Boutique-y Advent 2021 – Door 17
Posted 18 December 2021 by Matt / In Undisclosed Ireland
Bottle Name: Irish Single Malt No.2 Batch 6
Distillery: Undisclosed Ireland
Bottler: That Boutique-y Whisky Company
Glass Weight: 500g
However we taste whisky we do so through some form of lens. That lens can vary greatly - from a single contemplative dram, through to a tasting flight in a bar, all the way to a skinful of progressively unmemorable malt moments at a whisky show. But increasingly, the concept of the whisky Advent calendar is to my mind an entirely viable method for budding enthusiasts to undertake a near month-long whisky exploration.
Irrespective of whether behind your door is a dram, a square of preservatives attempting to pass itself off as a chocolate, or an astoundingly random and seldom useful skincare surprise – Advent calendars have undoubtedly become a festive staple in the UK. Despite starting out as mere cardboard cut-outs, where your daily door reward was nothing more than a suitably festive nativity scene, calendars have become seriously big business – and in doing so undoubtedly lost much of their link to Western Christianity.
But the history of the Advent calendar can be drawn back a lot further than my childhood. Advent has been celebrated all the way from the 4th Century, and historical records indicate that the marking of the days (I.E. a calendar) began in the 19th Century in Germany – where Protestants noted the lead up to Christmas by burning a candle or marking a wall or door with line of chalk. Printed calendars have their conception back in 1908, when Gerhard Lang (who was also German) created a commercial version of what his mother created for him previously as a child – 24 little sweets attached to 24 cardboard squares. The design was later modified to include doors, thus hiding the treats that lay ahead.
The chocolate calendar is one that many of us will remember fondly (apart from chocolate pedants). First released in 1958, with the popular company Cadbury’s launching theirs in 1971. However, the advent of the booze calendar (see what I did there) is a relatively recent addition into the litany of things its possible to put behind doors. I can’t find any details of who produced the first of these – so if you know, please do inform me!
Irrespective of the loss of Christmas message and of the undoubted over-commerciality of Advent calendars - in terms of drinks exploration, I do think that these boxes of boozy joy have some educational value. Whilst some of us are regularly attending tastings online or in-person (when able <sigh>)….others take a much slower progression through out whisky journeys and therefore might find a calendar to be ideal method for broadening horizons further than the supermarket for one month of the year.
It’s not all positivity, however. The link between alcohol, health and poor life choices is at its strongest around this time of year. And we would all do well to remember that – particularly with the repetitious nature of a dram a day. However, with than in mind, 24 days of dramming – particularly when the selection is diverse and occasionally challenging - can be an excellent avenue for trying something new - especially when you consider the smaller servings size - ideal for assessing before committing to a larger bottle.
Day 17 of the 2021 Boutique-y Advent calendar takes us over to Ireland for an undisclosed 15 year old single malt (the age and the style greatly limiting the option of where this might come from). The release consists of 1,900 bottles at 50.2% ABV. Yours for the taking at £84.95 from Master of Malt.
Both Sorren at OCD Whisky and Brian at Brian's Malt Musings are undertaking the 24 days of Boutique-y this year – so after you’re done here, go check them out for some alternative views.
Nose: Soft vanilla joins tart green apples, golden cereal and flapjack, whilst lemon meringue pie sits with clear honey and a scattering of mint leaves. The addition of water reveals ripe melon chunks, pear slices and wafer biscuits. Simple, but effective.
Taste: Ah, now there’s that Irish whiskey fruitiness. Boom. Expressive and juicy peach, apricot, melon and Seville orange lie with well-polished fine oak. Golden syrupy cake (there’s texture here) sits alongside shaved milk chocolate, dried reeds and a sprinkle of pepper. Water is welcomed with open arms – an assortment of Jelly Babies, pineapple cubes and white grape juice.
Finish: Medium in length with creamy fruits – tutti-frutti ice cream – and a residue tingle of white pepper.
Boutique-y’s Irish Single Malt No.2 Batch 6 possesses a pleasant, but somewhat unassuming nose that in no way reveals the riot of fruit-forward flavours that then explode onto the palate. Ah that innocuousness (not shyness) followed by detonation is all rather fun. There’s solid texture on the palate throughout – and this absorbs water like a plant. Me likely.
But don't take our word for it..
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