Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Review / A Fine Christmas Malt 2020 Edition

A Fine Christmas Malt is the annual festive limited edition bottling from leading specialist spirits retailer The Whisky Exchange. Each year the whisky goes in a different direction and the 2020 Edition is a blended malt that features single malts with a heavy influence of ex-sherry cask maturation. There are just 1,918 bottles and these are only available from The Whisky Exchange website or three stores in London. Bottles can also be engraved with a personal message. A Fine Christmas Malt 2020 Edition is released at 44.5% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. The price is £74.95 per bottle.

"This has everything I look for in a festive whisky – rich, spicy and packed with the fruity flavours of Christmas cake. I would love to receive it as a gift!"
Sukhinder Singh - Co-Founder of The Whisky Exchange. 

Our tasting notes

The colour is deep gold with a hint of amber and the nose has a delicious mix of sweet and rich aromas - think of toffee and caramel in combination with raisins and sultanas. Underneath are further aromas of dusty baking spices (especially cinnamon and mace), candied orange and a hint of walnut and toasted hazelnut.

On the palate this whisky is again deliciously rich and sweet. There is an immediate juiciness and this is driven by the plump dried fruits from the nose (this is especially true of the sultanas, plus the raisins and some additional dried apricot). The candied orange peel is also present and mingles with a hint of green apple. The richness comes from distinct caramel, muscovado sugar and toffee-like notes and these are supported by a robust malted and bittersweet cereal note in the background. A good pinch of baking spices (cinnamon and mace again, plus a hint of powdered ginger) and a dusting of cocoa powder add further depth and rounds things off nicely.

The finish is long and rich. The sweetness holds firm, as does the juicy dried fruit characteristics. The warming baking spices slowly fade and this brings through a lovely milk chocolate note. The dried fruit is next to leave as the caramel and toffee elements linger on.

What's the verdict?

This is another fabulous Christmas whisky from the guys at The Whisky Exchange. Each of the A Fine Christmas Malt expressions have gone in a different direction, but all have been delicious in their own way. This is much more of a traditional festive set of aromas and flavours - rich, sweet, dried fruit, caramel, baking spices etc - than last year's release. This is a blended malt and is still available at the time of going to press. A decent price and a delicious whisky, whether it's Christmas or not.

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