Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

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Matt2

Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Matt2 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:14 pm

Welcome to the Christmas Drams Live Forum Tasting.

Image

This tasting is all about Christmas Drams. These can be whiskies that have the flavours of Christmas or whiskies that go well with traditional Christmas food and snacks.

The Whiskies

  • Christmas Drams, heavy, sherried, fruit cake, mulled wine, gingery, spicy or anything else that reminds you of Christmas. But don't forget other whiskies that may go well with turkey, stuffing and Christmas pudding.

Date and Time

  • Saturday 13th December 7:00pm GMT

Handy Links


Start time - 7:00pm GMT

About...
For those of you who do not know what these are about, they run for generally 12+ hours and we all sit down (at various times) to taste a range of whiskies and share our notes and comments on the forum. Have a look in the Live Tasting forum for past events.

They are a great way to meet people on the forum, chat about your experiences and learn something new about the whiskies you have, and we all end up having a good time.

Please feel free to join in and post any comments or tasting notes you have. Tasting notes can be added using the Tasting Note tab on the postings page. (Note, the Age field on the tasting must be a number such as 7,9,10,18)

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday evening...

Click Here

Thanks to MT for the suggestion before leaving for pastures new...

Matt2

Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Matt2 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:18 pm

test :iwbrnt:

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Mr Fjeld » Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:28 pm

I'll join you guys in 20 min. with a Glenlivet XXV in the Glencairn. I have to go for a walk with Oscar first!

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:51 pm

Hi Guys (and Gals !) ,
Got a few sherried whiskies dug out for tonight , some i haven't visited for a while . I'll probably be in the SOI chatroom while posting notes here if anyone fancies a bit of a chat between drams .
I'll be starting with a couple of one's that i didn't particularly like.....

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Mr Fjeld » Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:59 pm

Collector57, Di Blasi let me taste his Highland Park 25 and I have to say it's magnificent dram!

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Mr Fjeld » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:03 pm

Okay, I'll follow Gordon's example and start with something sherried which isn't particularly good. I've still got the dregs of Glengoyne 12 Cask Strength and I've had it for ........ 3 years? Never been fond of it but it has perhaps benefited from a high air to whisky ratio? Still not good - but definately better!

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:13 pm

Expression - Old Pulteney (From Demi-Johns , Fill your own....)
Year -
Age - 14yo
ABV - 59.4%
Cask / Bottle No. -
Colour - Dark Mahogany
Nose - The real deal , 100% pure Christmas Cake , dried Fruits , spices , Glace Cherries . Just a shame about the slight sulphur in the background .
Palate - Wow ! Really strong on the palate , Not a sign of the sulphur that is on the nose , Really nice sherry feel , very oily , With water it brings out the dried fruits and Cake mix . A better balance to it .
Finish - Very long dry Sherry with spices .
Comments - Shame the nose slightly lets it down , glad i found this again for tonight .


Expression - Glendronach 100% Matured in Sherry Casks
Year -
Age - 15yo
ABV - 40%
Cask / Bottle No. -
Colour - Amber going on Mahogany
Nose - Again the Traditional Christmas Cake but a one swimming in cheap sherry .
Palate - Pretty bland taste , cheap sherry , very flat .
Finish - Dry Sherry
Comments - Just as bad i remember it is all i can say.....

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Mr Fjeld » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:20 pm

The Glengoyne 12 CS tastes and smells of burnt matches. There's also something which reminds me of gas on fire as well as something meaty/animal-like. I'll save the rest of the dregs for a Scottish Coffee or hot chocolate.

Think I'll go for a Glenlivet XXV next.

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:37 pm

Expression - Bunnahabhain 1966 Feis Ile
Year - 1966
Age - 35yo
ABV - 46.1%
Cask / Bottle No. - 4379 / 1 of 401
Colour - Deep Ruby
Nose - Dry Sherry at first , then Cloves , spices , dried fruits......smoke ?
Palate - Really smooth Sherry , A touch of peat ? Liquid Christmas Cake .
Finish - Wow , long dry sherry then fruit cake .
Comments - Distilled 16/5/1966 , Bottled 19/3/2002 . A cracking Bunnahabhain , to think it was only £125 at the time.....Bargain !

