Drinks by the Dram unveil the Whisky (and Rum) Advent Calendars for 2016

*Press Release*

Drinks by the Dram 2016

Drinks by the Dram unveil the 2016 Whisky Advent Calendar

  • Drinks by the Dram launch the 2016 Whisky Advent calendar containing drams aged for over 50 years, and worth up to £600 per bottle as part of a range of 23 unique spirit-filled calendars.
  • This year’s new additions to the range include Advent Calendars dedicated to Scotch, American, Irish and Japanese whiskies, as well as collaborations with Glenfarclas, That Boutique-y Whisky Company and Origin Gin.
  • Drinks by the Dram also unveil the Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar, with an RRP of £9,999.95 and boasting a bevy of extraordinarily rare whiskies.

For the fifth year running, the range of Drinks by the Dram Advent Calendars has returned. The selection once again features classics like Whisky, Ginvent and Rum, while exciting new additions include calendars dedicated to Scotch, American, Irish and Japanese whiskies along with calendars full of Glenfarclas Single Malt, independent whisky bottlings from That Boutique-y Whisky Company and Origin Single Estate Gins made with juniper sourced from specific regions all around the world.

The Whisky Advent Calendar was launched in 2012, and has since become a tradition among whisky enthusiasts, letting them count down to Christmas and explore the world’s best whiskies. Each handmade, wax-sealed dram allows whisky fans to sample a new expression, tasting everything from single grain and bourbon to rare Scotch worth up to £600 a bottle.

Drinks by the Dram 2016 Box Image

2016 marks the debut of the Drinks by the Dram Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar (RRP £9,999.95), developing on the concept introduced by the Old & Rare Advent Calendar launched in 2015. Each calendar is a bespoke wooden box built by hand by cabinet-maker Simon Jewell Designs in Kent, and is available in a walnut or Macassar ebony finish. Within every calendar sit 24 individually numbered 30ml drams of some of the world’s most sought-after whiskies, including expressions from long-closed distilleries, a 60-year-old single malt and a whisky worth up to £19,000 a bottle.

Drinks by the Dram’s 2016 Advent Calendar range also includes calendars filled with single cask whiskies, mezcal, gin and more. The full range of calendars (listed below) will be available later this month.

 

Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar
Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar
Premium Whisky Advent Calendar Craft
Premium Whisky Advent Calendar Red

Whisky Advent Calendar Craft
Whisky Advent Calendar Red
Glenfarclas Whisky Advent Calendar
That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s Advent Calendar
Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar
Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar
Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
American Whiskey Advent Calendar
Bourbon Advent Calendar
Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar
Cognac Advent Calendar
Armagnac Advent Calendar
Rum Advent Calendar
Mezcal Advent Calendar
Tequila Advent Calendar
Absinthe Advent Calendar
Ginvent Calendar
Gin Advent Calendar
Vodka Advent Calendar
Origin Single Estate Gin Advent Calendar
Naga Chilli Vodka Escalation Advent Calendar

Drinks by the Dram’s 2016 Advent Calendar range will be widely available from leading retailers including Amazon, Master of Malt, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Fortnum & Mason, WaitroseGifts.com, Ocado, GinKiosk, Majestic Wines and Laithwaites, with more being announced when they launch at the end of the month.

*End*

Rum-Craft

We all know that THIS is the one that you’ll be after! Last year was great so with a bit of luck we hope to get our hands on another one this year to see what delights await within!

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Drinks By The Dram Advent Calendars Released

The occasion is nearly upon us where we need to, in the words of Sir Cliff Richard lifted from his modern Christmas classic Mistletoe and Wine, ‘rejoice in the good that we see’…………..Now we’re no popular music experts, but we have it on good authority that the ‘good’ that he is singing about is the now yearly release of the ever-expanding range of Drinks By The Dram Advent Calendars!*

DBTD FrontWe wrote about the upcoming releases earlier in September and now they are on general sale!

The Drinks by the Dram’s range of (Christmas) spirit-filled Advent calendars include such delectable treats as Rum, Whisky and Gin and are this year joined by new additions including Tequila, Absinthe and Vodka (you won’t be needing this one).

