Whisky Advocate

Drinking anything special over the holidays?

December 21st, 2010

I’m going to open up something special, like I do every year. (I’ll have a separate post on that soon.)

How about you? Please do share your good fortune with us. What will you be drinking?

108 Responses to “Drinking anything special over the holidays?”

  1. sam k says:

    Hmmm, maybe either last year’s George T. Stagg or this year’s Thomas Handy.

    Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

  2. Gal Granov says:

    Not much Xmas here,
    but i think i will pop open my HP 30.

  3. Gllaguno says:

    I’m going classical: Lagavulin 16

    • Richard Healy says:

      I love Auchentoshan 3 Wood around the holidays. It’s just an incredible whiskey. My lovely girlfriend gave me a bottle of Black Maple Hill 23-year-old Rye which might just be bottled ambrosia! A bottle of Double Barreled Highland Park/Bowmore collaboration was gifted to me by my mother. A great whiskey, light yet smokey!

  4. Paul M says:

    We had our Scotch group year end holiday get together and opened up the Brora 25 y/o. I’m not sure what I’ll be having whisk(e)y wise on Christmas eve, but I will open up a bottle of the Goose Island Bourbon County RARE that was aged in the Pappy Van Winkle casks.

  5. Håvard Eide says:

    Already opened up my bottle of Glenfarclas 30yo that is this years xmas whisky, delicious!

  6. Vince says:

    I am definitely opening a William Larue Weller (2009 release). I also have a little of the Parkers Heritage Golden Anniversary left. I will be finishing that up over the holidays as well. The week between Christmas and New Years I am having a bourbon tasting with some friends. I will be featuring Eagle Rare 90 Proof, Eagle Rare 101 Proof and Eagle Rare 17 year old along with a Pappy’s 15 yr old and a Jefferson Presidential Reserve 17 year old

  7. Joshua says:

    I enjoyed some Nikka Taketsuru 21yr, Glenmorangie Margaux Cask and a few different SMWS bottlings over Chanukah…

  8. howardf says:

    The wife bought me a bottle of this year’s Parker’s Heritage for Christmas, so that’s what I’ll be sipping after dinner. I might have some of the Golden Anniversary while I’m at it.

  9. sean says:

    For beer St Bernardus Noel
    For whisky, I wont be opening anything new but I will have some pours of
    Lagavulin 21
    Glenfarclas 1974 31yo
    Plowed Benriach 1986 23yo px finish
    Karuizawa 1985 24yo

  10. Rick Duff says:

    I think Santa will deliver a nice 19 year old MacDuff, and the Singleton of Dufftown 15yo. He also delivered some Glenglassaugh 26,37, & 44yo minis. I think my Woodford Reserve Maple will get cracked open too.
    Also bottling some Very Old Barton (bourbon) that I extra aged .. one in a scotch 3 gallon barrel, and one in a 2 gallon bourbon barrel that previously had some peated whiskey in it.. for my brother in law.

  11. NC Nelz says:

    Caribou Crossing to honor the guy in the red suit!! its quite good

    • JD says:

      I had that last night. It really was good. Sadly I can’t get it where I’m spending the holidays, but I do have a bottle waiting for me when I get home.

  12. Murrell Kinkade says:

    Oh yeah, Amrut Fusion and Pearse Lyons Whiskey. Both are outstanding. Amrut from India, yes India and Pearse Lyons from AlTech in Lexington, Ky. New kids on the block and destined for greatness.

  13. Mr Claw says:

    Definitely gonna crack open my 1984 cask strength Berry Bros Caol Ila. Tried it at London Whisky Show and it’s an absolute corker!

    Lagavulin-y on the nose (farmy peat rather than Caol Ila’s usual burnt leaves); Port Ellen-y on the taste buds. Just lovely stuff…

    Other than that (some of) these:

    Ardbeg Corryvreckan
    Ardbeg Uigeadail
    Redbreast 12
    Van Winkle 13 Rye
    Cask strength single-barrel (literally from a single barrel!) Ardbeg (called “Ord Mor”)
    Port Charlotte An Turas Mor
    Glendronach 15
    Sheep Dip 1990 Old Hebridean (vatting of 25 YO Ardbeg, 19 YO Dalmore & 20 YO Fettercairn)
    Yamazaki Sherry Cask (2009)
    Talisker 18
    Lagavulin 16
    Highland Park 21
    Sazerac 6YO rye
    Good old Buffalo Trace!
    Gawd knows what else…

    Some pinot noir, champagne, port, craft beers and probably some rum too…

    Merry Xmas to you all!

