The Whisky Advent Calendar Tweet Tasting!
Christmas was certainly in the air (and in the nose!) for last Monday nights Tweet Tastings making us all realise that Chrimbo was only a roasted chestnut throw away!
We were treated to the delight of sampling five drams from Master of Malt’s Whisky Red Advent Calendar (£149.95). It was a great (and early) introduction to the festive season!
Master of Malt’s Advent Calendars are now as traditional as listening to Christmas classic Pop Songs or over-cooking the sprouts so it’s great to have a chance to try out some whiskies which hail from all over the globe – a Whisky Red World Advent Calendar in fact!
The drams sampled were:-
- Starward New World Whisky
- Brenne Cuvée Spéciale
- Whisky Advent That-Boutique-Y-Whisky Irish Single Malt
- Kavalan Single Malt
- Glenfarclas 105
If you want to catch up on what all the tweet tasters had to say you can view the tweets by searching for the hash tag #WhiskyAdvent on Twitter.
So, what did I think?
Here are my tasting notes … and the one which was my favourite on the night!
Tasting Notes – Starward New World Whisky (43%)
An Australian Malt Whisky Produced using 100% Australian malted barley and aged in Australian Apera (fortified wine) casks.
Nose: Apples, oranges and yummy caramel with a hint of rum soaked plump raisins. Add a little bit of woodiness and some nice creamy fudginess which comes thru after a while!
Palate: Rich christmas cake with alcohol infused fruits! Some apples, oranges & tropical fruit with a hefty bit of spice thrown in.
Finish: Quite a dry, spicy finish but fair-dinkum all the same.
Overall: A solid, tasty dram that I enjoyed very much and would love to re-visit!
Tasting Notes – Brenne Cuvée Spéciale (40%)
A French Single Malt Whisky Produced using malted barley grown in Cognac. Initially matured in Limousin oak casks before being finished in Cognac casks.
Nose: Amazing tropical fruits – reminds me of those tuiti-fruiti chewy sweets! Plus there’s apples and pears with sugary vanilla. The banofee pie is also strong in this one with a side-serving of Rum and raisin ice cream.
Palate: A watered down version of the nose – banana and strawberry milkshake with a little too much sugar.
Finish: Short finish with some pepper but the milkshake lingers …
Overall: Not really my style of dram but some of the tweeters loved it! So, as should be the case, each to their own …
Tasting Notes – That-Boutique-Y-Whisky Irish Single Malt (46.8%)
An Irish Single Malt Whiskey – Whiskey #1 – Aged 13 Years – Batch #3.
Nose: Restrained sherry with some crisp green apples, fruits, caramel coupled with some fresh new wood. There’s oat and cereal with a little meadow hay. Left in the glass, after a while, there’s sticky toffee!
Palate: Yo! That’s nice! Vanilla sweet and fruity with a smooth, punchy, peppery bite!
Finish: Tropical fruit coupled with a woody dryness and don’t forget that spice!
Overall: I’m not surprised I enjoyed this – another fine, well selected and tasty dram from the Boutiquey Whisky stable!
Tasting Notes – Kavalan Single Malt (40%)
Kavalan Single Malt is a Taiwanese non-age-stated Whisky. Matured in ex-bourbon barrels it is rumoured to be around 3-4 years old.
Nose: Crisp apples with some ripe tangerines and pineapple. Vanilla fudge and I keep getting whiffs of Cointreau! – there’s so much oranginess!
Palate: Syrupy tropical fruits with some caramel – lovely!
Finish: Honeyed layers of fruit with just a dash of spiceiness that make this a very nice dram indeed!
Overall: First time sampling the Kavalan brand and I wasn’t dissapointed – amazing flavours and balance for such a young whisky.
Tasting Notes – Glenfarclas 105 (60%)
A Single Malt Scotch Whisky. The Glenfarclas 105 bottling was the first time a distillery had released a barrel proof single malt whisky. The brand was eventually re-named to 105, referring to its alcohol content in British Proof, which equates now to 60% ABV.
Nose: Creamy sherry with just a hint of port. Chocolate with stewed fruits.
Palate: Rich christmas cake with luscious chocolate! Thick, creamy fudge with fruit! Adding a few drops of water releases a lot more caramel and chocolate and sets the taste buds tingling! Heady stuff though at an un-diluted 60%!
Finish: Basically the same as the initial palate. This dram just keeps on giving!
Overall: It’s 60% but it’s VERY smooth! I’m Mr. “No Water” usually but this dram certainly shows more of it’s facets with some H2O and I recommend adding some. (Never thought I’d hear myself say that!)
