright white wine.
Notes: Matured in a bourbon hogshead.
Day 15: Caol Ila 35 Yr Old 1979 (Cask 10594) Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
Single Malt Scotch (Islay) 47.1% ABV
Nose: Smoke! Sea air with a dark sweetness following. Brown sugar and molasses?
Palate: Smoke and salt. Warm ginger and an herbal note. Smoke lingers on the finish. Well balanced.
Notes: Matured in a single refill hogshead cask. Adam liked it more than I did, and I can’t put my finger on why exactly. I’m pretty particular about the smoke bombs that I do like, and I just haven’t found the right Caol Ila yet.
Day 16: Glenfarclas 2009 (Bottled 2016) (cask 1805)
Single Malt Scotch (Speyside) 59.9% ABV
Nose: Sweet and dark fruits. Creamy and rich.
Palate: Pretty drinkable for the ABV, but water helps open it up a bit. Starts out spicy, with an oaky flavor midway through. Finish is very subtle.
Notes: The flavor reminded me of a bottle rocket – a flavor burst that then fades (but leaves you with a smile on your face.)
Day 17: Craigllachie 12 Yr Old 2004 – A Rare Find (Gleann Mór)
Single Malt Scotch (Speyside) 57.2% ABV
Nose: Sweet, buttery, fresh with caramel on the back.
Palate: Spicy with fruits. Bit of water opens it to have some more grains and hint of oak. Spice lingers and is very warming.
Notes: A fairly straightforward spicy (yet light) malt.
Day 18: Ben Nevis 18 Yr Old 1997 (Scotland Grindlay)
Single Malt Scotch (Highland) 52.6% ABV
Nose: Green foliage followed by fruit and nutty notes. Some grapefruit too.
Palate: Pineapple and grapefruit. The tiniest hint of smoke on the finish.
Notes: I couldn’t get over the amount of grapefruit in this one! Very distinctive (to me, anyway.)
I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas! I’m sad our advent calendar will soon come to an end, but I’m quite excited about the day 24 dram because last year’s was fantastic!