Opening the Advent Calendars! Day 11

Y’know, we could get rather used to sampling a delectable dram each day. We’re over one third of the way through Advent – let’s get stuck into Day 11!

The Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Ailsa Bay Single Malt: Peat in the front, sweet in the back. Ailsa Bay is produced at Ailsa Craig and is the result of the distillery’s peated distillation run, which takes place for just two weeks out the year. It’s aged in four different casks: refill American oak, first-fill bourbon, new oak and Baby Bourbon casks from New York’s Hudson Distillery.

The Bourbon Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

Baker's 7 Year Old: Named after the grand nephew of Jim Beam – Baker Beam – this nutty, tangy, fruity, spicy bourbon is made with a special strain of jug yeast that has been used by the Beam family for more than 60 years.

The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Tamdhu 10 Year Old: Fully sherry cask-matured, this indulgent dram (which was revived and relaunched at the Spirit of Speyside festival in 2013) has a creamy mouthful and notes of soft red fruit, brown sugar and clove on the palate, with a sugary ginger, cacao and blackcurrant finish.

The American Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

Balcones Baby Blue Corn Whisky: Craft distillery Balcones' Baby Blue Corn lies behind the American Whiskey Advent Calendar window today. This rich, thick bourbon was not only the first Texan whisky, but also the first whisky to be distilled from blue corn. Some of you might be discovering Balcones True Blue 100 Proof today, a sweet and soft dram with notes of banana nut bread and spice cake.

The Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Nikka All Malt: Incredibly well-rounded and rather unusual in terms of production. This blended Japanese whisky is made with malted barley distilled in both pot stills and Coffey stills at Nikka’s Yoichi and Miyagikyou distilleries.

The Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar – #WhiskeyAdvent

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West Cork Original: This blend from West Cork Distillers is not to be sniffed at. Well it is, but let’s not be pedantic. A blend of grain and malt whiskey matured in bourbon casks, this dram is chock-full of poached pear, buffalo grass and light caramel with a short, peppery, orchard fruit finish.

The Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Loch Lomond 19 Year Old 1996 (cask 11184) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing): If you’ve opened your calendar door to Loch Lomond, you’re holding a single grain whisky that was distilled in December 1996 and aged for almost two decades, resulting in a citrusy, sugary, floral, fudgey dram. Some of you might have Strathclyde 55.5% 11 Year Old, a weighty 55.5% ABV affair that, like the former, was bottled for Douglas Laing’s Old Particular range.

The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Auchentoshan 18 Year Old: Introduced to Auchentoshan’s core range back in 2008, this 18 year old bottling is supremely rich and moreish. It’s been aged in American oak casks, so notes of toasted vanilla and dark nuttiness are rife. Then there's the malty finish that’s deliciously sweet and floral.

The Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Dalmore 20 Year Old - Vintage 1996: Day 11 means Dalmore! Vintage 1996, was finished in specially selected Port pipes for three years, making for an incredibly rich and decadent dram. Some of you might have a 25 year old edition released from the distillery in 2015, initially matured in American white oak casks and then separated into 25 year old Palomino Fino sherry butts and 1980s first-fill bourbon casks. In both cases, the drams are delicious!

The Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar – #WhiskyAdvent

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Dalmore Constellation 30 Year Old 1981 (cask 4): A phenomenal dram, aged for 26 years in an American white oak cask, before finishing in an ex-Amoroso Oloroso sherry butt for four years. It’s one of just two 1981 vintage releases in the Dalmore Constellation Collection.

The Gin Advent Calendar – #GinAdvent

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Ungava Gin: Behold! Canadian gin made with six hand-picked botanicals: Nordic juniper, Arctic Blend tea, cloudberry, crowberry, Labrador tea and wild rose hips. It’s named after the Ungava Peninsula at the northern tip of Quebec, and yep, that colour is all natural – seriously.

The Rum Advent Calendar – #RumAdvent

Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva: Launched in tribute to Diplomático’s 18th century founder Don Juancho Nieto Meléndez; this glorious Venezuelan rum is distilled from molasses in a copper pot still before it is matured in whiskey barrels for 12 years. Delicious.

The Cognac Advent Calendar – #CognacAdvent

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Le Réviseur VSOP Cognac: Grilled grapefruit, over-ripe grape, walnut, and a little toffee apple… Delicious winter pudding, or Cognac Advent bottling? Lucky for all you drammers, it’s the latter, made from grapes from the Petite Champagne region.

The Tequila Advent Calendar – #TequilaAdvent

Casa Noble Anejo: An impressive single barrel bottling from Casa Noble, aged in French white oak barrels for two years to deliver a full-bodied dram with fruity agave, luscious caramel and rounded spice.

The Armagnac Advent Calendar – #ArmagnacAdvent

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Marquis de Montesquiou Reserve Armagnac: Tasty stuff, this. It’s double-matured: initially in fresh local black oak casks before moving to more restrained casks for the rest of its maturation lifespan. Flavour-wise it’s honeyed and sweet, with wood spices and hints of caramel.

The Vodka Advent Calendar – #VodkaAdvent

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J.J. Whitley Rhubarb Vodka: Summertime in a bottle. Remember those days when you could leave the house without a scarf? When you could eat an ice cream in public without getting strange looks? Yeah, this’ll take you there. Sweet and slightly tart, pure rhubarb gorgeousness.

The Mezcal Advent Calendar – #MezcalAdvent

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Santo de Piedra: Produced by the House of Agua Piedra Mezcal & Co, this fruit-forward joval mezcal (think peach, apricot and grapefruit) is made in San Bartolo Yautepec from espadin agave.

#santodepiedra #mezcal #adventcalendar @drinksbythedram #newtradition #day11

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The Absinthe Advent Calendar – #AbsintheAdvent

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La Maison Fontaine Verte: Created at Pontarlier in the Jura mountain range to the east of France; La Maison Fontaine Verte is classically floral, with rich herbal and peppery notes. At 56% abv, it’s delicous on its own, with water, or – if you’re feeling fanciful – in a cocktail.