My Favourite On The Night
Out of the 5, I think it’s got to be the Glenfarclas 105, closely followed by That-Boutique-Y-Whisky. The Glenfarclas 105 is what Christmas is all about – but liquified!
There’s still time to grab an Advent Calendar and they cover a variety of whiskies and other spirits including Gin, Tequila and Rum. Why not celebrate the run up to Santa’s upcoming visit with something tasty and different each day? But keep them away from those Elves!
My fellow Tweeters were:-
@TheWhiskyphiles @ocdwhisky @JasonVaswani @FiShoop @TomsWhisky @dvdbloke @Jotterface @iheartwhisky @CherryConstable @Whisky_And1 @whiskywings @steveprentice @WhiskyUnplugged @SpiritAndWood @drinkersite @RumDiariesBlog @julie_gwc @NikkiHayes1969 @wetwewhistle @MaltMusings @RealDramRob @SimonFieldCFM @AmateurDrammer
SMWS Festive Advent Calendar!
SMWS have released quite possibly one of the greatest advent calendars ever!
For 25 days as a countdown to Christmas you can try a different dram each day. The advent calendar has an excellent selection from whiskies to spirits and even a couple of extra surprises thrown in along the way!
Chivas Launches Blending Kits – THE Perfect Christmas Gift For Whisky Fans!
Chivas has launched a Blending Kit featuring a selection of whiskies and tools to give Scotch lovers the chance to get hands-on and experience the art of blending in the comfort of their own home.
The perfect gift for any whisky fan, the kit contains four single malt whiskies and one blended grain whisky, each representing a different flavor characteristic: floral, fruity, citrus, creamy, and smoky. Armed with a pipette and a beaker – plus a bottle of one of the world’s best-loved blended Scotch whiskies, Chivas 12, for inspiration – whisky fans are encouraged to explore, experiment and have fun testing their skills and senses to delicately combine the whiskies and craft a blend worth shouting about.
The new release was launched to celebrate the magic of blending Scotch, and to bring the craft to life outside of Chivas Director of Blending Sandy Hyslop’s blending room.
At Chivas we believe that blended is better – in life and in Scotch. Every day I get to indulge in my greatest passion, experimenting with the world’s finest malt and grain whiskies to create something extraordinary when blended together – and this passion is something I want to share with other whisky fans.
Each component in a blend plays an important role in determining the profile of the finished whisky – I can’t wait to see what creations my fellow blenders around the world put together.
– Sandy Hyslop: Chivas Director of Blending – blending Scotch whisky for more than 30 years!
Chivas’ belief in blending was instilled by founding brothers, James and John Chivas, who pioneered the art in 19th century Scotland. And now, two centuries later, the Blending Kit celebrates Chivas’ continued commitment to bringing together the best malt and grain whiskies to create something extraordinary.
Find an interactive guide to your Blending Kit experience and why blended is better at Chivas.com
The Blending Kit (RRP £25, available at The Whisky Exchange)
x1 5cl Blended Grain Whisky (Floral)
x4 5cl Single Malt Whiskies (Fruity, Citrus, Creamy, Smoky)
x1 5cl Empty Bottle
x1 5cl Miniature Bottle of Chivas Regal 12
#WhiskySanta is back for 2018 with a sack-load of gifts worth £250,000!
#WhiskySanta is everyone’s favourite supernatural, omniscient, festive, heavily-bearded being. He delights fans, followers and customers in the run-up to Christmas by granting ‘wishes’ across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Drinks lovers can wish for any product available at Master of Malt, and #WhiskySanta will make a whole host of wishes come true every day!
With almost 11,000 delicious and different drinks in stock, #WhiskySanta is set to have his work cut out. And to make the browsing process easier he’s brought back the super simple ‘Wish’ buttons on every product page. Like what you see? Simply hit ‘Wish’ and a pre-populated Twitter or Facebook post is yours to publish! And while we can’t help with the decision-making process, you can wish for as many bottles as you like!
#WhiskySanta is not only busy casting his watchful eye over the world of social media, though. He will also take over the Master of Malt website, surprisingly lucky shoppers with thousands of fantastic bonus presents including delicious spirits they’ll love, gift vouchers up to £50 and even entirely free orders! How do you know if you’ve been good this year? Keep an eye out for a message from #WhiskySanta on the order confirmation page. Click yes, and that freebie is yours!