Matt2

Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Matt2 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:39 pm

Mr Fjeld wrote:as well as something meaty/animal-like.
Think I'll go for a Glenlivet XXV next.


I've noticed a beefy, fatty note in some Glengoynes, not in a bad way.

Are you teasing me with the Glenlivet :P

Got to out for a bit but will be back to see what I can find that is xmassy

:thumbsup:

Glad you like the avatar, where are yours? Come on don't make me the only one at the party with a silly hat on :mrgreen:

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Mr Fjeld » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:45 pm

-

The Glenlivet
XXV (Batch: 40347)
Nutmeg, ginger, camphor, Glenlivet fruitiness or maybe pineapple and sherry nutiness. It's also gristy/cereal-like.
Sherry does the talking first; nutty as in a sherry. Also a very nice taste of Camphor like the danish drops called King of Denmark.
The finish disappoints a little. It's almost as if it fades away too early but strangely some of it lingers on in the background for ages.
Despite the finish this is a very pleasing whisky. I have soft spot for Glenlivet - including this one! I think it's a sign of quality that it lacks the typical "woody" character so often found in older whiskies. It still has enough oak character to add structure.
Dark brown
0

25 Years Old
1982?
43%%
OB

Single Malt
-
Not this time
If I was in India
Glencairn
Finished the last two years in first fill Oloroso casks

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Mr Fjeld » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:51 pm

Matt Page wrote: I've noticed a beefy, fatty note in some Glengoynes, not in a bad way.

Are you teasing me with the Glenlivet :P

Yes :lol:

Got to out for a bit but will be back to see what I can find that is xmassy

:thumbsup:

Glad you like the avatar, where are yours? Come on don't make me the only one at the party with a silly hat on :mrgreen:

It's very cool indeed Matt :) I tried some wild ideas which included empty bottles, Father Christmas, animation, lack of skills and ended up swearing and cursing at the computer :evil: Why can't the thing do what I want it to!

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby LagaDrinker » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:05 pm

Good evening all and a Merry Christmas. I will only be having the 1 dram tonight as I have to go to work at 0:00 :evil:.

Anyway...

Bowmore Darkest 15 YO Sherry Cask Finished. 43%

Colour Dark Ruby Red, Glass: Spiegelau (thanks Nick)

N: Strong sherry, almonds, slight smoke, burnt toffee

T: smokey oak, warming sherry then comes through, chocolate

F: Rich, coates the tongue, not dry or oily, perfect texture on the tongue. Finishes with slight plum and chocolate.


This is my first tasting of this and I really like it. It seems one of the more complex drams I have had and very different to the 12 YO. I rate this dram as one of the better ones I have had particularly as I love the finish. 8.75/10 :thumbsup:

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:07 pm

Expression - Adelphi Glen Grant
Year - 1970
Age - 31yo
ABV - 55.4%
Cask / Bottle No. - 1036 /
Colour - Really Dark Mahogany
Nose - Dark sherry , really spicy (not oriental) , again pure Christmas cake .
Palate - Bags of dark fruit , A sweetness i can't place , perhaps Marzipan ? tremendously Balanced .
Finish - Really long and sherried .
Comments - Incredible Glen Grant , well balanced , easily drinkable to say it's so sherried . A big thank you to Andy for getting me to try this one on a passing through LFW a few years ago as i wouldn't have bought it without him thrusting a dram in my hand .

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:22 pm

Expression - SMWS 119.8
Year - 1991
Age - 11yo
ABV - 62.5%
Cask / Bottle No. - 119.8 /
Colour - Bright Amber
Nose - Dark Fruits ( Blueberries ) , Raspberries , currants , oloroso .
Palate - Cola Cubes , Red wine , Sherry Soaked Trifle sponge . Cake mix .
Finish - Long , warming , a lovely sherry as well .
Comments - Distilled Sept 1991 , Bottled June 2003 , An amazing Yamazaki , doesn't taste as strong as it is . The First Japanese whisky i really enjoyed .