  14. Brandon says:

    Glenfarclas 21 year old and Highland Park Hjarta. I have been waiting ever so patiently, but, good things come to those who wait.

  15. Joe M says:

    It’s the Hirsch 16 for me. Only comes out a few times a year.

    • John Hansell says:

      I was born in the county where Michter’s is located, and I have a few bottles stashed away. I opened up a A. H. Hirsh 18 year earlier this year for my 50th Birthday.

  16. John Parker says:

    Will be drinking George T Stagg 2010/2009 versions. Might finish off my WLW 2009, since I have 3 stored below 🙂

    Merry Pappy to all

  17. Thomas Chen says:

    Ardbeg Super Nova 2010 for Xmas and New Year. How appropriate.

  18. bgulien says:

    I think I am going to open a Port Ellen 7th release.
    It is sitting on the shelve for around 2 years now, so it’s time to enjoy it with some good friends

  19. Stephen Aberle says:

    It will be heavy on the peaty Islay. I’m hoping for a bottle of Ardbeg SN2010 (hard to get here in BC) to arrive with my name on it. Will share some of that, the Ardbeg 10, Corryvreckan, and Laphroaig quarter cask with friends at New Year’s. I might get a bottle of Forty Creek Barrel Select to open the evening (we’re C’najuns after all), and we’ll also sip some Sortilege with dessert – a Quebec product, Canadian whisky sweetened with maple syrup, delicieux. If I had some around, we’d also be drinking some Glen Breton, but spousal whisky good will only extends so far and I think I’m approaching the limit. St. Ambroise, Unibroue, and Innis & Gunn beers.

  20. Red_Arremer says:

    As usual I’ll be trapped Thursday through Monday at my grandmother’s in MD– a whisky free zone.

    I’m going to try to get in some good drinking before that though. May do tasting notes on Talisker 30 or the old Auchentoshan 17 c/s, today.

  21. Adam says:

    I think I’ll be having Macallan 12 year old Traditional oak (sherry oak). And should that run out onto the Glenlivet 12 year old and Bailey’s. Oh not to mention some 10 year old Tawny Port.

    • Stuart McCann says:

      Adam, If my recent experience is anything to go, by avoid the eighteen year old Macallan like the plague! I refer to the new label which is white on the top half and blue/purple on the bottom. I’m a Speysider and have been a Macallan drinker for a long time so I don’t rubbish this product lightly. I ad a glass from an eithteen year old a few weeks ago, (white label) and it was superb. I bought this one expecting to impress friends—-disasterous ! I await an explanation from Craigellachie. Not a happy new year!

  22. Alex says:

    Macallan 1981 18yo and PC6 for me…maybe Lagavulin DE as well, if there is good snowfall. Happy Holidays!

  23. Dan says:

    With the annual arrival of my “Bah! Humbug!” dysfunctional brother-in-law, there are too many choices to dull the nerves & keep my blood pressure low. I sorta cover all the bases with single malts and bourbons. Some newer ones I’ll be swilling: The BenRiach 16 year old Special Cask Bottling, The Balvenie Caribbean Rum Cask, (dessert perhaps?), Duncan & Taylor NC2 10 year old Auchroisk, (something light to start off), & moving along to Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye, Weller 107, Ellijah Craig 18 year Single Barrel, and one of my favorites for cold, nasty nights, Abelour a’bundah. And/or I can add some peated selections too. No particular order, just whatever strikes my fancy at the moment. CHEERS TO EVERYONE!

  24. Jimmy says:

    I’ll be opening this year’s Sazerac 18yr rye and maybe this year’s Old Potrero 18th Century recipe. I’m nervous about the latter because (after I’d already bought the bottle) I had a pull at my watering hole and it seemed a lot skunkier than last year.

