The Whisky Exchange is continuing the tradition of releasing a whisky for the festive season. While the previous editions were malt whiskies (see the Highland Park from 2021 or the blended malt from 2020), they’ve now created a blended whisky.
It is a fairly complex blend. The backbone is Blair Athol Highland malt with Cameronbridge grain whisky. The mix also contains Glen Elgin and Linkwood single malts, with a floral Lowlands grain from Strathclyde. All components matured in a variety of cask types.
A Good Old-Fashioned Christmas Whisky (50,5%, The Whisky Exchange 2022, 1500 btl.)
Nose: quite fruity. It’s definitely sherried but not a bomb. I get baked apples and apple cake, with raisins and juicy plum. Glazed or mulled fruits with a slightly boozy edge, like raisins in rum. Hints of mead and Demerara sugar. Then also cinnamon pastry, vanilla and candied ginger, with hints of toffee in the background.
Mouth: this is smart. Red berries and baked apple pastry appear first, as well as juicy raisins and red plums. Hints of Brandy de Jerez. Caramelized almonds. Then shortbread and vanilla lead up to more grainy notes and growing oak spice (ginger and nutmeg). Some icing sugar too. Later some charred notes appear as well. Overall a nicely elegant composition.
Finish: medium, on fruit cake, vanilla, wood spice and chocolate.
This is a nice interpretation of the Christmas feeling. If you’re inviting family in the festive season, this should impress many an uncle. That said, you feel the grain whisky with its easy-going vanilla, sugary and spicy footprint. That makes me feel slightly disappointed for getting a NAS blended whisky for a higher price than previous years. Even when it’s undeniably well put together. Now available from The Whisky Exchange.