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:47 pm

Expression - SMWS 37.33
Year - 1993
Age - 14yo
ABV - 60.9%
Cask / Bottle No. - 37.33 /
Colour - Very Bright Amber
Nose - Wow , the Genuine Christmas Cake straight away ! Christmas cake with a good amount of sherry poured into it ! Dark Treacle as well .
Palate - The strength of the spirit takes your breath away ! It actually tastes of Apple Strudel and Custard .
Finish - longish , sherried and Custard !
Comments - A really good Cragganmore !

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Mr Fjeld » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:57 pm

-

The Macallan
Cask Strength
A massive sherry nose - and all the greater for it! Pickled fruit - plum maybe? Also leathery with tobacco. If this was a wine I'd say it's using french oak.....but it's using spanish.....
Big with lots of sherry nutiness and pickled cherries. Chocolate! I've become very fond of the 12 Elegancia - this maybe even better?
This one definately doesn't fade away. It lasts and lasts and I want another one - now!
I love Macallan. Yes, they may be over priced but they are very nice! (not the fine oak)
Dark brown....darkest I've seen apart from Aberlour A'bunadh
0

10 Years Old
0
58.4%
OB

Single Malt
Highland
yes, a few drops
I'm still not in India
Glencairn
-

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Mr Fjeld » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:16 pm

Never had a Tomintoul - is it good Willie?
Had something quite delicious with the Macallan; roasted coffee beans covered in dark chocolate. A perfect match with the Macallan Cask Strength!

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Wave » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:17 pm

Normally I don't drink whisky this early, but it's been one of those days :x
and I definitely need a cheer, Christmas or otherwise.

Starting it off with...
Longmorn 27yo 1973 Signatory Vintage Rare Reserve 55.1% ABV

C: Walnut with a reddish tinge
N: Sherry, oak, dark chocolate and a slight pang of smoke
P: Semi-sweet and spicy with a bit of oak wood
F: Medium length and drying, salt and pepper

Cheers!

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Wave » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:41 pm

Willie JJ wrote: I really like the 27yo and think it is good value.

It's a very good malt, in fact it too would be a great Christmas dram. :thumbsup:

Cheers!

Matt2

Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Matt2 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:14 am

Nice avatar Mr F :thumbsup:

Time for a quick one, all this talk of Tomintoul thought I'd try the 10 year old.

The nose is nothing special and is gone with water, the palate a bit weak, but the finish is something quite special. Nice, slightly oily coating. pears and syrup in there. Whats the xmas link, well it seems to go very well with Brazil nuts, brings out a marzipan note...

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Reggaeblues » Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:14 am

What's with the page? It's gone all W - I - D - E on me!! I have to scroll across to see who's posting!

Anyway, GREETINGS and and all! This will be my only posting tonight, as

I'm currently resting my ears whilst mixing a new tune in the studio(no gig tonight!). I'm also preparing to host a small tasting to honour a friend's birthday tomorrow night, with his family, by sampling various malts as I "do my thing."(And women say men can't multitask! B*ll*cks! I'm living proof!!)

Anyway...my guests are not really whisky "buffs" , so it has to be a bit accessible...

I've chosen the following:

1 Glenmorangie "Standard", a nice meet and greet dram.

2 Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or as recommended by SOI and bought for the tasting. My first bottle, opened yesterday, , and I'm not disappointed!

Toast on the nose...toasted cereal with a touch of spice, like a cinammon roll not quite overdone!

Tastes like the standard on steroids - the distillery character shines through, but thicker, sweeter...with a sandalwood dryness like the 15 YO, balanced with the sweet wine casks. Hints of tropical fruits and a dab of custard on the finish. Love it!!

3: Talisker. I tried the end of a 10. It's been awhile...this is so clean, there's a sweetness of red fruit and melon against a smoked background, like sucking a pebble on the seashore. Reminded me of a Bowmore...

Tomorrow I will ceremonially open an 18 I've had for months...bought from Waitrose for £30(before it burnt down, along with all those fine malts, in Banstead last night)!!

4.He likes Ardbeg 10, so, We'll finish with Uigeadal - latest distillery - sent batch at 54.2%. Opened tonight. Interesting! "Is this THE one? The mystery dram? The Bible's latest Second Coming?

