We almost reached Christmas and here is
part three of my Whisky Advent Calendar summary.

The next 7 Whiskies of the Advent Calendar
December
14th – Irish Single Malt Whiskey “Brothers in Arms”
This Whiskey is made by Jack and his
brother Stephen Teeling. After last week’s „Jacks Choice“ which was created by
Jack alone both brothers contributed to this Whiskey. Last week I suspected
that this Whiskey is not from the Teeling Distillery but I may have been wrong.
Just because the distillery is younger than a Whisk(e)y has to be it doesn’t
mean anything. When BenRiach was bought they bought all the warehouses with the
distillery. They were able to sell Whisky right from the beginning. Despite the
fact that the Teeling Distiller Company just opened their doors this year they
owned the Cooley Disillery which thy sold to Beam Global (Suntory). So the
Whiskey may be from the old warehouses from the Cooley Distillery. Because Jack
and Stephen choose two Whiskeys from 2000 and 1991(!). Technically they do here
the same as I wrote in my first part of this summary („Compass Whisky“ and
„SWA“), if you remember. Now their aid in helping the INSERT DISTILLERY NAME
HERE makes perfect sense. Stephens Whiskey from 2000 is matured in a first fill
Bourbon cask, for Jacks Whiskey a Sherry butt was used! Let’s see what they
created here.
My Tastingnotes
Age: 14yo
ABV: 43%
Distillery: maybe Cooley (or Teeling?)
Colour: dark gold
Nose: Some Lemon and floral notes but also some “New
Make” and some spices.
Body: little bit flat
Palate: There is toffee and oak wood. With time there are
some spices, maybe pepper and ginger?
Finish: long and warming
My score: 63
December
15th – Scotch Speyside Single Malt Whisky Benrinnes Distillery Cask Strength
Cask Strength Whisky number two. This one
is again from the Speyside but this time the distillery is more in the heart of
the Speyside. The last one was quite close to the shore. The distillery was
built frist ain 1826 but was destroyed by a flood only three years later. 1835
the distillery was built again but called „Lyne of Ruthrie“. The distillery
changed it’s name to „Benrinnes“ 1838. Most probably because the distillery is
located at the foot of Mount Ben Rinnes, a 840m „high“ mountain. It was sold a
few times and today the distillery belongs to Diageo. The yearly alcohol output
is around 3.5m litres. They use a slightly peated malt and use – like
Auchentoshan – three distilling stills. In Scotland the typical number is two –
a wash still and a spirit still – that’s the reason I bring it up. I myself
just learned during my research that they use a triple distillation. I thought
only Auchentoshan uses it. Interestingly they use a „standard“ double
distillation too. There are just a few bottlings from the
distillery itself but there are some independent bottles who sell Whisky from
there too.
My Tastingnotes
Age: 14yo
ABV: 54.5%
Distillery: Benrinnes
Colour: golden
Nose: Fruity but also some rotten oak wood and a hint of
“New Make”.
+H2O: With water there is less “New Make” and oak
wood but lots of sweetness from toffee emerges!
Body: full, has some edges
Palate: Pepper, very intense, some oak wood.
+H2O: With water it becomes a little bit less intensive but
not flat. Oh, and there is lots of toffee there too.
Finish: long and warming
My score: 62 / 68 (without / with water)
December
16th – Scotch Speyside Peated Blended Malt Whisky
Not much there to tell about this Whisky.
It’s a blend, peated and from the Speyside. All used Whiskies are at least 10
years old and they may be from different distilleries. Interestingly this is a
peated Blend which is quite untypically for the Speyside. Two Whisky regions
are known for their unpeated Whiskies, the Lowlands and the Speyside. But of
course there is a exception to every rule. Well, there is no rule that a
Speyside Whisky has to be unpeated as for example BenRiach has some peated
Whiskies. But for these two regions it’s quite untypically. Just like a
unpeated Whisky from Islay, they are usually (heavily) peated. And to fortify
my argument with the exception from the “typical usus”: “The
Classic Laddie” from Bruichladdich (a distillery on Islay) is unpeated. On
the other hand they have the “Octamore” – the most heavily peated
Whisky worldwide! As I wrote in both preceding articles the SWA doesn’t allow
to tell from which distilleries the blend is made. Little strange but it is
what it is. On the other hand I think a distillery should be allowed to tell if
they want to. Let’s see what this blended Whisky tastes like!
My Tastingnotes
Age: 10yo
ABV: 41%
Distillery: no information
Colour: bright gold
Nose: There’s peat and some iodine. If you wait a little
bit you can nose some toffee.
Body: unfortunately quite flat
Palate: Quite spicy with some meat, peat and salt.
Finish: warming but not for long
My score: 63
December
17th – Scotch Highland Single Malt Whisky Macduff Distillery
The Highlands! Well kind of, the
distillery is located in Banff, Banffshire. And Banff belongs to the Speyside.
Nevertheless the distillery is often put into the Highlands. Whatever. The
distillery belongs to Bacardi and is capable of producing 2.8m litres alcohol
per annum. Single Malts from this distillery are available but if you are
searching for Macduff you will find only independent bottlers. Whiskies from
the distillery itself are labelled as “Glen Deveron”.
“Glen” is Gaelic for valley and the Deveron is the river the
distillery is built next to. If you find a “Glen Deveron” it’s from
the distillery itself, if it’s called “Macduff” it’s from a
independent bottler. But the Whisky is also used for various Blends in the
Bacardi company. Let’s see if this Whisky is indeed a “typical”
Highland Whisky or more a Speyside Whisky.
My Tastingnotes
Age: 16yo
ABV: 43%
Distillery: Macduff
Colour: light gold-yellowish
Nose: Very floral and fruity. Some oak wood, spices and
peach. Very typical for a Speyside Whisky.
Body: round and smooth
Palate: Very fresh, some spicy and nutty flavours but also
some oak wood. More Speyside than Highlands!
Finish: warming but not that long
My score: 71
December
18th – Scotch Highland Single Malt Whisky Blair Athol Distillery
Till today I knew every distillery used in
this advent calendar – at least by name. The distillery from today’s Whisky was
a new name to me. The distillery is located in Pitlochry in the Highlands. This
time it’s a Highland distillery for real. It belongs to the Diageo company and
produces around 2m litres alcohol per annum. Very large amounts of this Whisky
is used for the Blend sold under the name “Bell’s”. This Whisky is
sold mainly in the UK but also South Africa, Spain and Brazil. But there are
only very few Single Malts from this distillery. That may be the reason for me
not knowing this distillery. I had to look it up but the SMWS has this
distillery on their list. Maybe I’ll taste one from this distillery in the
future at a tasting from the SMWS. But now let’s see how this quite old (19yo!)
Whisky tastes.
  
