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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 21: Mortlach Rare Old

by Whisky Santa     21. December 2014 00:00

Mortlach Rare Old

Time for us all to open the 21st window of our Whisky Advent Calendars! And inside it's... a new look single malt Scotch whisky from Dufftown in Speyside. A whole new expression from Mortlach to be precise, a distillery that was founded back in the 1820s and you may know best from their 16yo 'Flora & Fauna' release featuring a Goldeneye duck. (James Pond, anyone?)

With past distillery releases few and far between, Mortlach (or 'duck massacre') now has its own shiny new core range! Time to jump in with Rare Old, which has a greater bourbon cask influence than you may expect alongside the more familiar Sherried spirit.

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 18: Arran - Batch 4 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

by Whisky Santa     18. December 2014 00:00

Arran Batch 4 That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Followers of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's batches of Arran single malt Scotch whisky will know that the label features Boutique-y illustrator Emily Chappell stranded on a desert island. Not the most festive of scenes, perhaps, except if you look carefully at Batch 4 you'll see that she's actually put up her Christmas tree!

An appropriate choice for day 18 of the Whisky Advent Calendar then! There's even some festive spice and warming rye-style notes in this batch, although it's very much still a charming Arran, and I'm rather partial to a charming Arran...

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 14: Balvenie 12 YO Single Barrel

by Whisky Santa     14. December 2014 00:00

Balvenie 12 Year Old Single Barrel First Fill

Day 14 is upon us, which means two things...

1) We're 10 days away from Christmas. This could either instil joy or fear into your heart, dependent on whether you've figured out what gifts you're going to get everyone. (By the way, do you think the reindeer will mind getting a hamper full of carrots for the 18th year running?)

2) Behind the window of your Whisky Advent Calendars today, you'll be finding a delicious dram of IWSC Trophy-winning Balvenie 12 Year Old Single Barrel - First Fill! A superb single malt from the spectacular Speyside distillery, matured in first fill bourbon casks, with each bottle being one of no more than 300 drawn from a single cask. Top quality mince pie accompaniment, this is.

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 11: Glenfiddich 18 Year Old

by Whisky Santa     11. December 2014 00:00

Glenfiddich 18 Year Old

Behind the eleventh window of your Whisky Advent Calendars you'll find a very famous name: Glenfiddich. It's famous because it's the world's best-selling single malt and the one that basically created the modern single malt category back in 1963! Some whisky drinkers tend to overlook whiskies from the top-selling distilleries, although it's often fun to see the same whisky drinkers try a couple of them! (All the better if they do so blind!)

Today, we have the pleasure of Glenfiddich 18 Year Old, the full bottle of which has received some fancy new packaging recently. Could be the perfect time to pick up a bottle (with some added treats below...) or else try and win yourself one...

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 10: Glen Garioch Founder's Reserve

by Whisky Santa     10. December 2014 00:00

Glen Garioch 1797 Founder's Reserve

"Behind window 10 you'll find Glen Garioch, a dram that's sure to make you cheery." Now, if that rhymed then well done, you're pronouncing Glen Garioch correctly and David Mitchell won't have to shoot you.

It should come as no surprise that I'm rather more jovial and benevolent than Mitchell & Webb's Grammar Nazi character when it comes to the sometimes tricky names that pop up in the whisky world though. I'm all about education rather than snobbery, so yes: simply say "Glen Geery" and you've got it. The taste is much more important than the name anyway, and this is a traditional highland single malt treat bottled at 48% without chill-filtration.

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 9: Auchentoshan Three Wood

by Whisky Santa     9. December 2014 00:00

Auchentoshan Three Wood

They say that when things come in threes, they're all the more pleasing for it. That's the rule of three. If today's anything to go by then 'they' may well be on to something, as the 3cl dram in our Whisky Advent Calendars is a delicious Lowland single malt which is distilled three times and matured in three different types of cask (ex-Pedro Ximénez, bourbon and Oloroso)!

So I trust you'll enjoy your Auchentoshan Three Wood, and why not also make the most of my treats below for Day 9 (that's three threes, by the way).

Ho ho ho! (<-See, pleasing.)

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 7: Glenfarclas 10 Year Old

by Whisky Santa     7. December 2014 00:00

Glenfarclas 10 Year Old

Excited to peek behind the seventh window of the Whisky Advent Calendar? Well now's the time, as it's Day 7! Behind that little window lies a classic Sherried expression from a family-owned independent Scottish distillery - it's a dram of Glenfarclas 10 Year Old!

Six generations of the Grant family have helped run the distillery, and next year marks the 150th anniversary of John Grant buying Glenfarclas back in 1865. #WhiskySanta Towers has been family-owned for many decades too you know, but the Grant family have managed it all without omniscience and flying reindeer. Bloody impressive! Not to say I'm a slouch mind, just watch me move on the 24th!

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 5: Bowmore 12 Year Old

by Whisky Santa     5. December 2014 00:00

Bowmore 12 Year Old

Four delicious days down, and on 5th December the Whisky Advent Calendar giveth single malt from Bogh Mòr! Bowmore distillery's 12 year old single malt to be precise.

They say that the devil last visited Bowmore in 1837, and that the people of the town of Bowmore scared him off. I'm generally more bothered by the Grinch though personally. If you happen to see him about, make sure you tell him to do one too, won't you? He'll take a hint one of these days. Other than that, I simply encourage you to sit back and enjoy your dram of delicious peated Scotch from Islay.

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 4: Jura 16 Year Old

by Whisky Santa     4. December 2014 00:00

Isle of Jura 16 Year Old Diurachs' Own

It's Day 4, and what do we have here? A single malt Scotch whisky? Yes, from the "extremely unget-at-able" Isle of Jura, as I once heard young George Orwell describe it.

It's considerably easier to 'get-at' if you have flying reindeer of course, and I do rather enjoy travelling to the island on business every Christmas Eve. Less ice than at home, but many more deer! Mrs Claus and I are only outnumbered 9:2 (used to be 4:1 before we adopted that ruddy schnozzled fellow) by our four-legged antlered friends, whilst the Diurach of Jura are outnumbered 30:1 by the island's red deer!

Hence why Jura or 'Diùra' literally means 'deer island'. This dram, meanwhile, spent 14 years in American white oak casks and two years in ex-Amoroso Oloroso Sherry casks, and is said to be the whisky of choice for the Diurach themselves...

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WIN Christmas Crackers with our Cracker Pullin' Showdowns!

by Master of Malt     28. November 2014 13:00

Master of Malt #dramcrackers Cracker Pullin' Showdown

Now this here story I'm about to unfold is something you should all be listenin' to. And listenin' well. There's a reward, you see. A reward of Drinks by the Dram Christmas Cracker sets, full of award-winning spirits and liqueurs, ready to be claimed by those with a keen eye for spotting the roughest, toughest cracker-pullers in the festive west...

Think you can identify the ace-highs from the crowbait? Throughout the first weeks of December we'll be reliving the savage Cracker-Pullin' Tournament of 1871. We're giving away 10x sets of Drinks by the Dram Christmas Crackers per round, up to and including the grand Final, to folk who correctly guess the winner in each showdown!

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