Well. i won't spoil it for myself! It is all I would expect from an Ardbeg, though not as subtle as , say, the 1977. Overall reminds me of a more balanced version of the recent SMWS sherried Laphroaig
...and cheaper! Big! It doesn't have "Ursula Andress in rubber wetsuit"(as the Soc. described it) on the nose, rather a softer creamier, sexy peatiness with a touch of spongecake. Like drinking hot chocolate by the seashore, with someone cooking bacon on a barbecue 50 yards downwind.

On the palate, with the Laphroaig the sherry comes first followed by the smoke. Here it's the other way round...though both are there from the outset, but with the Ardbeg it's held in restraint by the smoke/oak.
the finish has a dark molasses touch which reminds me of Lagavulin, especially the first DE I had back in 2001. Lovely. A touch of pepper/chili and spice on the finish, underpinned by the peat.

Well. I've made my choice! Might end with a drop of my Glen Moray "Jim Clark Malt" as he, like me, is a motor racing fan.

Thanks, folks! Have a great night. I must get back to my mix...

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Wave » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:35 am

Back for some more Xmas cheer.

Cooley 12yo 1993 Murray McDavid Bloodtub Valinch 58.5% ABV

Glass: Glencairn (Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2008)

N: Chocolate and walnut fudge, lipstick, smoky embers
P: Creamy and sweet with dates and raisins with underlining peat.
F: Long and spicy sweet with lingering smoke. late salt



Two small drams is all I have left of this beauty (1 for tonight and 1 for Xmas night). I'll be sad to see this one die as it's been an excellent Christmas dram for the past
several years.

Cheers!

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Wave » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:54 am

Ho Ho Ho! and now for
Glen Elgin 16yo OB 58.5% ABV

N: Fresh. Sweet sherry, peppermint(?) and surprisingly some smoke too.
P: Creamy and mouth-coating, dark chocolate and malty with orange-like undertones
F: Medium length sugar n spice
A nice Glen Elgin :thumbsup:


Cheers1

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Wave » Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:09 am

Now this is a real Christmas dram!!!!

Glenfarclas 31yo 1974 OB 57.4% ABV

N: Milk Chocolate and raisins, heavy dried fruits
P: Very creamy, like drinking buttermilk, dark chocolate and dried red fruits
F: Long and spicy sweet with some late smoke
:P

Cheers!

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby TreacleSponge » Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:06 pm

Well here I am, beyond fashionably late I think :oops: Couldn't make it last night but I can't miss out on these festivities, so I'll have a root around and see what I can bring along...

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby TreacleSponge » Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:24 pm

Finally decided. It sounds so obviously Christmas - port & sherry - I'll have to start with a Balvenie 21yo Portwood.

Balvenie 21yo Portwood

The Balvenie
21yo Portwood
Cherries in milk chocolate. Lots of melon and red apple skins. It's very perfumed, heading towards play-doh. Sweet and enticing, like having a tempting dessert set before you. After five minutes the fruits sharpen up to white grapes and not-quite-ripe strawberries but that soft cherry chocolate is still there. Water brings out more floral notes.
Much better with a tiny drop of water which brings out another sweetness, lovely toffee and honey. There's some marzipan and pastry like a warm Bakewell tart. A little bit oaky. All the time the port is lightly hovering in the background, sometimes moving a little more to the front. It's a beautiful finish for this whisky, works very well.
Milk chocolate, vanilla, and freshly sawn wood.
I like this but 40% is not quite strong enough for it, and it's a little too soft and floral/perfumed. What makes it a great Christmas dram is that it goes perfectly with mince pies. They bring out the sherry in it, and firm up those loose perfumey notes, to make it much more how I want it to be all the time. In fact if it was a little higher ABV and was this robust without eating the mince pies, it'd be too nice
-
0

21 Years Old
0
40%
-

Single Malt
Scotland
a tiny drop
nope
Glencairn
-

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby TreacleSponge » Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:54 pm

OK, still in the Christmas spirit, G&M Old Pulteney 1990 (thanks for this Dram Fine Idea)