    I’m at an extra six months age on a few different bottles of Russian River’s American Wild Ales I’m storing, so I might have one or two of those too.

    I’m jealous of all you guys who got a Van Winkle 13 rye; I’m having a hard time finding one in San Francisco.

  25. Adge says:

    Getting a Balvenie Double Wood, Redbreast 12 yr, and Ardbeg Corryvreckan for Christmas. I’ll open the Redbreast for sure, maybe the Balvenie. Will probably sip on some Uigeadail (already open) prior.

  26. Ray says:

    Canadian Club 12 year old Classic and a La Gloria Cubana. I also had Laphroiag 10 year old. How does the Caribou Crossing compare to the CC??????? Anyone?
    Merry Christmas!

    • Rick Duff says:

      Equivalent of the La Gloria Cubana cigar vs mexican cigar… nothing against the mexican cigar.. it’s very good.. but not as full flavoured.

  27. Dan says:


    You need to live a lot closer to KY! I’m just down the road in TN.

  28. Jazz Lover says:

    Glenfarclas 31 74
    Glenfarclas 40

  29. Gary says:

    I have a couple 22 oz bottles of Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve Ale and I will probably crack open a bottle of this years Parker’s Heritage. Ho ho ho!

  30. Paul says:

    I believe that the afternoon will involve some Baird Beer Kurofune Porter and Jubilation Ale before dinner and some Glendronach 15 yr old after.

  31. Derek Stewart says:

    I will probably open up a bottle of Balvenie 21 Port Wood (47.6% ABV version).
    It has been sitting on the shelf taunting me for a almost a year. Time to show it who’s boss!
    Might also have to dip into some Laphroaig Cairdeas Master Edition to get some peat into the equation.

  32. Holysinner says:

    Glenfarclas 105 and Redbreast 12.

  33. I will see what my mother got hidden away in her whiskycupboard 🙂


  34. Chris says:

    I’ll probably have some friends over, and we’ll open 4 or 5 different Four Roses, both Marriage and Single Barrel bottles. As for my own private pleasure, I’m going to try to force myself to open my 1988 18YO Macallan finished in Calvados casks. I’ll probably get into some vintage rums as well.

  35. Mike Murphy says:

    I have just received a bottle of Ichiro’s Choice 1982 Kawasaki Single Grain and have ordered a bottle of Yamasaki 19 YO Single Cask Bottling from the SMWS which they described as “Christmas” dram.I am looking forward to opening Kawasaki Single grain since I heard such rave reviews about it. I tasted the Yamasaki in Tokyo yesterday and ordered it right away. I’ll be sipping both of these with friends over the holidays.

  36. Leorin says:

    I’ll have a sample of Ardbeg Provenance. I wanted to try this for quite some time.

  37. B.J. Reed says:

    Well, I was fortunate to just get the Ardbeg Festival Bottling (Ardbeg – ‘Distillery Only’ Single Cask – Refill Sherry Hogshead – Cask 2763 – distilled 14th September 1998 – Bottled 5th November 2009- 55.6% vol – 70cl) and it will be under the tree on the 25th so that is one that absolutely will be opened for the holidays.

    Also just received the Saint Magnus from Highland Park and that is a likely treat. A couple of other possibilities include the 30 YO Glenmorangie and a single cask Arran I picked up a month or so ago.

    Should be a yummy holiday season!

  38. JC Skinner says:

    Bottle of Old Comber for me.
    Such a pity they don’t make it anymore.
    After that it’ll be a Tyrconnell Anima Negra finish, a sherry finished Connemara, a Locke’s Premier Crew and maybe something Scottish.

  39. Andre Girard says:

    We’ll start with ARRAN SHERRY CASK and will open a special bottle for my birthday on the 27th…

  40. Luke says:

    I plan on opening (and sharing!) the following bottlings:

    Single Cask Midleton Pure Pot Still – Bourbon Matured Cask 15738 (14YO – 46%ABV – NCF)
    Connemara Single Malt Single Cask 3767 – Bourbon Matured (18YO – 46%ABV – NCF)
    Connemara Turf Mór – Heavily Peated Single Malt – Bourbon Matured (3YO – 58.2%ABV – NCF)

    The first two are special bottlings for Celtic Whiskey Shop in Dublin.

