Finding a whisky good enough to celebrate 10 years

13th Dec. Maltjerry's Advent Calendar: Transported to a Swedish Summer forest.

Looking for a special whisky

Today, 8 Dec, is a special day. I celebrate it every year;  the anniversary of my brother-in-law donating a kidney to his sister, Cim, my wife. Part of the celebration is sending a bottle of whisky to Jonas. It’s a token of thanks and acknowledgement but cannot really express the depth of gratitude we both feel for how much of a difference that act of heroism has made to our lives. Going to Antarctica? Not even thinkable.

This year is ten years, and being a round number, I feel that this year’s whisky should be extra special in some way. On the 5th anniversary, I bought the Highland Park Hjärta, a limited edition whisky whose name (heart) spoke to the issue. Getting it to Jonas in the north of Sweden was a bit of an odyssey. How could I top that? Should I even try?

Another Highland Park might fit the bill, and there are some very fine, very expensive whiskies, some of which are even harder get hold of than the Hjärta. Perhaps one from the range named after Norse gods and warriors. I haven’t tasted many of them and it’s important to me that it’s something I know he (and I) will really like. Too risky? Continue reading

Maltjerry’s Advent Calendar: 25 choices from 2012. 8th Dec.

8th December: Highland Park, Thor/18-year old. 52.1% ABV.
From: Orkney, Scotland. Type: Scotch malt whisky. Source: Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival

I’ve picked a pair of Highland Park whiskies for today’s entry to celebrate and honour Jonas – I sometimes refer to him as “Malt-Brother-In-Law”. Just about the time these words are posted, he will receive a bottle of the 18-year old, as a small measure of my thanks. This year’s bottle. I buy him a different whisky every year on this date because in 2004, Jonas donated a kidney to his sister “MaltCim”. Today is eight years.

I was going to buy him the Thor – it’s an impressive whisky in an extravagant package. A symbol of Norse heroics – could it be more appropriate? But hey! he and I drink whisky for the liquid contents, not the box it comes in, so while we were at the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival together in September, we got a chance to taste them both together. A chance for me to sneakily work out which he would like. He preferred the 18.

Highland_park_18Highland_park_thor

HP 18 is a great whisky. Richer, fuller, softer, slightly spicier, slightly peatier than its 12-year old brother. Perhaps the Thor is more complex, but it is also wilder, with more spices, a touch fiery – as befits the god for whom it is named (apart from the “more spices” bit).

Jonas:
I’m doing this thing on my blog. It’s a sort of Advent calendar of 25 beers or whiskies that I’ve enjoyed during 2012. Hope you don’t mind. Thanks for these eight, health-filled years. Enjoy your dram. Skål!

You can get the 18-year old from the Highland Park online shop.
Thor is under Special Bottlings.