G&M Old Pulteney 1990-2006 cask#5469

Old Pulteney
G&M 1990-2006
Rich and immediately both sweet and salty. This will be interesting! Already feels Christmassy with nuts and marzipan. Adding water brings out peanut butter, which then becomes salted peanuts.
A hint of singed hair, or perhaps burnt rubber. Cloves on the tip of the tongue are washed over with salt. Bitter orange rind. Whole nut dark chocolate. Perhaps as we're being seasonal that should be chocolate brazils. Then there's an unexpected little bit of pineapple cooked on a barbecue with ginger butter, which becomes more charred and bitter.
Long and quite dry. There's something a little meaty here. But mainly crystallised ginger and strongly sherried, with very coastal notes.
This is so interesting. I know the 12yo has a fan base but it's never done anything for me. Perhaps I underestimate it. This 18yo has woken my curiosity and I'll revisit the 12 to see what I can notice. I've loathed whiskies that show any sulphur but I wasn't repulsed here. It's very complex, something to take time over, and it's definitely one for long dark nights. Thanks to Dram Fine Idea for this, it would otherwise have been a long time till I'd think to try anything else from this distillery!
-
0

0 Years Old
1990-2006
59%
Gordon MacPhail

-
Scotland
yes
no
Glencairn
1st fill sherry butt 1990-2006 cask 5469

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby TreacleSponge » Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:28 pm

Last one then, Macphunn Cask 2 18yo. Thanks C57 for this surprise dram :) I don't know anything about it but I'm going to call it a Christmas dram because it looks like it's been comfortably settled in a sherry cask :)

MacPhunn 18yo

-
Cask 2
Red berries, sweet wine and a flash of pear drops. Lighter than the Old Pulteney but a very lovely warm depth here. Sugared almonds and a whisp of moke before a little white pepper. Water brings out a softer floral note and bubblegum, then butterscotch and more fresh red fruit.
Mmmmm. Cherry jam then a fleeting taste of lightly toasted brown bread. Madeira cake then Christmas pudding with tons of raisins.
Long. Chocolate then salt and pepper, then a return to the chocolate - no, ooh wasn't expecting this - chilli chocolate.
I need to find out about this. I don't know anything of it, but I loved it. There's no heaviness to it but it's bursting with rich warm flavours. It's a lovely warm blanket to be wrapped up in, by a roaring log fire.
-
0

18 Years Old
0
57.2%
-

-
-
yep
nope
Glencairn
-

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Matt2

Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Matt2 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:31 pm

Hi Treacle :roll:

The Balvenie Rum Cask is also very nice and I think a bit more christmassy than the portwood, I found the portwood a little too dry and harsh.

:thumbsup:

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby TreacleSponge » Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:39 pm

Heya Matt. I've been after a taste of the rum cask for months now, but keep missing it. I did the same last year with the Springbank rum cask - thought it'd be something I'd really like but just never got round to buying it :headbang:

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Wave » Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:39 am

TreacleSponge wrote:Well here I am, beyond fashionably late I think :oops: Couldn't make it last night but I can't miss out on these festivities, so I'll have a root around and see what I can bring along...

As I see it it's twelve days of Christmas! :mrgreen: So I'll be posting my Christmas drams here all the way up to the 25th.

Cheers!

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Wave » Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:59 am

Christmas Drams, heavy, sherried, fruit cake, mulled wine, gingery, spicy or anything else that reminds you of Christmas.

Another style of a Christmas dram IMHO is something old and the oldest whisky I have opened atm is my next Xmas dram,

Highland Park 32yo 1973 Lorne MacKillop Sherrywood 43% ABV

N: Light Sherry, heather and slightly smokey
P: Slightly creamy and lightly sherried. Nutmeg and medium peat
F: Medium length, flowery and peaty

A wonderful HP!


Cheers!
Ho Ho Ho!

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby Wave » Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:55 am

And now for something a bit more sherried...

Brora 26yo 1977 Douglas Laing Old & Rare Platinum Selection 54.9% ABV

N: Heavy sherry, flowery and some peat smoke.
P: Full and robust, sherry (slightly sweetened) and peaty
F: Long and sweetly spiced, very late almost a peated sugary aftertaste

A great Brora! If my other Brora's are as good I'll be a happy guy!
A malt for Christmas cookies?

Cheers!

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Re: Christmas Drams - 13th December 2008

Postby TreacleSponge » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:11 pm

Collector57 wrote:Just checked. They still have it. It's in the "Non Attributable Single Malts" section.
The story is fun too

Thanks for that, found it. Tempting :)


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