    Connemara Turf Mór is an experimental heavily peated Single Malt from Cooley. Regular Connemara uses malt with phenols at 35PPM, Turf Mór is 58PPM! That said very well balanced for its age, just under four years!

    Alas, I’ll be missing out on Cooley’s Greenore 18YO Single Grain (46%ABV – NCF) which won’t be available outside Dublin Airport Duty free until the New Year.

    That said there is rumour of a Single-Cask Single-Grain Cask Strength 19YO Greenore coming soon! – Watch out!


    I’ll sign off by wishing John Hansell and all on this Blog a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!


    • John Hansell says:

      Thanks Luke. I’m feeling a bit Irish today, so I’ll be right over! 🙂

      • Luke says:

        Alas John, with Dublin Airport in Chaos it’s unlikely!

        On a happier note – keep an eye out for regular “Travel Retail” releases of Single Cask Midleton from now on – a ‘Christmas Bottle’ if ever there was one!

        I’m just about to head out the door to drop off a friend’s Christmas present: a bottle of Single-Cask 10YO Anima Negra Wine Finish Single-Cask Tyrconnell (46%ABV – NCF out of common decency).

        Merry Christmas!

    • JC Skinner says:

      Goddam, Luke! Keep me a seat!
      I’d like to second your wish of a very Merry Christmas to John, all at MA, and all the readers here.

      • Luke says:

        JC, the Midleton is last year’s CWS release, deferred pleasure being best and all that…

        Fear not! I’ll bring around what remains of the bottle to January’s IWS meeting for sampling / opinionation / &c.

        Also, as always, I have a reserve, unopened, bottle in my stash, along with a bottle of the previous years release (the stunning cask-conditioned blend).

        Oh, and I have two bottles of this years release for our delectation next Christmas – It pays, and unfortunately costs, to plan ahead!

        Behave yerself JC!!!

  41. Louis says:

    Ardbeg Corryvreckan and Supernova (2009). And maybe some Sheep Dip 1990 Hebridean mentioned above.

  42. David G says:

    A friend of a friend brought back a bottle of the Yamazaki Sherry Cask from Japan a few months’ back at my request. Since I’m going to my friends’s house for NYE this year, I’ll be bringing the bottle with me, and I’d wager it’ll be empty well before midnight.

  43. Greg says:

    There will be plenty of drink flowing on Christmas. For beer, La Chouffe, Great Divide Yeti and Southern Tier Choklat. For whiskey, Redbreast 15 year, ’09 Thomas H. Handy, Willett 17 year and something lower proof for the wimpy drinkers.

  44. Mashbill says:

    I’ll be starting with Pappy 15, which will lead me to some more of my quickly vanishing Pappy 20. Then it’s onto Rye: Handy 2008, Hirsch 22, and Hirsch 25. After that, the guests will be gone, and I’ll settle down with some Four Roses 2009 SB.

  45. BourbonBreath says:

    Pappy and WLW, followed by a bit of RB12…

    Pappy Holidays to all…

  46. Went up to Canada a couple of weeks ago and picked up some Macallan Estate Reserve from the 1824 Collection & Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve. I already opened them both, but will be enjoying them none the less. I have had my eye on either the Caol Ila DE or Compass Box Flaming Heart 10th Anniversary Edition, just haven’t decided which one my wife will be “giving” me for Christmas!

  47. Henry H. says:

    Winter Solstice happens to be my birthday, so we’ll be partaking of the two presents I received, which serendipitously turned out to be marvelous polar opposites. First up will be a Bladnoch, my first from that distillery – and from its last year of operation: the 16yo 1993 G & M Connoisseurs Choice. It’s the perfect launch for most any flight, with some unexpected coastal notes to go with its fragrant floral and grassy nature. There’s even some freshly made dill pickle brine on the nose. Delightful surprise of a single malt, and I look forward to trying the newer versions crafted by Raymond Armstrong and company.

    The nightcap will be bourbon – some broad-shouldered Booker’s, which I had never tried before my birthday. Don’t have the bottle handy, but this batch came in at 64%+ abv. Not only were my socks knocked off, they sat smoldering across the room, reeking of cherries and burnt banana chips. Yowza!