The Whisky Advent Calendar (£149.95) was launched in 2012 to help whisky lovers explore the world’s best whiskies.  Highlights among this year’s 24 drams include a rare 50-year-old Scotch, an award-winning Japanese whisky and the World’s Best Blended Whisky. Each handmade, wax-sealed dram allows whisky fans to sample a new whisky, tasting everything from single grain whisky to rare Scotch worth up to £350 a bottle.

Each calendar in the range takes the explorer on a different journey of discovery through the fascinating world of their favourite spirit, introducing them to rare and unusual expressions they may never have tried.

Whisky connoisseurs (or those with expensive tastes) can also enjoy the Premium Whisky Advent Calendar (£249.95), which contains rare single casks and whiskies worth up to £500 a bottle. This year also sees the launch of The Old and Rare Whisky Advent Calendar (£999.95) (for those with VERY expensive tastes) that contains whiskies worth up to £2,000 a bottle, including a 60-year-old Single Malt – one of the oldest whiskies in the world.

Drinks by the Dram’s 2015 Advent Calendar range also includes calendars filled with Armagnac, Vodka, Mezcal and horrible, horrible, you’ll regret it immediately and pay for it in the morning Chilli Vodka.  The full range of calendars is available now and is as follows:

DBTD Close UpWhisky Advent Calendar (Craft Edition)
Premium Whisky Calendar (Craft Edition)
Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar
Bourbon Advent Calendar
Ginvent Calendar
Botanical Ginvent Calendar
Rum Advent Calendar
Cognac Advent Calendar
Tequila Advent Calendar
Mezcal Advent Calendar
Armagnac Advent Calendar
Absinthe Advent Calendar
Vodka Advent Calendar
Naga Chilli Vodka Escalation Calendar

DBTD RearThe good news is that we have now got our wooly mittened fingers on a Rum Advent Calendar and it is a thing of beauty! 24 x 3cl wax sealed bottles of delightful Rum sitting there waiting for you……….Now I’m usually a really, really good boy (which is why Santa Claus is usually so nice to me) but even I had to have a little peep behind the first window………..I won’t give the game away just yet but to give a little clue….December will start off with a bang………….

We’ll look to upload each Rum revealed on a day by day basis as we progress through December so as not to ruin it for any of you that have also picked up a calendar!

If you are looking to buy one then the main selection is here with the best one (in our opinion) found here, though we do quite fancy getting our heads around Mezcal. Now you can reveal the Rums inside on the Master Of Malt Website, but we haven’t…..and if you want to impress Santa with your patience we’d suggest that you restrain yourselves and check back here every day through December! Ho ho ho and all that.

The 1st December is upon us and so #Rumvent begins…

Starting proceedings with a BANG is the quite epic Pussers Gunpowder Proof...Your tot for the 1st December

Starting proceedings with a BANG is the quite epic Pussers Gunpowder Proof…Your tot for the 1st December

The 2nd December reveals a very nice white Rum that has been covered on these very pages...Botran Reserva Blanca

The 2nd December reveals a very nice white Rum that has been covered on these very pages…Botran Reserva Blanca

Click here for our write up of the Ron Botran Range

So here we are at the 3rd December already and todays delight is a new one on me! Bristol Spirits Sancti Spiritus Fine Cuban Rum 2003...bottled in 2013 giving it 10 long years to mature...

So here we are at the 3rd December already and todays delight is a new one on me! Bristol Spirits Sancti Spiritus Fine Cuban Rum 2003…bottled in 2013 giving it 10 long years to mature…

The bottle of joy for the 4th December is Mezan Jamaica Barrique XO and its a really solid blend that we are more than familiar with...

The bottle of joy for the 4th December is Mezan Jamaica Barrique XO and its a really solid blend that we are more than familiar with…

Click here for our write up of Mezan Jamaica XO

December 5th gives us a drop of Admiral Rodney....some consider this to be one of the finest examples of column distilled Rum available...We are quite fond of it...

December 5th gives us a drop of Admiral Rodney….some consider this to be one of the finest examples of column distilled Rum available…We are quite fond of it…

Click here for our write up of Admiral Rodney

December 6th reveals this rather tasty little drop....Plantation 5 Barbados Grande Reserve....