That’s not all. #WhiskySanta’s weekly Super Wishes will also return for 2018! A Super Wish is an extra-special, highly sought-after gift to be snapped up by one incredibly lucky wisher. Announced each Monday, drinks fans have until the following Friday to ask #WhiskySanta for that particularly exciting item. Last year’s Super Wishes included an Old & Rare Advent Calendar, a Brora 34 Year Old 1982 (worth almost £1,500), and a Tomintoul 40 Year Old Quadruple Cask (worth £2,500!) so keep your eyes peeled. The first Super Wish of 2018 will be announced on 5 November.
#WhiskySanta was first launched in 2014, and this year’s campaign is set to be bigger and more engaging than ever. In addition to returning with his super-sized Santa sack, for the first time #WhiskySanta will take over Master of Malt’s Instagram Stories with a stocking-load of products each and every day. View the video Story, screenshot your bottle of choice and post it to your feed with the hashtag. #WhiskySanta himself could well grant that wish!
It’s sensational to see #WhiskySanta back in the building to give away more gifts not just to a higher number of our awesome customers than ever before, but to a much greater proportion of them too! They could even get their Christmas shopping for free! Why would drinks fans shop anywhere else?!
He’ll also be granting more wishes than ever before, with a total giveaway value across both the Master of Malt site and social higher than the previous two cheers-filled #WhiskySanta Christmases put together!
– Jake Mountain: Master of Malt campaign manager
Despite being away on his holidays since last Christmas, #WhiskySanta has had a busy year. Not only did he win Drinks International’s Digital & Social Media Campaign of the Year and The Drinks Business’ Best Social Media Campaign, but he also scooped Consumer Initiative of the Year at The Grocer Gold Awards! The 2017 #WhiskySanta campaign reached more than 10.1 million people on Twitter, while on Facebook, impressions soared by 127.1% year-on-year. And over on Instagram, hashtag impressions passed the one million mark for the first time! Phew.
#WhiskySanta will be granting wishes and delighting shoppers right up until 24 December.
Drinks By The Dram 2018 Crackers & Brand New Baubles – Give Your Tree Some Spirit This Christmas!
- Drinks by the Dram’s Christmas Crackers have made a spirited return! Each one contains a tasty tipple, paper hat and terrible joke!
- Dram Baubles are New for 2018 – festive tree decorations filled with a 30ml spirit dram.
- Crackers and Baubles are available in sets of 6 or individually.
This year Drinks by the Dram have both dram-filled crackers and baubles – the perfect way to bring delicious drinks to your festive celebrations.
Back by popular demand, Drinks by the Dram’s Christmas Crackers make a welcome return for 2018. As well as four sets (Gin, Whisky, Premium Whisky and Spirits & Liqueurs), there are also 24 individual crackers available, each containing an exceptional spirit, paper hat and suitably crap joke.
And, there’s a new addition to Drinks by the Dram’s festive family, as they invite you to deck the halls with their gin and whisky Dram Baubles – each is filled with a boozy tree treat, and available in sets of 6 or individually, they’ll ensure you have a Merry Christmas indeed.
The crackers contain a selection of award-winning spirits including Ableforth’s Bathtub Gin and Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky, while inside the baubles you’ll find the likes of That Boutique-y Gin Company’s Yuletide Gin, containing actual sparkly gold.
Our Drinks by the Dram crackers are a firm Christmas favourite and our selection this year is even better than before. With a beautiful new design for 2018, they will be a centrepiece to any festive table.
We’ve added to our festive Dram family this year with our brand new Drinks by the Dram Baubles, joining our crackers and advent calendars. These stunning looking baubles come with a selection of delicious Whisky or Gin drams inside. Not only do they look great on your tree, but they are reusable and can be used for years to come.
Both our crackers and baubles are available in packs or singly, so make a great gift option too.
– James Griswood: Drinks by the Dram’s Senior Product Manager
Drinks By The Dram Cracker sets for 2018
Drinks by the Dram Whisky Cracker set – £39.95
Drinks by the Dram Premium Whisky Cracker set – £64.95
Drinks by the Dram Gin Cracker set – £34.95
Drinks by the Dram Spirit & Liqueur Cracker set – £34.95
Drinks by the Dram Bauble sets for 2018
Drinks by the Dram Whisky Bauble set – £39.95
Drinks by the Dram Gin Bauble set – £39.95
Drinks By The Dram Unveils Their 2018 Advent Calendars!
Following on from the success of 2017 with sales increasing by almost 75% year on year, Drinks by the Dram has refreshed its calendar line up and is pleased to reveal its 2018 offering, including new themed packaging, exciting collaborations and plenty of ways to ensure you countdown to Christmas in style.
