Inspired by Master of Malt’s Whisky Advent Calendar, and my friends at Whisky Squad’s homemade version, I thought I’d use the festive season as an excuse to dip into my own spirits cabinet each day. As I’ve left it a bit late to cover the full 24 days, I thought I’d use the Twelve Days of Christmas as a more achievable target, although in truth I’ve already blown that too. Still, better start late than never. Plus I get two drams on a couple of days.
Anyway, there’s little rhyme or reason to my Twelve Drams of Christmas. No, I’m not going to look for spurious connections between my choices and the lines of the Christmas carol of the same name. However, in time-honoured style I will target the more unusual or alternative spirits in my collection. That also means I won’t, necessarily, stick to whisk(e)y. I have a few ideas for some of my later selections but the rest I’ll pretty much pick as I go along.
So, with only ten days to go here is my initial dose of Christmas spirit.
My First Dram of Christmas is a 5cl miniature of Wemyss Malt’s Peat Chimney 8 year old (40% ABV) “won” at my very first Whisky Squad in September last year. It’s been sitting around slightly forlornly on a kitchen shelf since then for no particular reason other than my own laziness. This venture gave its life some purpose.
There’s little peculiar about it except that Wemyss is perhaps less well known than more established independent bottlers. It’s also one with a good grasp of marketing, evoking particular flavour sensations and images for the drinker through a series of resonantly-named whiskies created by blending up to sixteen single malts.
Peat Chimney 8 is thus a blended malt with the accent on Islay, smoky without being overpowering. While young, the whisky is a good representation of Wemyss’ intent: a whiff of Parma Violets and wafts of sooty smoke on the nose, toasted sweetcorn and a little tar on the palate, concluding with quite a dry, grainy finish.
Well-balanced and good value from major whisky retailers, Peat Chimney 8 seems a good place to begin my Twelve Drams of Christmas. Now on with the other eleven!