We’re halfway through the advent and here
is part two of my Whisky Advent Calendar summary.

The next 7 Whiskies of the Advent Calendar

7th – Austrian Single Malt Whisky Wieser Distillery
We start week two with a Whisky from
Austria. Not many people know that there is such a thing as an Austrian Whisky.
We in Austria have around 50 – compared to Scottish standards very small –
distilleries. Some of them produce even that little that you will not get a
hold on some Whisky. Around 35 produce enough Whisky that you may get some on
the market. But mainly you will have to get it directly from the distillery.
2012 the “Austrian Whisky Association – AWA” was founded. They try to
make Austrian Whisky known in Austria and Europe. There are currently 13
members in the AWA. Just check them out. Austrian Whisky can be interestingly
different to Scottish and even Irish Whisky! Some are very good some aren’t.
But don’t try and compare them to their “great” brothers. Austrian
Whisky is a typical Austrian product just as Scottish Whisky is to Scotland.
I’ve already tasted this Whisky before, so I decided to look back after
I did the tasting. Well, it was very similar, but the score was a little bit
lower than before. I decided to merge the two tastings and create a mean with
the two scores.

My Tastingnotes
Age: 5yo
ABV: 43%
Distillery: Wieser, Austria
Colour: light golden
Nose: very light, apple, some toffee and chocolate,
marzipan and hints of fresh wood, some lemon and a little bit rye(?), with time
there’s still the keen notes from freshly distilled alcohol.
Body: smooth
Palate: Fresh wood, sweet, some lemon(?) and hints of pepper
Finish: warming, not very long but oily
My score: 68
8th – Scotch Speyside Single Malt Whisky Inchgower Distillery
Back to the main land of Whisky. This
distillery is located north to Keith not far away from Elgin. So we’re talking
Speyside! Despite the fact that the distillery is capable of producing roughly
2m litres alcohol per annum it is widely unknown. Only a small fraction from
the Diago distillery is designated to become a Single Malt. Every other drop is
for the blending industry, mainly Johnny Walker. There is something special
about this Whisky. It is bottled as a so called “Cask Strength”.
Nothing new for me, but great to have it in a Advent Calendar. Instead of
diluting the finished Whisky with water to 40 to 46% abv (drinking strength)
this Whisky is bottled with the alcoholic content as it comes out of the cask
therefore “Cask Strength”. Caution is advised for the inexperienced
Whisky drinker. These “Cask Strength” Whiskies can be quite strong
and sometimes some drops of water may be a good idea. And with this particular
Whisky it was a good idea!
My Tastingnotes
Age: 15yo
ABV: 57.7%
Distillery: Inchgower
Colour: deep amber
Nose: Fresh notes from apple and lemon, some nutty aromas
with hints of iodine, a little bit fresh spirit and some dried fruits are there
+H2O: With water the spirit develops even more
dried fruits but also some sweetness from toffee and vanilla.
Body: full and intense
Palate: Boooooom, very intense at the beginning. Didn’t
expect this! After the initial surprise there is lots of toffee and spices
combined with some lemon and oak wood.
+H2O: With water this nice dram becomes much
soother but nevertheless intense. Jupp there’s defiantly toffee and pepper!
Finish: very long, as expected
My score: 87
9th – Irish Single Malt Whiskey “Jacks Choice” Sauternes Cask Finish
Again on the green Island. This Whiskey
was chosen by Jack Teeling (yes the one from Teeling Whiskey) and after 11
years in an American oak cask it was finished for 3 more months in a Sauternes
cask. It is unlikely that this Whiskey is from the Teeling Whiskey Distillery
itself since they “just” opened their distillery. The first distillery
in 125 years in Ireland! I’m looking forward to their own products as they try
to “bring the craft of distilling back into the very heart of Dublin city
centre.” But I digress back to the Whiskey at hand!
My Tastingnotes
Age: 11yo
ABV: 41%
Distillery: no information, but Irish
Colour: light amber
Nose: At first there is some fresh and fruity apple, maybe
some nuts. With time it develops some acidy notes but it stays very fresh and
light. Can’t disguise it’s heritage typical Irish! I like it.
Body: round, mild and very delicate
Palate: Typical Irish Whiskey! Very fine toffee and apple
notes combined with some very light spices, some oak wood and lemons.
Finish: not so long but okay and warming.
My score: 69
10th – Scotch Isle of Mull Single Malt Whisky Ledaig Distillery
This distillery on the Isle of Mull – the
only distillery on Mull – was founded in 1798 and was known in the beginning as
Ladaig. The distillery was closed a few times during the course of time and has
undergone different owners. The main product the Tobermory Singe Malt is used
for different blends including the famous “Black Bottle”. But there
is still some Single Malt known as “Ladaig”. It is the peated version
distilled in this nice distillery with an output of around 1m litres alcohol
per annum.
My Tastingnotes
Age: 7yo
ABV: 43%
Distillery: Ledaig/Tobermory
Colour: light golden
Nose: There’s lots of peat, phenol and even some iodine and
smoked meat. But with time you can taste some very delicate and fine notes of
honey too.
Body: lot’s of edges
Palate: Smoked meat with a salty crust on it, little bit of
iodine and some sweetness.
Finish: not very long but nice
My score: 63
11th – Scotch Speyside Single Malt Whisky Glen Moray Distillery