    There will doubtless be a few others to get us from one extreme to the other. Happy holidays to all.

  48. Jason R says:

    I have some Glenrothes 1979 which I will share with my Dad. Other than that, I will work my way though a bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail between Christmas and NYE

  49. Michael Z says:

    HART BrotherS 1990 Rosebank 17 years 46%…..Dun Bheagan 1984 Teaninich 18 years Sherry 59%…’on we go’….

  50. JWC says:

    Decided to continue on with the Thanksgiving drink (WT American Spirit). Since I have more time off for Christmas, I’ll be drinking WT12, WT Tribute, WT American Spirit and WT Tradition. Gobble, gobble!!

  51. Ralph Biscuits says:

    I think I will finish the last of a bottle of Four Roses Mariage ’08 that I’ve had for awhile and then open the new bottle of it that I just picked up last week.
    Later I will have some G&M Mortlach 36.

    • Red_Arremer says:

      Hey Ralph– Long time no see & Happy Holidays. Those are both great bottles for sure. The FR ’08– so massive!

      • Ralph Biscuits says:

        Happy Holidays to you as well Red.
        I had been nursing the bottle of Mariage I had so I’m glad I picked up another bottle from Joe last week. Great stuff!

  52. Jason G says:

    Well with the costs associated with the Christmas season I wasn’t able to pick up the bottle of Ardbeg Airidh Nam Beist I was hoping for, but I do have a nice bottle of The Dalmore 12 Year which is a damn fine dram to enjoy with family and friends. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

  53. maltakias says:

    Except from those already opened:

    HP 18yo previous bottling
    Benriach 23yo SMoS (peated)
    Linkwood 20yo Dewar Rattray
    Dalmore 18yo Signatory Vintage

    I think i’ll go for my first Japanese at last.The Yamazaki 18 and i hope it’s worth it.

  54. Jon H says:

    Will be spending Christmas day with many friends. Looking forward to the opportunity to broaden their bourbon (and rye) horizons, both in styles and distilleries. Could be a long day.

    Stagg ’09
    William Larue Weller ’10
    Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye
    Van Winkle Special Reserve Lot B
    Elijah Craig 18
    Elijah Craig 12
    Four Roses Single Barrel Barrel Strength OBSK

    • Vince says:

      That’s a beautiful line-up Jon. Hope your friends appreciate it. Enjoy!

    • Jason G says:

      Is there any chance we might get a review of the Elijah Craig 12 anytime in the near future? This is my favorite bourbon on the market and I was really surprised to not find this one on the site.

  55. patrick says:

    Glenfarclas 25
    Lagavulin 16
    Pappy Van Winkle 15
    Various beers

    I almost went for the Flaming Heart 10th Anniversary, but I figured I had enough for this holiday.

  56. Eric says:

    William Larue Weller from this year’s Antique Collection, per your recommendation.
    Balvenie 15 Year Single Barrel
    Surly Darkness – Local (Minnesota) Russian Imperial Stout, only released once a year.

    Nothing too exotic, unless I decide to buy myself a holiday gift. 🙂

  57. I only home on Christmas eve and people are coming over who don’t drink whisky. Not a big tasting, but just a few fine drams:

    – GlenDronach 1996, single cask, PX finish (bottled for the Netherlands).
    – SMWS 93.38
    – SMWS 125.35
    – Nikka Miyagikyou Single Cask (this one to cause an internal grease fire, to burn off those calories 🙂 )

  58. steven says:

    Parker”s Heritage 2010
    Macallan Gran Reserva
    Talisker 20 yo Sherry Cask

  59. D.Houston says:

    This is my first post here, what a great site for seeing what the people are drinking. I am finally going to open up one of my bottles of HP Earl Magnus and i am getting a bottle of Benriach 15yr Tawny Port for christmas which i will dig out from under the tree tomorrow night.Keep up the great work John!

    Drinking Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve as i write this, life is good.

