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And the winner is…

December 24th, 2009

I asked you to help me pick which special whisky to open on Christmas eve by voting for your choice of three different whiskies, each bottled more than 20 years ago. Thank you for all your help.

Well, it’s 10:20pm on Christmas Eve. The rest of my family is working their way upstairs to bed. I tallied your votes, and the winner is…

It was a tie! Both the Caol Ila and Ledaig got 25 votes, with Dallas Dhu getting 14. So, after all this, I still must make a deciding vote. (It’s too late and I am too tired to open up two bottles.)

I chose the Ledaig, for the simple reason that the level of the whisky is at the lower part of the neck, and I don’t want it to get down to the shoulder.

I’m glad I did. It’s still in good shape, and it’s a very delicious whisky. No fancy tasting notes right now, but let me say it’s very smoky, peaty, leafy, and briny, with a lovely sweetness to match…an old-fashioned island whisky.

Let me thank my friends at Gordon & MacPhail for nurturing and bottling this whisky many years ago. And, as I sit here sipping end enjoying it, I toast all of you and wish you a Very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all the best to you in the New Year.

I will now do the right thing, and share it with my whisky-loving friends over the next week or so.



17 Responses to “And the winner is…”

  1. Mark says:

    And a Merry Christmas to you, as well! May the whole week hold confirmations of such fine decision making!

    HP 18 raised for you and all here this night!

  2. Staab says:

    Enjoy the winding down John……cheers

  3. John Hansell says:

    Thanks Mark, HP 18…you can’t go wrong there. Never had one that wasn’t great.

    Staab, I will. You too! Another sip or two and I’ll call it a night.

    Life isn’t perfect–and we all have our crosses to bear–but aren’t we lucky to even be discussing the merits of great whisky?

    And the truth of the matter really is that the best whisky is always the one in our glass, right?

  4. MrTH says:

    John, there’s a fellow here in western Massachusetts named George Lenker who writes a weekly beer column for the Springfield paper. I think you’ll like this week’s:

  5. bgulien says:

    John, Merry X-mas from The Netherlands.
    I did the inquisitive thing and opened the HP Earl Magnus.
    A nice whisky, not the three salto’s with a twist kind of whisky, but just right.

  6. BourbonBreath says:


    Merry Christmas!

    I enjoyed a bit of Weller 12 last night and contemplated things…

    and I concur….the best whiskey is the one thats in front of us!

    Wishes of a prosperous new year to all of us!

  7. Great choice, John. Merry Christmas.

    My ‘buds were a bit off last night so I opted for The mild Glenrothes Special Reserve — just right.

    Cheers to all, and best wishes for a healthy New Year.

  8. JWC says:

    Great choice – sounds very yummy. I ended up having a glass of tawny port last night and looking at the Christmas tree. Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays everyone and I wish all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

  9. B.J. Reed says:

    While you were tasting the Ledaig I was tasting the PC-7 – Merry Christmas Everyone – With 12 inches of snow on the ground and another 8 inches forecast by 6 am tomorrow here in Omaha I will be sampling more of my stock then I planned 🙂

  10. Red_Arremer says:

    I’m glad that was the one you opened & it sounds very nice. I’m jealous– the best thing I had access to was Rhum Barabancourt white (not that it’s not very nice for a white rum).

    Are there an currently available bottles of Ledaig that go over as well as this one?

  11. paolo says:

    Cheers!I had some 1972 Ledaig and they were excellent so good dramming!

  12. WolfgangU says:

    It’s been a privilege to be involved in your decision-making process, John.
    I am enjoying my Talisker and Brora, both 20 y.o.(I like the Talisker slightly better). Sláinte Mhaith to you and everyone here and a Happy New Year to us all!

  13. All good whiskies to share. Hope it’s well enjoyed.

  14. Alex says:

    Nice pick indeed. For the first time in many years I was sitting aorund a table with my 4 college roommates and some new friends – Scott’s Selection Caol Ila 1984, Ardbeg 10, Tobermory 10, Glenlivet 15, Laphroaig 10 & McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt (a nice surprise there). As always, the whisky tastes even better when shared – Happy Holidays and best wishes for a prosperous New Year!

  15. Gary says:

    Hope it was as good as advertised John. Happy Holidays.

  16. John Hansell says:

    It is a delicious dram, and I am sharing it with as many like-minded whisky enthusiasts I can.

  17. […] help me pick which rare whisky to open up on Christmas Eve on this blog posting. And, as I posted here on Christmas Eve, the bottle I opened, as decided by you, was the 1973 vintage, 16 year old […]

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