Each day in December until Christmas Day we are opening a door on The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar and posting our tasting notes on our blog.
Day 2 of December has provided our grubby mitts with this little bottle containing Craigmills Sauterne from the Glenglassaugh Distillery by The Malt Whisky Co. This one has been bottled at 59.3% and, as the name suggests, comes from a Sauternes wine barrel.
Now, I'm not normally a fan of wine-cask whiskies but Sauternes are an exception to that loose rule of my own personal taste (if you don't know, Sauternes is a sweet, white dessert wine) so I'm looking forward to giving this one a try.
On the nose it's very like a sweet, white wine at first, not surprisingly. But there's more than that: some wood shavings; a touch of lemon peel; a hint of ozone; a waft of malted barley.
On the palate it's thick and luxurious, coating the mouth and tongue with juicy fruits and prickly spices. There's cloves, mango, brown sugar and tobacco. A complex and mouthwatering whisky.
The finish is syrupy, with strawberry cream sweets and a dusting of cocoa.
With water some of the sweetness goes on the nose allowing more of the wine character to come through. On the palate the spices calm down a bit and encourage more of the wood notes to appear. The finish becomes a hint more musty with a peppery note or perhaps the tobacco from earlier.
Another very tasty dram. December has got off to a great start!