  60. Per Nygårds says:

    Now I have made up my mind…
    I will start off with the new Dewar Rattray Tamdhu 30 y.o.
    Jump to a brillant Black Maple Hill 23 y.o. Rye
    And finnish off with a Berry Bros. 2005 Ledaig at a whopping 62.7 %
    And of course there will be an O.P. Andersson Aquavit together with the herring on our Swedish X-mas table..

    Looks like it will be another Merry X-mas here in Sweden 🙂

  61. John Hansell says:

    I just wanted to say that’s it’s great to see so many people commenting for the first time on this thread. Welcome! And for those of you still lurking, don’t be shy. We would like to hear your thoughts too!

  62. J Anthony says:

    moving through the holidays with different bourbons as we move around the county.
    …at the in-laws up north brought a bottle of noah’s mill for the week before christmas.
    …will be back home in indianapolis for one day (the 26th) and will continue working on my PVW 15.
    …flying to dallas for a week with my family and taking this year’s thomas handy; can’t wait to try it.

  63. Josh West says:

    I find that spicy rye whiskies are good for this time of year. Goes well in hot apple cider too. I plan to open up this year’s Thomas Handy.

  64. Jeffh says:

    First post, been lurking for some months, but really enjoy all the reader comment in the site’s threads. I will be working through some Ardbeg Uigeadail, Redbreast 12, and a bit of Avion Silver. Next week will be a treat, as I’ll be opening Amrut Intermediate Sherry.

  65. Pat B says:

    I believe that I will open my bottle of The Glenlivet XXV. Loved it at WhiskyFest and purchased it to help me through the rest of my birthday’s. January 1st is the day. Loved reading about what every one else is drinking. Saw several that made me envious. Slainte!

  66. Murrell Kinkade says:

    Well last nite, Christmas Eve family was in and it just seemed right to break out the Bookers and Ardbeg Uigeadail. Really went over well. May do it again tonite or Lagavulin 16 would not be bad. Merry Christmas to all.

  67. Snakeman says:

    First posting on this sight……….

    I’ll be opening up my 4Roses 100th Anniversary that Mrs. Clause got me for Christmas, and later I’ll have another sip of the Woodford Reserve Master Collection Maple Finish I just opened to nose, but haven’t tried yet.

    merry Christmas everyone

  68. Erik M says:

    Had to work a lot last week and starting tomorrow again so only had a few Coors Light and a couple drams of HP 12 (the old black box with the orange sunset). Boring, but it does the trick.

    Anyone tried the Ducks Unlimited 2010 JD Single Barrel yet? Got it as a gift this year and I’m not sure if all the Ducks Unlimited release are from the same barrel. Mine’s rick L-21, barrel 10-2270.

    • John Hansell says:

      I am aware of the Duck’s Unlimited JD SB, but never have tasted one. How is it?

      • Erik M says:

        Sorry John, I’m not much help at the moment in this area as I don’t plan on opening my bottle for a while. My girlfriend got it for me for Christmas and the dog in the illustration closely resembles our dog. I can let you know when I finally taste it if you want, but after doing some more thinking (about my own question) I don’t see how they could all be from the same barrel.

  69. Brad says:

    I got a bottle of George T Stagg for Christmas. Man, what a great gift! Even uncut, Stagg is smoother and tastier than most.

    I am also working on finishing my bottle of Elmer Lee.

  70. Jun Nunez says:

    I am going to open a bottle of Laphroaig 30 for the New Year and smoke an Arturo Fuente Anejo.

  71. Peter says:

    I have to finish up a bunch of bottles that are losing their original flavor from excessive oxidation before going into any of the new ones. Have finished so far a Ballechin #1, Glenmorangie burgundy finish, Glenmorangie madeira finish, Arran Sassicaia, Macallan 10yr, Longrow 10 yr Tokaji, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. Still to finish are Laphroaig 15yr, Balvenie 17yr new wood, Arran Napoleon and a couple of others that escape me now.

  72. two-bit cowboy says:

    Beginning at midnight: Bunnahabhain 18, Springbank 18, and The Glenrothes 1985.

    Happy New Year.

  73. Christine says:

    *Van Winkle 13 Rye
    *Peach Street Distillers’ Straight Bourbon Whiskey
    *Hudson Baby Bourbon
    *Hudson Manhattan Rye

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