A life in drinks: From wine to whisky

Archive for November, 2015

Whisky Advent Calendar

The Whisky Advent Calendar 2015

Whisky Calender 1

Purposfully I haven’t taken pictures to give to much away! If one takes aside the quality of the whisky and  the value for money, there is simply one very good reason to have one of these for Christmas. Sheer entertainment. The excitement of not knowing what is coming next. They may not all be to your taste, but that makes getting one that is all the more exciting.

whisky calendar 3

So to the quality and value. The quality is varied. And by that I mean it starts at very good and goes up from there. There are some unusual and rare whiskies in the calendar from very young to fifty years old! Which brings me onto the value. I don’t know of any of the drams in this pack that you could buy in a pub for the price they average out to here. Well certainly not in London anyway! Some of these whiskies are much more valuable than the average price.

whisky calendar 2

So if you fancy a bit of fun, pleasure and excited anticipation every day of December before christmas, then this is for you. And if you buy this for someone who loves whisky, they will forever be thankful. There is plenty of more information and other calendars on their website: http://www.drinksbythedram.com

Available from fine retailers, including…


Royal Brackla 12 Year old

Royal Brackla 12 years old 40%


http://www.thewhiskyexchange.com £41.75

Nose: confected fruits mixed with a little fresh apricots in pastry. Spices and cake mix with a little chocolate.

Palate: Orchard fruits, mainly apples with chocolate. Like Chocolate shavings on a cake. A little vanilla and lemon rind towards the back of the palate and some honeysuckle flora notes.

Finish: Warming and spicy with well integrated oak bring the dram to a dry end.

Brackla 12

Another great value whisky from Bacardi. Following on from the Craigellachie 13 this is a cracker for the price.


The Arran Malt, Smugglers’ Series

The Arran Malt Smugglers’ Series Vol.1 The Illicit Stills 56.4%

Arran-Smugglers Oct15-ArranSmugglers

Nose: Big and rich. Lots of dried dark fruits at first with lighter dried fruits like currents and apricots follow on. Slightly coastal but fleeting. Some honeysuckle floral notes sweeten the oak and spice.

Palate: Lots of fresh plumbs and Christmas spices. Rich and full. The peat builds up but takes its time. Spices really come through well.

Finish: Dry and spicy with lot of smoke. Very well integrated oaky dryness right at the end.


Bowmore 12 Years Old from Gleann Mor

Bowmore 12 years old. Gleann Mor 53.3%

http://www.gmwhiskyco.com £69




Bowmore 12 1

Nose: Honey and fresh peaches at first. Malty with a little nutty marzipan. Citrus zests and a touch of pine forest.

Palate: Very oily and viscous mouthfeel. Luxuriant. Lots of fruit up front, oranges and orchard fruits. Red apples. Some honey and vanilla mix in the background. Very easy going smoke.

Finish: Chilli heat at first becoming herbaceous with a little brioche at the end with burning fire smoke.

This might seem a tad expensive for a 12 year old whisky. But no, it is a single cask, cask strength gem. fabulous mouth feel and fantastic balance.

If you’re into single casks this is a very good, one. If you’ve never ventured into single casks, then I would certainly say this one will not put you off.

Penny Blue Batch 4 Rum

Penny Blue XO Mauritian Rum 43%


Penny Blue Batch 4

bbr.com £40

I know this isn’t a whisky, but of all the rums I know it is certainly a whisky drinker’s rum. It’s unchill filtered with a natural colour. To be sipped and savoured.

Nose: Tropical fruits come first followed by some sweetness, but very balanced – no added sugar here. Touches of eucalyptus and spice mingle with vanilla and citrus zests.

Palate: The sweet flavours follow on to the palate as well as the delicate tropical fruits. Wood spice and fresher citrus fruit flavours come together to balance it beautifully.

Finish: A long finish, especially for rum. Dry oaky notes with soft spices, a little ginger tingling on the tongue right at the end.

A glorious whisky drinkers rum, no molasses added here. Sip away and be pleased you went out and bought one. Then buy another before you get to the end of the bottle. This small batch rum won’t last long.

From the London Whisky Show 2015

A mini tasting of the show bottle from this years London Whisky Show and brought to the show by the brand new http://www.scotchwhisky.com Edited by a team of three whisky heads. Dave Broom, Becky Paskin and Richard Woodard. Anyway onto the whisky: All we know is that it comes from a family run Speyside distillery, but nothing else!

A fabulous new whisky site with lots of content for beginners and aficionados a like. Take a look and get stuck in.



Glenmorangie A Midwinter Night’s Dram

A little something for the UK market and clearly designed with winter in Mind:

Glenmorangie: A Midwinter Night’s Dram 43%

Glenmorangie Midwinter Night's Dram

Glenmorangie Midwinter Night’s Dram

Most good whisky shops and some supermarkets, £40 UK ONLY

A new whisky for Christmas. A Midwinter Night’s Dram’ has been matured in select Bourbon casks made from American white oak, delivering Glenmorangie’s classic house-style which is smooth and soft, and only to be found in the UK.

Glenmorangie Midwinter Night's Dram

Glenmorangie Midwinter Night’s Dram

Nose: Notes of orange marmalade, toffee, walnuts and mulled wine. Tones of wine-soaked fruit, Christmas cake and a distinct whiff of musk or incense.

Palate: A rich, warming, peppery texture leading into myriad flavours of chocolate orange, ginger, walnuts, praline and some sweet butter candy.

Finish: A soft, medium strength, creamy finish, with further notes of malt biscuit and plump raisins.