December 6th reveals this rather tasty little drop….Plantation 5 Barbados Grande Reserve….

December 7th sees a drop of Flor de Cana 12 uncovered!

December 7th sees a drop of Flor de Cana 12 uncovered!

December 8th sees one for the sweet toothed amongst you...Ron Zacapa!

December 8th sees one for the sweet toothed amongst you…Ron Zacapa Centenario!

December 9th revealed the corking Angostura 1919..

December 9th revealed the corking Angostura 1919..

December 10th sees Santa Teresa 1796 revealed....we've drunk our fair share of this in the past

December 10th sees Santa Teresa 1796 revealed….we’ve drunk our fair share of this in the past

December 11th sees a spicy one show up....Rumbullion! We'll be submerging this one in some coke later today!

December 11th sees a spicy one show up….Rumbullion! We’ll be submerging this one in some coke later today!

The 12th December has given us El Dorado 25!

The 12th December has given us El Dorado 25!

The 13th....unlucky for some...but not with the amazing Doorlys XO being revealed!

The 13th….unlucky for some…but not with the amazing Doorlys XO being revealed!

A drop of the sweeter stuff for the 14th...Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva..

A drop of the sweeter stuff for the 14th…Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva..

The 15th has revealed a drop of the excellent Pussers 15!

The 15th has revealed a drop of the excellent Pussers 15!

*May or may not be true

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2015 Drinks By The Dram Advent Calendars Announced

*Press Release*

DBTD

Drinks by the Dram unveil the 2015 Whisky Advent Calendar as part of a range of 14 unique spirit-filled calendars.

Drinks by the Dram’s range of spirit-filled Advent calendar returns for a fourth year.  Old favourites like Whisky, Gin and Rum are joined by new additions including Tequila, Absinthe and Vodka.

The Whisky Advent Calendar (RRP £149.95) was launched in 2012 to help whisky lovers explore the world’s best whiskies.  Highlights among this year’s 24 drams include a rare 50-year-old Scotch, an award-winning Japanese whisky and the World’s Best Blended Whisky*. Each handmade, wax-sealed dram allows whisky fans to sample a new whisky, tasting everything from single grain whisky to rare Scotch worth up to £350 a bottle.

DBTD Whisky Advent

Each calendar in the range takes the explorer on a different journey of discovery through the fascinating world of their favourite spirit, introducing them to rare and unusual expressions they may never have tried.

Whisky connoisseurs can also enjoy the Premium Whisky Advent Calendar (RRP £249.95), which contains rare single casks and whiskies worth up to £500 a bottle. This year also sees the launch of The Old and Rare Whisky Advent Calendar (RRP £999.95), containing whiskies worth up to £2,000 a bottle, including a 60-year-old Single Malt – one of the oldest whiskies in the world.

Drinks by the Dram’s 2015 Advent Calendar range also includes calendars filled with Armagnac, Vodka, Mezcal and horrible, horrible Chilli Vodka.  The full range of calendars is available now (shipping in October) and is as follows:

Whisky Advent Calendar (Craft Edition)
Premium Whisky Calendar (Craft Edition)
Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar
Bourbon Advent Calendar
Ginvent Calendar
Botanical Ginvent Calendar
Rum Advent Calendar
Cognac Advent Calendar
Tequila Advent Calendar
Mezcal Advent Calendar
Armagnac Advent Calendar
Absinthe Advent Calendar
Vodka Advent Calendar
Naga Chilli Vodka Escalation Calendar

*End*

Click on the link on the side banner to take yourselves directly to Master of Malt to reserve your calendar!

I’ve often looked on from afar at the images of other people’s Rum Advent Calendars……there are some cracking spirits to be had in all of them….well nearly all of them! Maybe this year will be my year…Fingers crossed.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Balvenie Caribbean Cask

I was recently approached with regards to giving an opinion of a Rum cask ‘finished’ whisky, and though I’m more than partial to a little drop, I’m most certainly not a whisky drinker by any stretch of the imagination. But I thought that it would be a fun little aside to give it a try. I was duly sent a 100ml sample of The Balvenie 14-year-old Caribbean Cask Whisky for the purposes of this post. So here is a little about The Balvenie Caribbean Cask taken from choice excerpts of the press release information that accompanied the bottle.

