When I was asked to be the guest writer for the Secret Spirits Advent Calendar this year, I was quite excited. I wasn't necessarily worried but hoped "life" wouldn't get too much in the way and that I'd be able to write, review and post every day for 25 days. Other than one small technical glitch, I was successful.
I did a bit of research and looked at the previous years for this particular advent calendar. My initial thought was: "Wow, if it's half as good as year 1 or 2, man I'm in for a treat". Sure enough, the whiskies did not disappoint. My only dilemma - > WHAT whiskies do I want to try and buy!? I have no self control when it comes to these things sometimes. ;)
So, I narrowed it down to 3...
Whisky #6 on my countdown is quite a memorable one indeed for a few reasons. A) It was really a great dram, B) It's one of those rare whiskies that many people have yet to try and C) I had the chance to visit the distillery last spring (it's not usually open to the public). Maybe it's just me, but once I've visited a distillery it makes the whisky all the more special, in most cases (except for Penderyn, hehe but that's a whole other story).
What's interesting with regards to this distillery visit was that I had the opportunity to walk around with Ian Logan (International Brand Ambassador Chivas Brothers/Pernod Ricard) which, that in itself was a huge honour as there are not many of these great experienced ambassadors left in the industry. He and I had a really great conversation about the fact that things are changing so quickly in the industry right now. The people coming in are team leaders or process managers. They get shifted around to many different distilleries so that they can learn all aspects of the companies, etc... Not to say this is a bad thing by any mean because it does make for a more rounded distillery manager down the line. The people that are retiring right now have a wealth of knowledge and stories that will soon be lost. It made me consider writing a book of some sort, but I haven't quite put my finger on what exactly I want to write about. I'll take 2017 to ponder that a bit and come up with a few ideas for sure!
So back to the whisky you ask.. what is number 6?!
It was the Samaroli Allt a Bhainne 8 year old:
I very much look forward to getting a bottle of this whisky and sharing it with as many friends as possible. It's a fantastic whisky.
Thanks to Jonathan for introducing to Samaroli's and an even bigger thanks to Ian for being a wealth of knowledge and making that day in Speyside a very memorable one indeed. Cheers gentlemen!