The first six days of December are over
and despite having the flu for the second time in a very short period of time I
managed to get to part one of my Whisky Advent Calendar summary.

The first 6 Whiskies of the Advent Calendar

1st – Irish Single Malt Whiskey 5yo
As I mentioned on Twitter, there is no
additional information on this Whiskey except that it is from Ireland and is
bottled with 41% abv. There are indeed not to many Irish Whiskey distilleries
on the island but to find the one this particular Whiskey is made from is
nearly impossible without help with some “reference” Whiskeys from
there. At least I am sure it’s not
Connemara because they peat their Whiskey and this one isn’t. It’s just a
typical Irish Whiskey, nothing fancy.
My Tastingnotes
Age: 5yo
ABV: 41%
Distillery: no information, but Irish
Colour: light golden
Nose: fruity and floral notes with some new make, hints of
vanilla and lemon paired with some very faint oak notes.
Body: very full
Palate: Toffee and marzipan combined with some oak wood and ginger(?)
Finish: long and warming finish
My points: 68
2nd – Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Just as the first Whiskey no additional
information is available. From the name we know that this Whiskey must be from
the U.S. to be precise from the state Kentucky. It was distilled there and aged
for at least one year in Kentucky (as stated in the U.S. law). Of course it has
to be made from at least 51% corn. If you take a look at the website of the
“Kentucky Distillers Association” you might be surprised how much
Distilleries can be found in Kentucky. So again, no chance to find the right
one without any help. This is again just a typical Whiskey from that region.
My Tastingnotes
Age: >1yo
ABV: 40%
Distillery: no information, but American
Colour: amber (but probably coloured)
Nose: Banana, some oak wood, fresh
Body: a little bit flat
Palate: Rye, some more oak wood, hints of vanilla and
Finish: quite short
My points: 50
3rd – Scotch Speyside Single Malt Whisky Glentauchers Distillery
The first scotch of the season and the
first with a heritage. This 6 year old Whisky was made by the Glentauchers
Distillery. This distillery – located near Keith – is not known to many. That
is because the Whisky produced there is manly for blends made by Pernod Ricard.
In 2000 the company presented the first bottling from the distillery itself a
15 year old Single Malt. However there are some bottlings from independent
bottlers available (like the 63.33 I tasted from the SMWS-AT). The capacity of
the distillery is 4.2m litres alcohol per annum. This is unquestionable a
Scottish Whisky by taste. Not as interesting as the 63.33 but not bad either.
My Tastingnotes
Age: 6yo
ABV: 43%
Distillery: Glentauchers
Colour: light amber
Nose: Toffee with some butterscotch and lemons, very floral
Body: smooth and round
Palate: lots of toffee, some spices, maybe some very light
oak flavours
Finish: long and warming
My points: 71
4th – Scotch Islay Blended Malt Whisky “Cragabus”
Technically the name is a stretch because
according to the SWA there are only two categories left for scotch Whisky and
they are “Single Malt” and “Blended”. Before the change
there was another one called “Vatted Malt”. As many of you know the
difference, here a short overview for those who don’t. Single Malt = One
Distillery, only Single Malts used for the blending. Vatted Malt = More
Distilleries, only Single Malts used for blending. Blended = More Distilleries,
Single Malts and Grain Whisky used for blending. The latter two categories were
merged by the SWA. According to my research this Whisky is made of Single Malts
from the following Islay distilleries: Laphroaig, Caol Ila, Bowmore and Arbeg.
And in addition there is some Single Malt from the lost distillery Port Ellen
in it too! I guess they try to fit in this blend the “whole Islay”
but unfortunately I think this is not possible. Islay is much more than “smoky
and intense”. By the way “Cragabus” is the name of a small
village on Islay.
My Tastingnotes
Age: n.a.s.
ABV: 43%
Distillery: Laphroaig, Caol Ila, Bowmore, Ardbeg, Port
Colour: light golden
Nose: Smoked meat, iodine, charred peat, hints of toffee
Body: full but very simple
Palate: still meat and peat, some salty notes, in the end
there may or may not be some toffee
Finish: long and warming
My points: 67
5th – Scotch Speyside Blended Malt Whisky “Mac Spey”
Same as the day before technically it’s
“just” a blend. This Whisky was blended by Stewart Laing – just as
the Whisky on Dec. 4th – but this time only using Malts produced by Speyside
distilleries like Glen Rothes, Macallan and Balvenie! There may be others used
but these three were named in the description. Also they tell us that the
Whisky is 10 years old meaning
the youngest Whisky used was 10 years old.
There may be older Whiskies in it, but according to the SWA a
distillery/blender/bottler is not allowed to tell. Just search for
“Compass Box” and “SWA” if you want to know what happens if
you do it anyway. I’d like the move from Compass Box (and Tomatin!) for more
transparency. I just hope the SWA will see the benefits as these two companies
(and lot’s of others I guess) see them.
My Tastingnotes
Age: 10yo
ABV: 41%
Distillery: various including Glen Rothes, Macallan
and Balvenie
Colour: light amber
Nose: fruity, apple and lemons, a slight hint of smoke, a
little bit dry
Body: mild but full
Palate: Toffee with some lemons and hints of oak wood in the
Finish: quite long and warming
My points: 71
6th – Scotch Isle of Jura Single Malt Whisky
This time it is no problem that no
specific name is given. There is only one distillery on Jura so guess from
where the Whisky must be. The distillery was founded in 1810 but the distillery
we know today (and is capable of producing 2.2m litres alcohol per annum) was
built in the late 1950s and finished in 1963. The distillery might be known for
their distinctive bottle which looks a little bit like a cello. The island has
just one road, one pub and one distillery. If you visit the distillery you will
get a dram of whisky for life in the pub once a month but always remember the
words of George Orwell back from 1946 regarding how to reach Jura:
“Extremely unget-at-able”. According to my research this hasn’t
changed very much today. You will need to take a boat ride to get to the island
(surprise!) and to get there from London you will need to board to planes!
My Tastingnotes
Age: 9yo
ABV: 43%
Distillery: Jura
Colour: light golden
Nose: Bacon and sweet from toffee, some iodine and seaweed,
reminds me of the 66.62 from the SMWS
Body: full and complex
Palate: Salt and the sea, some citric notes and hints of
Finish: very long and warming
My points: 75
That’s it for this week. I hope you
enjoyed the little endeavour into the realms of Whisk(e)y, the second Part of
my summary will go online on December 13th!


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