Located near Elgin this is a typical
Speyside distillery. They are capable of producing around 3.3m litres alcohol
per annum thanks to some newly installed stills. Before 2004 the distillery
belonged to Glenmorangie and here at Glen Moray Macdonald and Muir stared
experimenting with wood finishes which made Glenmorangie so famous. Glen Moray
was then sold to Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy and later to their actual owner La
Martiniquaise. Parts of the production are used for the companies blends but
they also have some interesting Single Malts.
My Tastingnotes
Age: 12yo
ABV: 46%
Distillery: Glen Moray
Colour: golden
Nose: Very fruity and sweet (toffee and honey), but also
some acidy notes from a freshly cut lemon.
Body: round and smooth
Palate: Very, very sweet! It’s like chewing on some fudge but
also a little bit prickling! And last but not least some oak wood is present
Finish: quite long and warming
My score: 70
12th – Scotch T-spooned Malt Whisky Ed.No.1 Balvenie & Glenfiddich 17yo
So this Whisky gave me some headache. Even
before I tried it. “T-spooned Malt Whisky”? After some research my
darkest fears had become true. “It [the Single Malt Whisky from Balvenie?]
has been refined[??] with a tablespoon Single Malt Scotch Whisky [from a
Glenfiddich Single Malt?]” (or vice versa)! I mean, really?? First of this
is a blend not a Single Malt (as I
explained before; a Single Malt must be from one distillery). So this is
not a Single Malt anymore. Second: one (or even two or ten) tablespoon(s)
into another cask (with 200 litres or more)? What for? Come on this is a joke,
right? 20 to 200ml into a cask of 200 litres? What should this 0.1% (or even
less) extra Whisky do? Refine it? I doubt it. This sounds just like the idea of
homeopathy to me and please don’t get me started on this. This is a Whisky blog
and not some esoteric blog. I understand that some distilleries don’t want
their name on anything except their own product. That’s absolutely fine and I
fully agree with them. Look how the SMWS does this. They use a number code so
that their members do know the distillery it was made in (after all the
distillery and the climate influences the taste of the spirit) but without
writing the name on it. So back to the Whisky, let’s see how this Whisky tastes.
My Tastingnotes
Age: 17yo
ABV: 41%
Distillery: Balvenie and/or Glenfiddich
Colour: light amber
Nose: This Whisky reminds me of the 12yo Glenfiddich,
flowery fruity notes combined with some apples and toffee. Later on there are
some very faint oak wood notes.
Body: very smooth and round
Palate: Yep, if I had to guess that’s definitely a Whisky
from the Glenfiddich Distillery. Apple, some toffee, maybe even some peppery
notes. All combined with a very fine and delicate citric note.
Finish: quite long and warming
My score: 70
13th – Scotch Speyside Single Malt Whisky Tamdhu Disillery
Back to a real Single Malt from the Tamdhu
distillery. This Speyside distillery is located in the very heart of the
Speyside. The name is gaelic and translates to “little dark hill”.
The distillery – capable of producing around 4m litres alcohol per annum – was
used for long years by the Highland Distillers making the stuff for blended
Whisky – mainly for the “The Famous Grouse”. After closing and
selling the distillery to Ian MacLeod Distillers in 2011 they started to
produce again around 2012/13. There are three Whiskies from the distillery
itself – the “Tamdhu, the 10yo and the 18yo” (mainly from the
warehouses and not from the actual production as this “New Make” is
still too young to be called Whisky!). There are some other bottlings from
independent bottlers available, dating back to the time the distillery belonged
to the Highland Distillers. Something quite special around Scottish
distilleries: they (still) have their own malting floors and are capable of
producing enough malted barley to deliver it even to other distilleries in the
My Tastingnotes
Age: 15yo
ABV: 43%
Distillery: Tamdhu
Colour: light amber
Nose: Sweetness from honey, some oak wood and plums, as
well as some dried fruits. Very delicate and full.
Body: full and very mild
Palate: Also very sweet but more toffee than honey. There’s
still some oak wood (freshly cut!) but also some apple and vanilla notes. As a
topping there are some faint hints of spices combined with some freshness.
Finish: quite long and warming
My score: 72
This week’s Whiskies were quite controversial.
At least one or two. On day 8 the first cask strength Whisky. Well, I had hoped
for more not just the usually 40 – 46% abv Whiskies but they were quite fine.
Nothing exceptional but quite good. I should talk to Jutta and Thomas from the
SMWS-AT. Maybe we can come up with an advent calendar made of SMWS Whiskies.
The “T-spooned” Whisky was not a big surprise as the small amount of
“extra” Whisky couldn’t do much, just as I suspected. Without any
information I couldn’t have told the distillery but they mentioned Balvenie and
Glenfiddich. So I went with Glenfiddich as the “main” Whisky in this
blend. The Sauternes cask finish Whiskey was fine but like the 2015 Kilchoman
PX finish Whisky I’ve encountered at The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show in London
I couldn’t make out a distinctive influence from the finishing cask. It wasn’t
bad (as the Kilchoman wasn’t) but I would have liked it maybe even more if I
had nosed/tasted the finishing cask. So that’s it for this week. The third Part
of my summary will go online on December 20th!


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