This year some of Drinks by the Dram’s Advent Calendars have taken on a global feel, each featuring the finest liquids from different countries, all wrapped in unique, themed packaging. In the collection there’s the classic Whisky calendar, The Tequila calendar, The Scotch Whisky calendar, The Bourbon calendar, The Rum calendar and The Gin calendar — each containing 24 wax-sealed 30ml drams of fine global spirits.
Without giving too much away (we all know Father Christmas won’t visit if you open all of your calendar at once), there are some very exciting tipples to be discovered behind these doors. Enjoy rare spirits, award-winning expressions and distinguished drams from all around the world.
Whisky lovers are in for a treat with this year’s calendar offering; in the Old & Rare Advent Calendar you’ll find truly exceptional expressions, including The Blended Whisky Company’s XL Blend – aged for over 40 years and extra large in intense flavours.
The best-selling original Whisky calendar returns this year in festive red packaging, and inside you’ll find 24 delicious drams including the highly sought-after Lost Distilleries Blend Batch 8 from The Blended Whisky Company, and the incredible Japanese Nikka Whisky from the Barrel. And, new to the line-up for this year is the World Whisky Advent Calendar, showcasing exceptional whiskies from around the globe – try whiskies from Ireland, Japan, Taiwan, England, India and more.
For gin enthusiasts, there’s a whole host of calendars to tantalise the taste buds, and after the huge success of last year’s calendar, That Boutique-y Gin Company has once again teamed up with Drinks by the Dram to bring you 24 incredible gins to count you down to Christmas. Behind these doors you’ll discover gins with interesting botanicals, incredible flavours and unique concepts. Sample award-winning expressions from boutique producers, and even get into the festive spirit with Yuletide Gin, containing gold, an entire gingerbread house and even Christmas tree needles.
Our Drinks by the Dram advent calendars have become an annual Christmas essentials for many consumers, along with the tree and festive jumpers.
We see great loyalty for these calendars, and a large number of consumers come back year after to year to treat themselves to one. With stunning new designs this year, on a range of our best sellers, they look better than ever and also make the perfect gift for any drinks enthusiast.
– James Griswood: Senior Product Manager, Drinks by the Dram
Drinks by the Dram first launched its line of advent calendars in 2012, starting with The Whisky Advent Calendar. Since then the range has grown year-on-year, always showcasing the most exciting liquids across each category and price bracket.
This year the full Drinks by the Dram Advent Calendar range includes Whisky, Premium Whisky, Old & Rare Whisky, Very Old & Rare Whisky, World Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Bourbon, Japanese Whisky, American Whiskey, Irish Whiskey, Single Cask Whisky, Gin, Vodka, Rum, Cognac, Tequila, Armagnac, Mezcal and Absinthe.
In addition, the calendar range sees some exciting collaborations including with That Boutique-y Whisky Company, That Boutique-y Gin Company, Origin, Douglas Laing, Glenfarclas, The Hot Enough Vodka Co and The Gin Foundry, whose in-demand Ginvent calendar returns for another year.
Drinks by the Dram Advent Calendars with a NEW themed makeover and lineup for 2018
The Drinks by the Dram Gin Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT & THEMED £124.95
The Drinks by the Dram World Whisky Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) THEMED £149.95
The Drinks by the Dram Bourbon Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT & THEMED £139.95
The Drinks by the Dram Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT &
The Drinks by the Dram Rum Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT & THEMED £149.95
The Drinks by the Dram Cognac Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT & THEMED £149.95
The Drinks by the Dram Tequila Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT & THEMED £149.95
Drinks by the Dram Advent Calendars with a classic craft box and NEW lineup for 2018
The Drinks by the Dram Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar WALNUT (2018
The Drinks by the Dram Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar MACASSAR
EBONY (2018 Edition) £9,999.95
The Drinks by the Dram Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT
and NEW FESTIVE £999.95
The Drinks by the Dram Premium Whisky Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT &
The Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT & RED £149.95
The Drinks by the Dram American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye Advent Calendar (2018
Edition) CRAFT £149.95
The Drinks by the Dram Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT £194.95
The Drinks by the Dram Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT £149.95
The Drinks by the Dram Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) £194.95
The Drinks by the Dram Vodka Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT £99.95
The Drinks by the Dram Armagnac Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT £149.95
The Drinks by the Dram Mezcal Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT £149.95
The Drinks by the Dram Absinthe Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) CRAFT £149.95
Drinks by the Dram collaborations for 2018
That Boutique-y Whisky Company Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) £149.95
That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) £99.95
The Origin Single Botanical Gin Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) £99.95
The Douglas Laing Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) £159.95
The Glenfarclas Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) £279.99
The Ginvent Advent Calendar (2018 Edition) £124.95
The Naga Chilli Vodka Escalation Calendar £99.95