News: Drinks by the Dram 2018 Advent Calendar selection

Drinks by the Dram 2018 Advent Calendar selection

xmas 2018 gin calendarIt’s that time of the year where some of us vaguely start to ponder the coming festive season (others prefer to ignore it till December 24th!). When it comes to whisky, there’s a couple of things I like to now consider traditions, and the Drinks by the Dram Advent Calendar selection is one of them for sure! So here’s the info of what’s available in the 2018 range…

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News: Douglas Laing Mark Their 70th Anniversary With A Twist

RRM with a Twist 10 Years Old BottleDouglas Laing Mark Their 70th Anniversary With A Twist

Family owned Scotch Whisky specialist, Douglas Laing, continue to mark their Platinum Anniversary with the release of a commemorative Remarkable Regional Malts bottling.

The Company was established by Fred Douglas Laing in 1948. 70 years later, Douglas Laing is regarded as one of the most innovative independent spirit businesses, owned and run by 2nd and 3rd generation family members. This latest release certainly reflects the Company’s desire for innovation and creativity.

The “Remarkable Regional Malts – With A Twist” bottling encompasses Single Malts from all of Scotland’s Whisky producing regions, representing the various brands in the range. Aged for 10 years, bottled at 48% alcohol strength and offered without colouring or chill-filtration, the resulting Whisky reflects the very best of Scotch Malt Whiskies.

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Review: Steel Bonnets

steel bonnets whiskySteel Bonnets: Blended Malt Whisky

Info: From The Lakes Distillery comes the first ever blend, so the press release says, of English and Scottish malt whiskies, Steel Bonnets. The blend is a combination of The Lakes Single Malt from England and some of the most respected malts from north of the Border. Awarded a gold medal in Spirits Business’ Luxury Masters Awards. 46.6% abv, non chillfiltered, non coloured.
Colour: Golden with a hint of autumn rust.
Nose: An interesting nose that is vibrant and flavourful. There’s some instant sweetness to the nose, possibly showing distillery character from younger (Lakes?) spirit. There is a dollop of sweetened cream with green and red fruits on the nose with smokey hints as a backdrop.
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Review: Deanston Decennary 50th Anniversary

deanston decennary bottleDeanston Decennary 50th Anniversary – 46.3% abv

Info: Deanston Decennary 50th Anniversary is a marriage of four different casks; Whisky refil from 1977, American Oak from 1982, Port Pipe from 1996 and Pedro Ximenez from 2006. 1400 bottles available exclusively at the distillery. Natural colour, un-chillfiltered.
Colour: Summer gold with a hint of autumn rust.
Nose: The nose here is really autumnal. There’s hints of sharp, cold, clean rain on malt. There’s a bowl full of simmered down autumn fruits with a spoon of thick cream dolloped on top. There’s a nuttyness that’s coming from the casks. You can tell there’s some well aged malt here, but it’s well integrated and keeps a nice natural balance of the malts.
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Quick Review: Syndicate 58/6 12 Year Old

syndicate 58/6 12 year old whiskySyndicate 58/6 12 year old

Info: Contains 18 single malts and 4 single grains, finished for a year in Oloroso sherry butts. From Douglas Laing, a blend by Richard Patterson.
Colour: End of summer golden.
Nose: Spirited hints of pear, malt and rainy ozone. All backed by gentle sweet berry notes.
Palate: Very gentle sweet berry notes at the fore, it’s not overly oily, but it coats the tongue pleasingly. A hint of lemon.
Finish: Flavourful, with hints of wood and a slight touch of tannin at the end. Not overly long.
Thoughts: It’s a tasty blend at a great price.
Available: Master of Malt – £30 inc free postage.

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Review: The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection

Singleton Of Dufftown Malt Masters SelectionThe Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection – 40% abv

Info: The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection is matured in a combination of refill, Sherry and Bourbon casks, with a greater proportion of refill to allow ‘the sweet yet refined distillery character to shine through’. This has no age statement and is chillfiltered.
Colour: Yellow golden sun, hints of rust.
Nose: Malty and sweet. There’s handfuls of malt intertwined with some caramel, a little toffee, and the peel of red apples. In the background there’s spring meadow grassiness.
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Review: Speyburn 15 Year Old

Speyburn 15 Year Old BottleSpeyburn 15 Year Old – 46% ABV

Info: Matured in a combination of American and Spanish oak casks for 15 years. New at the end of 2017.
Colour: Light summer gold.
Nose: Quite sprightly and full bodied. Lashings of buttery malt with a great back note of mushed up autumn berry fruits, vanilla custard and maybe even a dollop of cream.
Palate: A nice strong oily introduction to your tongue, slightly peppery, with plenty of sweetness from the cream and the crushed berries. Just enough age to mark it as nicely middle aged with a hint of smoke from cask char.
Finish: The sweetness quickly heads towards slight peppery tannin on the finish which is quite long from the cask char hints.
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Review: Big Peat 25 Year Old Gold Edition

big peat 25 year old gold edition bottleBig Peat 25 year old Gold Edition – 52.1% ABV

Info: It’s nearly time for Feis Ile 2018, so what better way to enjoy it than to have a dram of Big Peat’s Gold Edition, a 25yo vatted Islay malt. No chill filtration and no colour.
Colour: Ripe golden barley
Nose: Delicate and slightly floral, a heathery Islay moorland summer day. Beautifully restrained coal and sea breeze peat notes underline what is obviously a well aged gentle dram, and maybe hides the higher ABV? A hint of old oak and wax polish.
Palate: Slightly peppery at first followed quickly be waves of sweet peat laden oils. Exciting to hold on your tongue for ages investigating the silky oils and sweet peat notes.
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Review: Rock Oyster 18 Years Old

rock oyster 18 years oldRock Oyster 18 Years Old

Info: Made exclusively with 18yo whiskies distilled on Arran, Jura, Islay and Orkney.
Colour: Light golden straw.
Nose: Sweet floral ozone notes which soon deepen into something older. There’s well aged malty tones, gentle caramel toffee notes and hints of gentle heathery smoke puffs.
Palate: It’s oily and gently spiced on your tongue, which starts to give way to heathery floral peat notes with oaky hints which remind you of dark dunnage warehouses. There’s some slight buttery toffeeiness which helps the dram become very easy going and relaxed.
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