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Advent Calendar 2023: Day 24

Merry Christmas to all participants in the calendar and to everyone reading this. Creating this calendar has been a long process and taken more time and energy than I imagined, but it has definitely been worth the effort and brought me a lot of joy. Hopefully, it has been a source of joy for all participants and perhaps a few readers as well.


Today, we'll skip the distillery introductions, but not because we're going for a Christmas Eve blend or because the distillery has already been presented. The reason is simply that the distillery for today's whisky is not known.


In the glass today is a single malt released under the Ben Bracken brand. Ben Bracken is Lidl's own whisky brand. This means that Lidl buys whisky from one or more distilleries and bottles it under its own brand. They have at least Islay, Highland, and Speyside product lines, so the bottles likely contain products from at least three different distilleries.


Choosing this whisky for Christmas Eve might initially seem surprising, but there's a reason for the selection. I wanted to end the calendar with a whisky that many have probably not enjoyed before and at the same time offer many participants likely the oldest whisky they have ever tasted (this, of course, can be a flawed assumption, but let's hope for the best). Personally, I have never thought that older is necessarily better when it comes to whisky. However, there is an undeniable charm in sipping an exceptionally old whisky and letting thoughts wander toward the year of distillation while contemplating the changes in the world. Tonight's whisky is a cask-strength (41.2%) Speyside single malt distilled in 1973. The whisky is a comfortable 47 years old, and for me, it is the oldest whisky I have ever enjoyed.


Thanks to all participants and readers, and special thanks to Ingvar Ronde, the author of the Malt Whisky Yearbook, whose book has made fact-checking super easy. Without that book, writing these texts would have often been much more challenging. I recommend purchasing the latest edition for anyone interested in whisky.




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