Glengoyne Christmas Cask, 60.6%

Price: $155 Issue: Spring 2011 Reviewer: Dominic Roskrow

Credit to Glengoyne for coming up with something different. There are just 100 bottles of this malt available this year, with a further 100 or so released each Christmas from the same cask each year until 2014, effectively offering malt enthusiasts the chance to plot a work in progress. Better still, this first effort is one of the best releases ever to come out of the distillery. The name is spot on; it really is Christmas in a glass, with the almost feminine aromas of rosewater, flowers, candy stick, and fruit giving way to a huge sherry note on the palate. Dark chocolate, cherry, orange, and chili notes combine to offer up a bold and full malt. Some special bottlings from Glengoyne have been over-oaky or marred by sulfur, but not this one. This is clean, pure, and classy. Can't wait to see where it goes next.