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- Brand: Master of Malt
- ABV: 43%
Here we are, folks - the final last Christmas Eve dram in the Whisky Advent Calendar. I'm sharing this with my partner Siobhan now (early afternoon) before she and her son head to her mum's for Christmas Eve dinner. This is the third Master of Malt bottling of a fifty-year-old undisclosed Speyside single malt.
The colour is a very pale gold, incredibly light for a fifty-year-old. On the nose, quite malty, very subtle. An undercurrent of dates and raisins. Cumin, dried apricots and smoked paprika. Both light and rich - does that make sense? Lots of honey and vanilla. Three small drops of water from a pipette brings out very faint peat smoke. Quite lovely.
On the palate, more honey, some pipe tobacco, lemon curd and delicate barley sugar. Dates and raisins in the background. Smooth, silky mouthfeel. So absolutely perfect, with all of these notes becoming amplified with a few drops of water.
The finish is luxurious with coconut, chili powder and oaky vanilla. This is the perfect finale for this 24-dram exploration: rich and complex yet delicate and unforgettable. This gets a Liquid Gold Award from Jim Murray (I don't know the exact score as I don't have his most recent edition) and I gotta agree with him here. Of course, it's completely sold out. But if you ever get the chance to buy, or at least, try this…you must.
And so, the Calendar is now finished. All the little doors are open and empty, with little bits of cardboard hanging off (it looks like a bombed out apartment building during the Blitz). To summarize my experience with the Whisky Advent Calendar - overall, I enjoyed it immensely, and got a lot of pleasure in sticking to my dram-and-review-a-day. However, there were a few too many substandard whiskies in here. Glen Parker had no business being part of this, and as much as I love Johnnie Walker Black, its ubiquitousness should disqualify it from being in this collection. I'm not saying I'm looking for a 50 Year Old Macallan here (although the one I'm sipping now may have been exactly that (I doubt it though)), but they should really avoid the more common whiskies that any consumer of this product would undoubtedly have already tried. It also needed a little more variety; here is the breakdown:
Scottish single malt: 18 Scottish blend/blended malt: 4 Japanese: 1 Irish: 1
No bourbon (nor American of any kind). No Canadian. No world whiskies - nothing from Amrut, Mackmyra, any other European, or Australian or anything. So I'm not happy about the huge bias here. I mean, c'mon, the Glen Parker couldn't have been replaced by something from Buffalo Trace?
So would I buy the next edition? Yes, I would, but in the hopes that it would have a little more variety, and some more interesting (but not necessarily more expensive) whiskies to savour and enjoy as the holiday season approaches.