Whisky Advent 2016 Day 1 – Connoisseur’s Choice Tomatin 1997

Welcome to the first day of Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent 2016! We are very excited about this year’s Advent Calendar, and hope you are too. We know you are going to love it. If you haven’t picked one up yet, it is never too late to get in on the fun! We still have them available in shop and you can order online!

Be sure to check back on the KWM Blog every day around super time, to see the details on the day’s whisky. On day 1, you should find, the first of 24 50ml whiskies, and a KWM Advent Logo Whisky Glass. We recommend you give the glass a wee wash, or at least a rinse before getting down to business.

You should also have received a wee scroll with some details on how to interact with us on social media, and directing you to this blog for details on each whisky. I’m guessing if you’ve found us, you’ve already figured that out! Attached to the scroll there should be a discount card, valid now through the end of May 2017, entitling you to a 10% discount on your whisky purchases at Kensington Wine Market.

Each day during Advent you will find a new 50ml whisky behind the day’s window. There are a pair of award winning Irish whiskies, an award winning Taiwanese whisky and 23 Scotch whiskies, all but one of which are single malts. On Christmas Day, there is a special 25th whisky, a 100ml Scotch Malt Whisky Society single cask, bottled exclusively for Canada. But enough blabber, let us get to today’s whisky….

We are kicking off Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent with a 1997 Tomatin, bottled under the Connoisseurs Choice line, by independent bottler Gordon MacPhail (more on both as well as the Tomatin Distillery, below). This whisky has been bottled at 46% after maturing in 1st Fill Bourbon Barrels. It has been bottled without added colouring or chill-filtering.

Connoisseurs Choice Tomatin 199746% – 1st Fill Bourbon Barrels – Bottled 2014 – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: soft and toasty, loads of vanilla; juicy malt and white fruits: Granny Smith apples and prickly pear; loads of white chocolate and toasty American oak; Palate: big, honeyed, toasty and malty with soft floral tones and more white fruits; tart green apple and supple prickly pear; some sweet orange and more white chocolate; overall very smooth and decadent; Finish: medium weight, but long coating and toasty with fading white fruits, chocolate and floral malt; Comment: lots to love here, it is decadent, fruity and very smooth; a good wind down malt for a stressful day! - $180 / 750ml

Click here to order a bottle of this whisky online! Be sure to mention that you have a whisky advent discount card in the order notes. We will correct the price on our end.

About Gordon MacPhail(Courtesy Gordon MacPhail): Our whisky today is the Connoisseurs Choice Tomatin 1996. Connoisseurs Choice is an independent bottling label produced by Gordon & MacPhail, one of Scotland’s most respected whisky companies. Founded by James Gordon and John Alexander MacPhail in 1895 as a Family Grocer, Tea, Wine & Spirit Merchant. One of the first employees was John Urquhart, a 15 year old apprentice. Within a few short years he was selecting casks and growing the firm’s whisky business. In 1915 he was made a partner when J.A. Macphail retired, two weeks later he became senior partner when John Gordon unexpectedly passed away.”

“The business grew through the 20th Century with succeeding generations of the Urquhart family joining the firm. By the 1950s the firm, who bottled malt whiskies under their own labels had the largest such range in the world. They filled their own casks, almost always Ex-Sherry barrels, and bottled whiskies under license from the most famous distilleries in Scotland, like: Macallan, Glenlivet, Glen Grant, Linkwood & Mortlach. Even today Gordon & MacPhail’s range of whiskies is one of the most envied in Scotland. They have bottled the 4 oldest whiskies ever, including a trio of 70 year olds and a 75 year old.”

About the Distillery (Courtesy Gordon & MacPhail): “Tomatin was the first Scottish distillery to be wholly owned by a Japanese company. As late as 1956, only two stills were in operation, but by 1973, eleven – six wash and five spirit stills – produced the new-make spirit. The seventies brought about a major expansion programme, the capacity was boosted to twenty-three stills, making Tomatin the biggest malt distillery in Scotland at that time, producing five million gallons annually. During the Scotch whisky boom years – 1973 to 1984 – Tomatin’s malt whisky was primarily used in blends. When demand decreased in the early 1980s, eleven stills were ceased operation, and were eventually removed in 2000. Today, with twelve stills in operation, Tomatin remains one of the largest malt distilleries in Scotland.”

About the Connoisseurs Choice Range: From Gordon & MacPhail “In the mid-1960s Gordon & MacPhail took the unprecedented step of launching a range of single malts under the brand name ‘Connoisseurs Choice’. Until this time, many of the whiskies the range featured would not have been available as single malt. Today, ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ retains this exclusive nature with a range of rare and sought after single malts from distilleries throughout Scotland.”

Stay tuned tomorrow, for KWM Whisky Advent Day 2!

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