Whisky Advent Calendar: Day 1

1 12 2014

Obvious disclaimer out of the way first:  I am not a whisky expert.  I have always been a fan of whisky – it was my parents’ drink of choice and so the grown-up beverage that I grew up smelling and tasting (in tiny, adult-supervised sips).  Now that I can supervise my own drinking habits, I have drifted away from whisky slightly, but this is no slight to scotch and mainly a testament to my near-all-consuming devotion to wine.

My kind of Advent calendar.

My kind of Advent calendar.

But now I have a reason to venture back to my roots…24 of them, to be exact.  My ultra-incredible wife surprised me yesterday with Kensington Wine Market’s 2014 Whisky Advent Calendar, possibly the most glorious thing ever to come out of the holiday season other than my eldest son (born New Year’s Day).  I don’t have occasion to venture into KWM often, but when I do it’s to see Andrew Ferguson, Calgary’s preeminent whisky expert and all-around good guy.  Andrew has hand-selected a (50mL) bottle of whisky for each day of Advent and put them all in a calendar with a special embossed Glencairn whisky glass on day 1.  The packaging is beautiful and the idea is equally stunning.

Whisky 1!

Whisky 1!

To commemorate the occasion, I’m going to try and do a quick post each night about the day’s special mini-whisky.  Apologies in advance to the many folks who are kind enough to subscribe to this blog, but hopefully flooding your inboxes with whisky tales will be slightly more appealing than Cyber Monday spam and the breathless news about whatever invented holiday sale comes after it.  Day 1’s whisky is the Gordon & MacPhail bottling of the Linkwood 15 year single malt from Speyside.  It was aged in refill sherry casks (I promise that it’s actually true that I wrote “sherry” as one of my first tasting notes) and retails (in full bottle) for about $80.  My 1-minute tasting notes:  orange zest, lemon drops, brine, maple syrup, brown sugar, joy.  It’s a straightforward but exuberant scotch with some nice weight to the body and an inviting sweetness that’s warm, friendly and ultra-non-threatening.  It’s the big fluffy dog of malt whiskies.  Great start.

I presume these Whisky Advent Calendars are all sold out for the year, but check back in September next year – they retail for $350ish and sell fast!  Props to Andrew and KWM for an absolutely brilliant holiday package.

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