Chris Alexander

On Engineering

Twelve days of whiskey

2nd January, 2021

‘Tis the season, and trapped at home, there’s not a lot of excuse to drive anywhere…

So it’s as good a reason as any to have a good sampling of the whiskey collection. Given the convenient holiday dates, there’s been just enough time to squeeze in 12 days of whiskey.

All Scottish Highlands unless mentioned otherwise. Yes they’re not all technically scotch or even whiskey, but it’s worth it I promise!

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Day 1, 22nd Dec

Connemara - Ireland

Just finished work so time to relax with this gifted Irish whiskey. Peated but I actually find this one quite sweet: and a thoroughly enjoyable start.

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Day 2, 23rd Dec

Edradour 10 year old

Edradour distillery is claimed as Scotland’s smallest, but it certainly had a fairly large gift shop when we visited!

Un-chill filtered and prone to sediment, but a very nice single malt.

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Day 3, 24th Dec

Blair Athol 12 year old

Owned by Diageo and used in Bell’s but don’t let that get to you…

This distillery was magical to visit. As you walk from the car park you go past the warehouses, and the smell is just divine. Over a small bridge which takes you over the burn the water comes from for the whiskey.

Inside, a bar, a wonderful courtyard, and of course the shop. We didn’t have time for the tour unfortunately. A very enjoyable tipple though.

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Day 4, 25th Dec

Glenfiddich single cask hand-bottled (distillery only)

Now we open the magic!

Glenfiddich single cask that I picked and bottled myself at their distillery in Dufftown. If you’re even mildly interested in whiskey, their Pioneer’s tour is worth every penny.

This was from a 2nd fill cherry cask and is bottled at cask strength so very potent. Just a nip on Christmas day for this one.

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Day 5, 26th Dec

Ardmore Legacy

This was a Christmas gift so it’d be rude to not crack into it!

An unusual mix of Highland peated and unpeated whiskey - surprising and rather nice.

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Day 6, 27th Dec

Eden Mill 2 year old spirit

Not a scotch whiskey as it’s not 3 years old, however if you visit a startup distillery it would be rude to not buy what they’ve got - 3 years is a lot of rent to pay before you can actually sell anything!

A very pleasing drink, it’s not scotch and quite frankly that’s ok!

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Day 7, 28th Dec

Cardhu Gold Reserve

A classic, smooth, excellent single malt from Cardhu.

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Day 8, 29th Dec

Gentleman Jack - USA

Double mellowed, the slightly grown-up version of Jack Daniels. A much more refined taste, and fun on its own.

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Day 9, 30th Dec

Penderyn Peated - Wales

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled on a whiskey distillery while on holiday in Wales!

One of a set of four, the peated varity is light but not, for me, one of the strongest in their batch.

Since our visit, their signature whiskey is now available from supermarkets.

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Day 10, 31st Dec

Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack - USA

Pushing the boundaries of “whiskey”, this definitely has some Old No. 7 in it, but there’s a lot of other stuff too!

An enjoyable drink nonetheless, a strong hit of cinnamon with the apples, VERY sweet, you must warm it on the stove and enjoy it hot on a cold night.

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Day 11, 1st Jan

Lindores Abbey Aqua Vitae

Definitely not whiskey this, but again from a startup distillery when we visited so they didn’t have any matured stuff quite ready.

Signed bottle of their “aqua vitae” spirit drink, definitely has a kick, lots of herbs and spices, it tastes like the inside of a mince pie went out and got hammered.

An innovative solution to the 3-year problem, they make a good case of claiming this is how whiskey distilling got started. You can see where they’re coming from but it’s not quite the same!

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Day 12, 2nd Jan

Glenfiddich IPA Experiment

The first of Glenfiddich’s experimental series, this one was finished in IPA casks. Oh how I would have loved to have a pint of the IPA they brewed before finishing this off!

Has a good kick of flavour to it, you know it’s something different from the off, and a very enjoyable way to end the twelve days of whiskey as a result.