Whisky Advent Calendar 2015: Day 7

7 12 2015

Fresh off a tasting of 13 Austrian and other Gruner Veltliners in 2 hours, I am doing an alcoholic 180 and re-centering on scotch, at least far enough to get 400 words out.  Ah, the trials and tribulations of a booze geek.  I believe tonight’s Advent scotch marks the first time that the 2015 Kensington Wine Market Advent Calendar has repeated distillers from the 2014 Advent Calendar.  Last year featured two different whiskies from the GlenDronach distillery:  the 18 Year Allardice, which I didn’t like too much, and the 21 Year Parliament, which was my favourite whisky of the whole calendar and which I promptly went out and bought after Christmas.  (You should too – it’s obscenely good.)  This is the younger brother of those two, the 15 Year Revival, and its relative youth is reflected in its sticker price, an impressively affordable $102.  GlenDronach is a Highland distillery that has been owned by BenRiach since 2008 and is known, at least according to itself on its website, for richly sherried malts.  You may or may not remember this from last year, but the 2014 calendar was so overloaded with Oloroso sherry cask-aged whiskies that it almost drove me to violence and left me with a massive case of Oloroso fatigue (until the Parliament came along and all was forgiven).  I think this is the first Oloroso-aged whisky of 2015; one a week is fine, so consider the allotment filled for Week 1.

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This might be the most singularly delicious whisky I have ever tasted.  It’s not necessarily the most complex (although it does still have layers to it), but it is just so, so fantastically tasty, like every treat you love in the holidays packed together.  It is an incredible deep burnt amber colour — an Oloroso trait — and just radiates sweet treacle, gingerbread, cabane a sucre, brown sugar and clove, all Christmas baking all the time.  Weighty and soft on the palate, with alcohol that gently warms instead of obliterates, it rounds out the alluring flavour parade with orange zest, nectarine, toffee and coffee beans added to the warm embrace of sweet caramel glory.  There is just no reason not to buy this scotch; I want more right now.  KWM, save me some!

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