Review – The Whisky Exchange Christmas Malt 2018.

Apparently it is nearly Christmas.

Ho Ho Ho.

The Whisky Exchange has bottled its first ever ‘Christmas Malt’ which is available to buy from today. It is rather a cliche to describe sherried whiskies as like ‘Christmas in a glass’ so it is no wonder that they have decided on a whisky that has been matured for 17 years in an Oloroso sherry butt.

The whisky itself hails from an unnamed distillery, described as a ‘family owned Speyside distillery’ that evidently specialises in heavily sherried drams. I’ll leave you to play ‘Guess The Distillery’ but I’m pretty sure you will have already…

There are 1800 bottles available and is priced at £74.95.

TWE ‘A Fine Christmas Malt’, IB, 58.7%, press sample, (available here)


In the glass it has a golden amber hue and leaves slow teardrop legs when swirled.

The nose is initially full of toffee and caramel, followed by apples, oranges and raisins. Theres a slight sharpness reminiscent of redcurrant. Given some time in the glass there are some spices and a slight grapefruit note. If you’ve ever grilled a ruby grapefruit with a spoonful of brown sugar on top then its exactly that.

The palate is a journey from sweet to savoury. Starting off with with a soft orange and red apple note, leading to drying cedar spices and touches of nuttiness via dark chocolate (80%) dark cherries and some toasted oak and ginger. At full strength the oak was perhaps a little drying but a few drops of water opened it up and softened dramatically, also accentuating a somewhat hidden (until now) butteriness. The mouthfeel is quite light for such an influenced whisky but suits the nature of the dram entirely giving a nice crisp and zingy edge.

The finish is quiet long and very pleasant. Much as you would expect from an Oloroso  matured dram its full of raisins, spices and dried peels. There is that touch of oak again and a slight mix of ginger and pepper which, as before is tempered by a few drops of water.

A tasty dram which I would suggest as a great after dinner accompaniment, perhaps even paired with a chocolate pudding of some sort. The price (£75) isn’t too far off the mark value wise either considering its age and its pedigree.

You can find more tasting notes and whisky news in the Amateur Drammers Archives.

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