Welcome to the Kensington Wine Market 2019 Whisky Advent Calendar!
For the sixth straight year, we have curated and assembled our own bespoke Whisky Advent Calendar. We hope you will follow our journey of whisky discovery over the next 25 days. Each and every day of Advent we will describe the whisky in question and publish our own tasting note for the day in question’s whisky. We will also give you a background on the distillery and producer.
You can follow along each day on the Kensington Wine Market Blog, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We encourage your comments and feedback and look forward to hearing your own thoughts on the whiskies as they are presented!
We are very happy with the design for the 2019 Calendar. For that, we would like to thank KWM Alumni Jean-Paul Berube, who has created the artwork on all six annual editions. We also have Kensington Wine Market 2019 Whisky Advent Tree, which you’ll be seeing a lot more of as we work our way through the next four weeks!
We are excited to share the contents of this year’s calendar along with you.
I hope you enjoy the Kensington Wine Market 2019 Whisky Advent Calendar, 25 Days of Dram Fine Whisky!
Let us start at the beginning, with the contents behind door number one. Behind the door will be your KWM logoed Glencairn tasting glass, a discount card and the first bottle, which is (drumroll, please!) Inchumrrin 18 Year Old. Sadly, this bottle is not yet available in Canada. Please keep us posted if you are interested in seeing the full-sized bottle so that we can harass the importer and hopefully bring them in!
The Inchmurrin 18 year old comes to us from Loch Lomond Distillery. Founded in 1965, Loch Lomond is a bizarre operation that is capable of making multiple different styles of spirit all under one roof. It capable of producing Single Malt, Single Grain, and Blended Whisky entirely at one site. It can and does do this, and it also makes Single Malt in and a wide variety of styles, including both peated and unpeated types.
There are a total of thirteen stills within the Loch Lomond Distillery, however, they are definitely not all the same. Included in this number are your typical swan-neck style pot stills: the type you see at most Scottish distilleries that make single malt whisky. Beyond that though, things get weird. There are also three pairs of straight-neck pot stills, which are sometimes called Lomond stills. One of these pairs has a water cooling system installed on the top of the still that the heated vapour hits before going through the narrowing neck/pipe for collection. This results in much more reflux and leads to a lighter, softer, fruitier spirit being produced.
Last but not least, there is a six-story Coffey/column still that is actually split in two to accommodate the three-story building it resides in. This still is used to distill malted barley, but due to SWA regulations it still must be called Single Grain spirit in style
With this unusual combination, Loch Lomond Distillery is capable of producing its own blended whisky entirely on-site, without having to source whisky from other distilleries. It is one of the very few (possibly only) active distilleries to be able to do this.
In all, Loch Lomond makes ELEVEN different styles of spirit on a regular basis. For official bottlings, it currently focuses on three styles for regular releases. We are going to taste one of them today.
The Inchmurrin style made by the distillery is named after the largest island within the Loch itself. At 120 hectares in size, it is the largest freshwater island in the British Isles. The Isle of Inchmurrin – or Mirin’s Island – is named after St Mirin. A monastery built on the island in the seventh century held a chapel dedicated to the Saint, though only ruins now remain.
Inchmurrin bottlings are typically created from whisky produced using the straight-necked Lomond stills. They are typified by a light and fruit-forward style in comparison to the fuller-bodied, spicy and lightly peated Loch Lomond and heavily peated Inchmoan releases.
How about we see what that all means by diving into the Inchmurrin 18 Year!
Inchmurrin 18 Year Old – 46% ABV
Evan’s Tasting Note
Nose: Fruit cup syrup, poached pears, citrus peel, a good amount of toasted oak, vanilla beans, and a touch of peppermint tea.
Palate: Sweet and fruity, but also a bit drying. Toffee with cinnamon, root beer bottle candies, shortbread, ginger ale, fresh ginger and sunflower seeds without the shell.
Finish: Sweet and juicy but also drying on the finish with ginger, spice and a bit of grip from the oak.
Comment: We had heard from a customer that this was a very good whisky, and I have to agree. It is light but flavourful and nicely balanced in style. Hopefully we will be able to see this on shelves in the future!
That is all for Day 1. See you tomorrow for more!
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