The 12 drams of xmas: Day 6

Continuing the series of reports on the 12 drams of xmas twitter tasting event:

Quick reminder: 11 online whisky enthusiasts poured half a bottle of whisky into 10 sample bottles and sent them to the other 10 taking part. The bottles were marked only with the number of the day we were due to start. On the given day, we all blind tasted the chosen dram and tried to guess what it was.

Though I did well on some of the drams and embarrassingly badly on some others, I’m posting my tasting notes, my unedited guesses and revealing the answers.

Dram #6 was from Andrew Purslow (@ardbaggie on twitter). Here are my notes:

Nose: Grassy, lemon peel, porridge with golden syrup, cereal bars, malty with a touch of rye and coffee.

Palate: Unusual, malty and porridge with rye bread and a doughy note.

Finish: A little minty and malty with a touch of lemon oil.

My guess: This was really really tricky. I was torn between a highland whisky and something from North America. In the end I took the rye note and ran with it. Ran quite a long way…. I remember Canadian club having a minty finish, so went for a Canadian Rye. Since I know almost nothing about Canadian I chose Caribu Crossing at 46%ABV (and was convinced if I got any points at all it would be for region or ABV).

The answer: Glen Keith 10 Year Old Speyside Whisky, 43% (Pre 1983 release – only available at auction now)

Words cannot describe the embarrassment! Spectacularly wrong, but a learning experience. Also a really great old dram!


Whisky Advent Calendar Day 18

Ok WOW! This one was a really interesting dram to find in my Advent Calendar:

Glenisla 34 years old, 1977 cask strength collection (Signatory). ooooooo.

So firstly, Glenisla? Where’s that? Never heard of that distillery before. Here are the results of my research.

Glenisla is actually a slightly peated malt distilled at Glen Keith distillery. It is very rare and the result of an experiment at Glen Keith in the 70s. I’ve not been able to find any from later than 1977.

So, this is a pretty interesting dram and a unique experience for me. Here are the dramstats:



  • Age 34 years
  • ABV 44.3%
  • Price ~£158 (though sold out at most places)
  • Filled into cask in 1977

Nose: Eau de cologne, tropical fruits with toasted coconut, banana flavoured medicine, brazil nuts. A salty soapy note with lots of resin and pine with a mild springbank-type of peat smoke. Very interesting and complex. Not Islay style peat at all.

Palate: Citrus, guava, mango and oak. Lots of different fruit and an odd soapy note.

Finish: Tropical fruit juice with brazil nuts and hazelnuts with the inner skin on. Then a tinge of smoke and pine.

Verdict: Very interesting with lots of tropical fruit to enjoy and a very unusual peat present. I wouldn’t want to pay £150+ for a bottle of this, but I’m very glad to have tasted it. Wonderful treat in the advent calendar!