My Tastingnotes
Age: 19yo
 
ABV: 43%
Distillery: Blair Athol
Colour: amber
Nose: There are lemons and pears, very fruity and fresh.
Also there is some sweetness from honey.
Body: smooth and soft
Palate: A little tingling followed by some spices (pepper?)
but also sweetness from toffee.
Finish: long and warming
My score: 73
December
19th – Irish Single Malt Whiskey
Well this Whiskey is a mystery. I couldn’t
find hardly any information on this one. Not even on the homepage of the
company I bought the advent calendar. But I found a paragraph about a
“Special Edition” Whiskey from Cooley for the 20 year anniversary of
“vom Fass (Germany?)”. Maybe this Whiskey is from the Cooley
distillery. It is 20 years old that is for sure. As there are not many Whiskey
distilleries left in Ireland (the reason for this is still “The noble
Experiment” from the 1920s in the USA) the possibility that this Whiskey
is from Cooley is quite high. So let’s see how this Whiskey tastes.
My Tastingnotes
Age: 20yo
ABV: 41%
Distillery: no information, but Irish probably Cooley
Colour: golden
Nose: Sweet, quite simple, some oak wood, some floral notes
and a hint of dried fruits.
Body: soft and well rounded
Palate: Sweet and fruity (cherry?, peach) but there are some
spicy flavours and even some oak wood.
Finish: long and warming
My score: 72
December
20th – Scotch Blended Malt Whisky Two Casks Caol Ila & Tullibardine
In “the good ol’ times” this
would have been called “Vatted Malt” (just like the Whisky in
December 16th) but nowadays it’s just a Blend. The Caol Ila distillery is
located on Islay and known for their quite heavily peated Whiskies. The
Tullibardine distillery is located more or less in the heart of the Highlands.
Interesting mixture. The first distillery is owned by Diageo and produces
around 6.5m litres alcohol per annum the second one is owned by Picard Vins
& Spiritueux (a French company if you didn’t guessed it from the name) and
produces 2.7m litres alcohol per annum. The first one is known widely the
second one isn’t. From both distilleries some Single Malts are available but
for the latter one you may have to visit the Potstill in Vienna to get a
bottle. Caol Ila 12 for example is available nearly everywhere. Let’s see what
this Blend from Islay and the Highlands is capable of.
My Tastingnotes
Age: n.a.s.
ABV: 41%
Distillery: Coal Ila & Tullibardine
Colour: light amber
Nose: Smoked meat and iodine are very present. But there
are some faint notes from toffee.
Body: soft but otherwise flat
Palate: Smoked meat again but less than before. There is some
sweetness from toffee which is much more present that while nosing the Whisky.
Finish: long and warming
My score: 68
Wow, just four more days (and therefore
Whiskies) left till Christmas! I can’t belief how fast the time flows. I’ll
post the next four Whiskies on December 25th
because I’ll be celebrating – as we do here in Austria – Christmas in the
evening of December 24th! As it is not possible for me to taste the last Whisky
an December 24th as I have to drive after the Christmas dinner and I’m a strict
“If I have to drive I don’t drink” person I decided to taste and post
the last part of my summary on December 25th. Well I could taste the Whisky in
the morning of the 24th and after the dinner in the evening I surely can drive
but we will see. In case I post the last summary on Christmas Day I wish you
and all your loved ones a very merry Christmas. Enjoy the holiday season with a
good dram of Whisky!

Slàinte,
Lukas

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