This whisky was created by The Balvenie Malt Master, David Stewart who in 2012 celebrated his 50th anniversary at the distillery! The single malt whisky at the base of this release has undergone a 14 year maturation period in traditional oak whisky casks prior to being transferred to casks that have previously held Caribbean Rum. This is purely to ‘finish’ the aging process.

When asked about The Balvenie Caribbean Cask, David Stewart said “We’ve found that many years maturation in traditional oak whisky casks followed by a few months of Rum cask maturation complements The Balvenie single malt very well. This expression is a beautifully rounded whisky that combines traditional Balvenie vanilla notes with rich toffee, a hint of fruit and a warm, lingering finish”

The Balvenie Caribbean Cask – 43% abv

Balvenie in GlassPrior to receiving any information or indeed the sample bottle, I posed a few questions that were referred to the Balvenie Brand Ambassador who was very helpful in assisting with responses.

Firstly I asked how long the whisky spends finishing in the Rum barrels? Is it a fixed period based on experience or is each barrel sampled and a judgement call made? It appears that the whisky is finished for between 3 and 6 months in the casks. There is no fixed period as such as it depends on how active the cask is so it is the role of David Stewart to determine when the time is right. The barrels are then blended together to achieve the consistent flavour profile.

I foolishly assumed that they had obtained ex-Rum barrels for the finishing process but I was reliably informed that this is not the case. They utilise whisky barrels that are seasoned with Rum by Balvenie themselves. These barrels are ex-bourbon, American oak barrels that would usually be used to mature whisky. David Stewart has a ‘bespoke’ Rum blended just for him which he uses to season the barrels for a period of up to 3 years. I obviously asked about the source of this Rum blend and its components but was advised that the specifics are considered a ‘trade secret’. The time period for the seasoning is barrel dependent but the aim is to season the barrel for long enough to allow the spirit to permeate deep into the wood and for there to be a good amount of interaction between the Rum and wood. After this process, the now aged Rum is sold back to the producers and the barrels are then filled with 14-year-old Balvenie whisky for finishing.

I also asked about the abv of the whisky when it is finished. It sits at between 56 and 58% abv prior to being reduced to its bottling strength of 43% abv. I wonder how much flavour the Rum finishing imparts…..

Tasting Notes

In the glass: The Whisky is an apple juice gold with darker bronze flashes displaying in the light of this particularly sunny day. Sweet vanilla instantly jumps out of the glass along with quite a dominant honeyed porridge. Sweet nutty aromas follow which are reminiscent of nougat and warm sugary peanuts. There is absolutely no bite from the nose aside from a little peppery tingle. A raisin fudge aroma begins to develop given time and there is some light tropical fruit akin to dried papaya chunks. The Rum used must be light of body and aroma as it influence is not massively apparent. To round things out there is a little floral note accompanied by green apples and honeyed vanilla.

In the mouth: There is a nice level of viscosity to the Whisky. A peppery bite leads at the front end but that is quickly quashed by a malty, honey and fudge concoction. A little oaty and flapjack like. There is also buttery croissant following. It is in the taste that I am picking up something familiar but it is not as expected. It may just be me but there is a distinctly agricole flavour imparted onto the Whisky. It’s quite green and vegetal. This sticks with me throughout subsequent visits to the glass. The finish is of a medium to long length and is all sweet short crust pastry topped with raisins. A little peach flavour exists at the back of my throat before the tiniest bit of oak influence washes it away.

You can certainly tell that the Rum has been used as a finish not as a maturation as it is very subtle. I’d love to compare to the same whisky minus the Rum finish to see just what additional flavour I’m getting. Would I purchase a bottle? Well as a Rum drinker not a whisky drinker I’d give it a go yes. It sits at around £41 a bottle so it’s not the cheapest but it is a 14-year-old single malt and therefore it commands that price (I wonder if a day will come that we are able to talk of a Rum in this way? Technique and age commanding a price point). I don’t know if there would be enough here to keep a serious whisky drinker entertained for a while but it would offer a pleasant and easy drinking distraction with just enough going on to make it interesting.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.